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Bob Lowe



Robert Lowe, known everywhere as Bob, has been intimately involved in the sport of game fishing at the highest levels since joining Sydney’s Port Hacking Game Fishing Club in 1979. He has served as an IGFA International representative for 19 years, was President of GFAA during 1994-95 and was elected a Life Member of that organisation in 1997. He is currently Vice President of the GFAA Research and Development Foundation and President and Tournament Director of the prestigious Lizard Island Game Fishing Club, a position that he has held for the past 15 years. Along the way, Bob has not neglected his fishing, amassing an impressive capture and tag and release list, including several grander blacks at Cairns / Lizard Island. He also sailed his vessel Rebel to the region over a number of seasons, with success.

Born in March 1932, Bob resides in Sydney but travels to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef area regularly. [Bob passed away January 2022.]

He commenced his business career as an apprentice electrician at Cockatoo Island Dockyard, continuing studies in Accountancy after completing the apprenticeship and thence managing an electrical contracting company. In 1958, he incorporated BCL Electrical Contracting Company Pty Ltd, specialising in outdoor advertising whilst also maintaining general electrical contracting within the business. Bob became a Licensed Builder and he operated BCL Building and Construction Company, providing services to all the major Oil Companies in NSW, until his retirement from business in 2005.

Anglers with longer memories may recall the frenetic activities involved in the 1997-98 period when the so-called Area “E” of the Coral Sea was in play as competing commercial, international and recreational interests vied for control or influence. Vital during this dispute was the need to have black and blue marlin protected as non-commercial species by Commonwealth legislation. Bob Lowe worked assiduously with allied bodies and individuals to persuade the Australian Government to implement the Act, finally promulgated in late 1997. The efforts included engaging well placed lobbyists to advocate on behalf of the sport and industry. The discussions led by Bob went up senior governmental and political levels, to the then Prime Minister, John Howard who persuaded his Cabinet to adopt the proposed legislation.

Conducting the Lizard Island Tournament each year for so long has given Bob a unique opportunity to meet with anglers, skippers, crews and visitors at all levels. Such occasions also permit Bob to promote and, if necessary, to defend the Great Barrier Reef waters as a unique and fruitful region valued by all who visit and enjoy its attractions, particularly its fishing.

Robert (Bob) Lowe is welcomed into the Cairns Game Fishing Hall of Fame as a worthy recipient of the award.

  • Cairns Game Fishing Hall of Fame Inductee 2016.
  • Life Member IGFA 1997
  • IGFA Elwood K. Harry Fellow 200
  • IGFA Gil Keech Heavy Tackle Award 2006
  • IGFA Representative Award 2009

Vale Bob Lowe:

Capt. Jim Dalling:
To me Bob was much more than a friend, a game fisherman and an administrator of the sport we love. He was one of life’s extraordinary people who saw a vision and knew how to get it done.

We first met when he chartered me and ‘OB/40’ for the Lizard Island Tournament in the late 80s. We went on to fish this and many more over the years. This led to Mat Fallon and I joining him on the mighty ‘Rebel’ for what led to be a 20-year association for me with the NSW Interclub Tournament. He loved tournament fishing and fished every HT tournament in Australia as well as being a regular at the HIBT in Hawaii.

Bob described himself as a small electrical contractor with only two clients – BP and Shell. He drove a flash Jag and was Commodore of the Royal Motor Boat Club and Port Hacking Game Fishing Club. This led to him becoming the President of the Game Fishing Association of NSW and ultimately several terms in the big seat as President of GFAA.

His pride and joy, the mighty ‘Rebel’ was Mariner’s first boat show special and he loved it to death. Its screaming GMs probably contributed to both of us lacking in good hearing in later years. He fished it all the way from Sydney to Lizard Island several times and when the Turnbulls were forced to give up the Lizard Island Club and Tournament, he stepped into the breach to make it happen as it continues today. He also sponsored many international captains to fish the Lizard Island Tournament, notably both Randy Parkerand Marlin Parker, and the gentleman of the sport himself Peter Pete Hoogs.

Through our friendship I got to meet many of the high achievers in the game fishing world. I was privileged to share on the Lizard Island GFC Committee and the GFAA Research & Development Foundation that Bob set up with the help of the late Peter Goadby. It was his connections and advocacy that saw the gentleman’s sport become a lot more political in achieving changes at the highest level for our sport. He was also responsible for linking the popular game fishing movements of NSW with the professional body in Cairns, for which he was recognised with his induction into the Hall of Fame. That linking continues today with respected NSW fisherman Tim Dean, also being president of the Cairns Association.

The 90s saw everyone in game fishing congregating at Sanctuary Cove. It had its own tournaments and Bob had to be part of that set. That included the likes of Johnno Johnston, Arthur C, the boss of Lexus and their famous boats and captains, led by Tom Black on ‘Blackwatch’. Bob purchased a townhouse on the marina and I will never forget his arrival by sea as he pulled up in his rubber duck after running ‘Rebel’ aground on a sandbar in the Coomera Rivera, to be greeted by a posh sounding Kiwi neighbour who said “I thought you had a bigger boat than that.’ To which Bob replied to Michael Hill, “It’s too big to navigate the Coomera River!” This led to a fiercely competitive fishing rivalry between ‘Rebel’ and Michael’s ‘Southern Cross’ and later ‘Amakura’, and my long-standing friendship with its skipper Steve Hall. There are many other tales too but I have been sworn to secrecy.

Bob was also a bit accident prone. Two that spring to mind was the time he fell down the engine hatch on top of me and broke his collar bone, just as we were about to start fishing the Sanctuary Cove Tournament, and his infamous Lizard Island gantry crash when he fell off the ladder while getting detailed weights of another North Queensland grander. To his credit, he always returned to the sport he loved.
I, and my family, extend to Elizabeth and Robert Jnr and family our sincerest condolences. There will never be another Bob Lowe.

Vale Bob Lowe:

GFAA President Ian Bladin:
It is with regret that we announce the passing of Past President and GFAA Life Member Bob Lowe.

Bob was a stalwart of our sport in both NSW and Qld and a member of the CPGFA Hall of Fame.

He was an avid fisherman and successful in many tournaments, but he was also a very accomplished tournament director, for many years running the iconic Lizard Island tournament.

Many would not be aware of the amount of time and effort he put into advocacy on our behalf and that he was so passionate about protecting our interests and access to our sport.

On a personal note, I regard Bob as a great, long term friend, confidante and supporter of me in my roles, firstly as President of QGFA and also GFAA.
I’m sure you will join me in offering my condolences and best wishes to Elizabeth and family at this sad time.
Rest in Peace Bob.
Ian Bladin

Vale Bob Lowe:

The IGFA is saddened by the loss of IGFA Representative Robert ‘Bob’ Lowe. A former President and Life Member of the Game Fish Association of Australia, Lowe was awarded The Billfish Foundation Achievement Award for Conservation in 1998; became an IGFA Elwood K. Harry Fellow in 2000; won the IGFA Gil Keech Heavy Tackle Award in 2006; and received the IGFA Representative Award in 2009. He also served as Director of the iconic Lizard Island tournament for many years. Along with the rest of the angling community, the IGFA extends our condolences to his family during this difficult time.

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