Locals chase giants of the deep off Cairns
LOCAL skipper Ashley Matthews and crewman Paul Moran, of Sea Fever Sportfishing, have been quite literally chasing giants.
The pair recently returned for their annual fishing trip up north, pursuing the elusive giant black marlin during a five-week stint away.
Departing in late September and returning late last week, Mr Matthews said they had been “chasing some of the biggest fish in the ocean”.
“The waters between Cairns and Lizard Island, including the Ribbon Reefs, are the only known spawning grounds for black marlin in the world,” he said.
“The biggest fish are the females, which can grow in excess of 1000lbs (450kg).”
Each spring, the females head north to mate with the smaller males, who reach up to around 220kg.
With the boys landing their fair share of these goliath fish, Mr Matthews said the record for their 2015 trip had been “around 380kg”.
Although the giant black marlin make impressive trophies, Mr Matthews said it was purely for the thrill of the chase.
“All the fish caught are released in a healthy state to continue growing,” Mr Matthews said.
The local skipper said the trip was all about going as big as possible, before they have to go home.
“Everything about this fishing is big,” he said.
“Big boats, big seas, big baits and big fish.”
Despite spending the majority of his life with rod and reel in hand, Mr Mathews said their annual giant marlin trip was something on a whole other level.
“It's something we really look forward to each year and were already looking forward to next season,” he said.
HEAVE HO: Local skipper Ashley Matthews snapped this giant black marlin mid-leap.