Being home Nathan has taken the time to put together a bit of a recap from his and Nick’s trip north and their big marlin in his trailer boat Pelagic (that you’ve previously seen on the blog here).
But here is the full story in Nathan’s words with some pics so you can see his set up and Nick in action!
“My good mate Nick and I set ourselves a challenge a few years ago to catch a large black marlin out of my trailer boat. We have done a few trips around the place and whilst we have caught plenty of smaller models, this time we got what we were after!
Our plan for this trip was to head north to Cooktown overnighting on the outer reef targeting marlin when the weather was favourable and fish for whatever else in between. We had a small weather window at the start of the trip so we wasted no time getting to Cooktown.
We hit the water and trolled up a few baits on the way to the outer reef. The weather was glorious and after rigging our baits we spent the day working ribbon reefs 4, 5 & 6. The water wasn’t the best, we marked a few fish and got a bite on our swim bait but failed to get a hook up. It was a quiet day on the reef, 2 charter boats working the same area saw nil action either. The following day a blow came through, we spent half the day fishing for no action before heading in.
For the next week or so the wind didn’t let up. We spent the days exploring the area, fishing nearby creeks and the Cooktown jetty with the locals, which was very entertaining. We meet a few crews when they came in for change overs and all so spent some time at the pub… Wondering if the wind would ever stop blowing we contemplated heading south to Hinchinbrook or the Whitsundays and cut our losses with the marlin. Finally the wind let up and we had a favourable forecast for a few days.
We had got word that the water at Linden Bank was looking good and a few fish were getting caught so we hit the road for Port Douglas. We made our way out to the outer reef where we spend the rest of the day snorkelling, fishing the flats and rigging baits with the plan of hit the edge the next day.
Again we were greeted by glorious weather and with plenty of boats working the area. It was another quiet day with very few boats seeing any action, including us! The next morning we decided to give lures a go and ventured a bit wider. We didn’t have any luck and returned to the edge to fish for the afternoon where there was plenty of action.
We had a bite on our skip bait mid-afternoon from a decent size fish but again failed to get a hook up, I was on strike and was fairly gutted at the miss. However we got another bite just after 5pm, Nick was on strike, this time the circle found its mark, we came up tight and it was a good one!
Initially it was a bit of a scramble on board to clear the deck and get Nick harnessed up for the fight. The fish gave us a good show jumping and staying close to the surface giving us an early shot at it but we were unable to get close enough to leader it. The fish dove a bit and Nick had to settle into the fight. Mid fight it was a bit of a stalemate, we got a bit of coaching over the radio and after a bit of boat work the fish started to come up. After an hour and a half battle it was close enough to leader, I grabbed it and pulled hard. The fish came the rest of the way up, jumping from the water busting the leader. We were ecstatic, it was a surreal moment to see the big girl jump on the release.
By this stage it was pretty late, we made our way back in behind the reef for the night and had a few beers to celebrate with the crew on Kekoa which was a great way to finish the day. The next day the wind had come up, we were low on fuel and with an unfavourable forecast we decided to head for home.
You can never be really sure how big these fish are, but it was estimated at 900lbs for us which I will take any day of the week!
Big thanks to Kassie, Chelsea and Jeff at Tackle World Rockhampton. Special thanks to Luke Fallon for your advice and watching out for us and Kelly Dalling Fallon for your amazing photos.”
That’s like a real-life version of Hemmingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea!” Maybe for your next challenge, to be even more authentic, you could hand-line a marlin out of a rowboat?
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