20 Boats lined up in Anchor Bay at Lizard Island on Sunday morning, 22nd October 2017, in brilliant weather for the race to the Outer Ribbon Reefs to start the seven day Great Northern 31st Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic. Conditions were perfect and only got better right through to the final 3 days when “glass out” seas prevailed.
Day 1 resulted in 23 strikes for 14 hook-ups and 9 tags, plus one self disqualified tag and “Duyfken” took the early lead from “Hellraiser”, each with one tag. The biggest marlin was an estimated 900 pound to Park Berolzheimer from the USA on “Bounty Hunter” with Captain Darren Haydon.
Day 2, fishing slowed down with only 5 tags and Moana angler Ichiro Takahashi, IGFA Rep from Japan fishing on “Moana” tagged an estimated 1200 pound Black Marlin to put him in second place behind Hattitude angler Milton Holmes, also with 2 tags.
Day 3 saw a lot more action with most of the fleet fishing No. 10 Ribbon, where 7 of the 12 tags were recorded, with 3 on Yong Reef and 1 on No. 4 Ribbon. The lead changed again with “Bounty Hunter” on 3 tags leading “Amokura” also on 3. “Top Shot” angler Tomonori Omi from Japan tagged an estimated 950 pound fish
Day 4, the bite continued on No. 10 with 15 tags there and 2 on Yong Reef, with Kanahoee angler, Trevor Scott from Western Australia tagging an estimated 990 pounder. In this tightly fought tournament the lead changed again, with “Absolute” tagging 5 to add to 2 already tagged, putting them in the lead with an impressive 7 tags in 4 days. Darren Sandy on “Amokura” was Champion Male Angler with 4 tags and Champion Female Angler was Stephanie Salway on “Absolute” with 3.
Day 5, another traffic jam on No. 10 Ribbon with 9 tags there and 2 on Yong Reef, but a run of smaller marlin with an average size this day of 150 pound. “Absolute” retained the lead with their impressive 7 tags from second place “Little Audrey” on 5 tags. Sharon Poulter on “Think Big” jumped into Champion Female Angler with her fourth tag.
Day 6 saw 12 tags all on No. 10 Ribbon with Darren Sandy on “Amokura” tagging an estimated 950 pounder and another at 150 pound, putting him in first place Male Angler with 6 tags and “Amokura” replaced “Little Audrey” in second place with 6 tags from “Absolute” still on 7.
The last day “Absolute” topped off an impressive week of fishing with one of the 7 tags taking their total to 8 for the tournament from second place “Amokura” with 6. Champion Male Angler Darren Sandy had 6 tags from second place Parke Berolzheimer with 5 and Champion Female Angler was Sharon Poulter with 4 tags from Stephanie Stalway with 3.Overall the 20 boats counted 162 strikes for 123 hook-ups and 73 tags plus 3 self isqualified and 17 Satellite Tags were deployed in the IGFA Great Marlin Race thanks to The Taekle and Bertarelli Foundations.