By Anne Dalling/Reel Chase
RESULTS OF THE 2003 LIZARD ISLAND BLACK MARLIN CLASSIC: REEL CHASE led the way on the first day of the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic being the first of several boats to tag two marlin for the day. Day Two and the fishing improved with most boats getting amongst the action. NEW MOON II took over the lead after tagging four marlin on the day. Meanwhile New Zealand boat STRIKER skippered by Capt Bruce Smith weighed in a giant black marlin of 1,243 lbs, and Capt Dave Pemberton on KIAMA also weighed in a black marlin of 1,018 lbs for his anglers. Day Three saw REEL CHASE anglers tag and release two more black marlin bringing them up to the lead again with 5 fish, along with NEW MOON II and CONNATIUS. Day Four saw NEW MOON II forge ahead again tagging another 5 marlin. Meanwhile, angler Tony Painter on board REEL CHASE had a quick fight of just a few minutes before tagging a 900 pounder which made up for the one a couple of days previously that he broke line on after a strenuous hour and a half. REEL CHASE tagged 2 marlin for the day. The good fishing continued through the whole of the seven days of competition. REEL CHASE tagged & released a 1,000 lb black marlin for angler Mark Morland on October 25th to finish a great week of fishing. During the tournament the 29 competing boats tagged & released 157 marlin of which 23 were giant black marlin over 900 lbs. Champion boat was NEW MOON II with 16 fish followed by VIKING II and REEL CHASE.
Anglers on REEL CHASE had plenty of action tagging 8 marlin out of 9 shots in the 2 days of October 8 & 9, including a couple of 600 and 900 pounders. The action continued right up until wind-in time on October 12 when a 950 pounder and 900 pounder were hooked up while the boat was getting set to head to Cooktown for a client changeover. These anglers had a good week tagging more than 15 mostly big fish. Several boats recorded up to six ‘shots’ a day with many big fish hooked, tagged & released.