Fishing with heff
THIS year’s Port Douglas Marlin Challenge from November 6-10 is shaping up to be one to remember. Now in its fourth year the interest in wanting to compete in this blue ribbon event is growing with an expanding fleet of new world class vessels ready to join up and take on the challenge over the four-day competition.
It all begins on the evening of the November 6 with a briefing of the tournament for anglers and crew and then proceeded by a calcutta of the boats at the Lure Restaurant on the Port Douglas Marina boardwalk. The briefing basically outlines the tournament rules, the run down for the sailpast of the boats on the first morning, times for the radio schedules over the course of the tournament, safety regulations and a run down of the presentation dinner on the final night. The whole concept boils down to which boat can tag and release the most marlin over the allocated time no matter the size of the billfish.
Then the crowd is shown a feature clip of the highlights over the years, designed to play on the competing anglers’ feelings and importantly to pull on their purse strings for the calcutta.
The calcutta itself is quite interesting. Rich playboys buoyed with egos, testosterone and a fat wallet make for intense bidding on the boats. Each boat is auctioned off to the highest bidder which can end up being thousands of dollars per vessel. At the end of the competition the winning boat bidder receives 70 per cent of the total money pooled, the runner up receives 20 per cent and club takes 10 per cent to assist with administration costs to run the tournament.
At the end of the tournament if two or more vessels finish on equal tags then the count back system comes into play. The first boat to reach the winning final score will be deemed the winner. At the presentation there are a variety of categories to win including Champion Angler, Champion Female, and the Daily Champion Teams. The ultimate winner however is the Champion Angler who receives the perpetual Leon Thomas Memorial trophy. The final night at the Lure Restaurant is always filled with great memories.
With record numbers of boats entered this year, and we also expect the record for the amount of marlin tagged for the tournament to topple this year. Last year saw 23 marlin tagged which stands as the most to date.