Marlin challenge a big catch for Port Douglas


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The Far North Sports Fishing boat makes its way out for the marlin challenge kicking off from Port Douglas today. IMAGE: Supplied.

THE Port Douglas Marlin Challenge starts today, with organisers predicting ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’ to be spent in the town.

The challenge, which runs from November 9 to 12, is hosted by the Port Douglas Fishing Club and brings boats spending between $3000-$5000 a day across the four days.

Tournament director Lynton Heffer said there were more than 15 boats registered for the competition, providing a very healthy bump to the Port Douglas economy.

He said each boat has a crew of four and the fishermen often bring family to stay in Port Douglas. 

“There’s fuel and food and supplies plus accommodation for wives, and often it’s quite significant,” Heffer said.

“Fishing conditions are looking superb for the event with marlin being caught quite early for the season.

“We are looking at some big fish early in the season, which is really good. We were catching them early to mid-September, when usually they are not about to early October.”

Heffer said a big fish was “around 1000 pound [453kg]”. The boats for the tournament come from Sydney upwards on the east coast while the competitors travel from around Australia, the United States and Asia.

Black marlin are the predominant species caught, but occasionally a blue marlin is hooked. The marlin come to a stretch of water between Lizard Island and Cairns to breed from now until December.

Mr Heffer said the region’s reputation for mega marlins is key to the success of the tournament with 88 per cent of the world’s 1000-pound marlins caught in local waters.

The Port Douglas Marlin Challenge is now in its eighth year and is a strictly catch-and-release competition.

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