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Dr. Dave Curnock

Bio from DAVE’s induction into the 2016 Cairns Game Fishing Hall of Fame.

Dr David Curnock, a well-known and long-time resident of Cairns was born in Bundaberg, Queensland in 1946. He was educated in that city and later studied dentistry, graduating from the University of Queensland in Brisbane in1969. He moved to North Queensland the following year, working in the School Health Service. In 1971, he traveled to London for post graduate dental training, returning in late 1973 to set up in private practice in Cairns.

David, who always had a love for the sea, commenced game fishing in 1974 competing in many tournaments over the next few years. In 1978, he fitted out a 16 ft. aluminium dinghy for game fishing, specifically for big black marlin. His first fish was a 324 pound black on 50 pound tackle, aboard the now named Sea Mite, the fore runner to many amazing captures.

In November, 1979 he ran the boat over 50 miles to St Crispin’s Reef, boating a fish weighing 1212 pounds on 80 pound (37 kg) line, a remarkable achievement from a tiny boat many miles from home port. He fished on successfully for many fish, including numerous black marlin tagged and released alongside his pocket sized ship.

David launched Sea Mite 11 , a vessel 18ft. long for the next season, a further alloy boat which he continued to campaign with distinction, landing some of the most sensational captures ever recorded from a tiny boat. Notable amongst David’s fish in December 1981, were two weighed at sea having been captured way up the top of No. 10 Ribbon Reef- 870 pounds and 1147 pounds, on the same day! Two weeks later, Sea Mite 11 captured a large marlin at Jenny Louise Shoal that took a 40 mile towing saga of 4 hours, to pull the scales at Cairns down to 970 pounds.

The fish captured or tagged from the two tiny boats under IGFA and GFAA rules were considered ground breaking at the time and some observers consider them to be amongst the most outstanding fishing feats ever recorded in game fishing. The long voyages in these vessels were even more remarkable given that they were made pre GPS days, when much navigation was reliant on dead reckoning and inefficient paper roll echo sounders, often “seat of pants” stuff.

Dr Curnock continued his fishing feats aboard larger vessels, boating two further “granders” from Snapdragon and Sea Baby 11 and tagging and releasing his hundredth marlin from Sea Venture.

David had boated his fifth “grander” from Billfish in 1977. Various accolades have come David’s way over the years, including “Angler of the Year” and his feats have featured in local and international fishing publications.

It is with great pleasure that the CPGFA and the Committee welcomes Dr David Curnock into the 50th. Anniversary Game Fishing Hall of Fame.

  • Angler of the year 1979
  • Cairns Game Fishing Hall of Fame Inductee 2016.

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