Inaugural marlin challenge hailed success by fishermen
THE inaugural Port Douglas Marlin Challenge has been judged a runaway success, despite the fishing being a little light.
“There are blokes who have been fishing in tournaments for 20 years who said it was the best they’d ever been in,” tournament director Terry Murphy said.
“Everyone liked the laid-back, fun carnival atmosphere. There was a real sense of camaraderie.
“It’s really run up the flag for Port Douglas, that’s for sure.
“I can’t wait to see the stills and the video footage.”
Mr Murphy said the stunning weather over the first half of the comp had helped.
“The weather was crap all year, and then it was practically a glass-out for the first two days.
“We had a squall on the way home on the final day, but we were at the door by then so it didn’t bother us.”
Although the fish weren’t queuing up to jump into the boats, there were moments of chaos.
“On Gorilla we had a triple hook-up at one point,” Mr Murphy said.
Regular visitor to Port Douglas Spartacus was the most successful boat, after taking a punt and sneaking out wide for the last day’s fishing.
Father and son team Rolf and Ralph Czabayski tagged six black marlin, with Ralph crowned champion angler at the end of the four-day tournament.
“We gave the golf day a skip and did some reef fishing,” Ralph said.
“On the last night we were rafted up with a couple of other boats, and we got up at 3am to get a head start, headed out to the sea mount.
“We caught three there, and two more on the Linden Banks on our way back in.”
Between them, the ten boats registered in the comp tagged a dozen marlin.
Matt Dorrian off Calypso Mango, another part-time local, said the tournament had been great fun.
“There was plenty of good fishing,” he said with a grin.
Mr Dorrian tagged the largest marlin of the tournament, a fish judged to be 1000lb although “it might have been 1100,” he said.
Meridien Marina manager Jason Roles said the competition had been good for Port Douglas.
“It created a buzz around town,” he told the Gazette.
“To witness it for myself was pretty spectacular.”
Big fish: Spartacus deckie Chris Weeks wrestles a marlin