- Cairns Game Fishing Hall of Fame Inductee 2016.
- IGFA Tommy Gifford award 2022.
Tommy Gifford Award Bio
Considered a “living legend” in the renowned Cairns recreational fishing industry and listed by Marlin Magazine as one of the Top 10 deck hands of all time, Billy Fairbairn has earned a reputation over his 40+ year career as being truly elite in his profession. Fairbairn’s fishing career started in the early 1970’s working on a commercial boat with a family friend. However, Billy transitioned to the recreational side in 1974 after catching two giant black marlin on his first big game fishing trip as the guest of well-known Australian anglers Johnno Johnson and Ernie Palmer. In his own words after that inaugural trip, Fairbairn stated “Wow, this is love at first bite!” Yet despite his prowess in the cockpit, his innovation with techniques and tackle, and his willingness to share information, Billy is also known as being extremely modest and is always in the back of the crowd” of the photos showing the impressive catches for which he was largely responsible. Billy was inducted into the inaugural class of the Cairns Fishing Hall of Fame in 2016 and continues to remain active the in Cairns fishery.