Club History

Of the 4413 Black Marlin hooked in the 23 year history of the Black Marlin Classic to 2012, only 22 have been presented to the weigh station, which is only .5%. This reflects the Club’s and its member’s dedication to conservation and scientific knowledge of the species by our commitment to tagging and releasing.

In 2000, President Bob Lowe introduced a 450kg (993 pound) minimum weight for this event, which reflected the long standing culture of only weighing outstanding fish. If, for example, an 1150 pounder was weighed early in the Tournament, Anglers and Captains would not bring another fish to the weigh station unless, in their considered opinion, it would beat the previous marlin weighed.

At our 20th Anniversary event from October 14th to 21st 2006, the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic became tag & release only. Our decision to no longer weigh fish in this Tournament reflects the culture of our Members, as well as one of our major Sponsors, Lizard Island Lodge. Without the support and co-operation of Lizard Island Lodge it would be impossible for the Lizard Island Game Fish Club Inc to continue to run this great event.

Also at the 20th Anniversary Tournament, the Club instituted the Lizard Island 1000 pound Tag & Release Club, with the support of Life Member, Mr Peter Teakle, and there are now 29 Members who have successfully completed the rigorous qualifying rules to be awarded the prestigious trophy for this achievement. Their names are engraved on the permanent trophy displayed in Lizard Island Lodge.

Also sponsored by Peter Teakle, the Club participates in the IGFA Great Marlin Race each year, with the deployment of Pop Up Satellite Tags (PSAT). These PSAT tags detail the movement of the Tagged & Released Black Marlin from the time of tagging until popping off 3 months later. The data collected helps us further study these great fish and enables our scientific community to provide information for stock management and conservation.

The 27th Bertram Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic will be held 12th to 19th October 2013 and the Club is proud to have Bertram Yachts and its exclusive Australian dealer, Eagle Yachts Pty Ltd, as its Naming Rights Sponsor.

Lizard Island Game Fish Club (LIGFC) was established in 1986 to cater for anglers fishing the internationally acclaimed Ribbon Reefs area of the Great Barrier Reef. These reefs, and other famous reefs, are located in the Coral Sea between Cairns and Lizard Island.

LIGFC Inc. aims to support all anglers fishing the area, those based on land at Lizard Island or Cairns and those staying at sea on private fishing vessels, charter boats or mother ships.

The Club endorses the objectives of the major Australian and International amateur fishing organisations, particularly the Queensland Game Fishing Association (QGFA) the Game Fishing Association of Australia (GFAA) and the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) and the Club is affiliated with these three bodies. Because of this affiliation all financial members are eligible to claim Queensland, Australian and World records.

The Club has raised and donated monies to scientific research into pelagic species, particularly Black Marlin, through projects by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Marine Science Section (CSIRO Marine) and particularly The Game Fishing Association of Australia Research and Development Foundation Ltd (GFAA R & D) which body has received many large donations from our tournaments.

Since the Lizard Island/Cairns region is renowned for containing the best black marlin fishing grounds in the World, Lizard Island Game Fish Club is in a unique position to contribute significantly to the objectives of the above organisation. More 1000 pound plus black marlin are tagged and released in this area than at any other International location.

Eleven current World and four current Australian black marlin records have been taken from the reefs located between Cairns and Lizard Island since 1969.

An important function of the Club is to provide representation and input into a range of Government and other forums dealing with sensitive fishing and conservation issues associated with the Great Barrier Reef. In recent years the time and effort involved in undertaking this function have been very significant.

During the marlin season from September to December each year, the Club organises a unique seven day tournament for members and qualified visitors. Because of the size of the black marlin encountered in the fishery, the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic is the only tournament worldwide that justifies the use of heavy (60kg or 130lb) tackle. The heaviest weighed in the Black Marlin Classic Tournament was a massive Black Marlin of 581kg (1278lb) taken in 2001.

The high reputation of the tournament attracts entries from a wide range of International and Australian anglers. The membership of the Club is made up of anglers, both men and women, from many countries around the World as well as Australian residents.

LIGFC publishes via a regular newsletter, all scientific data, conservation developments and fishing news relating to the region as well as posting same on the web site.

The Club has honoured its founding Past President, the late Alan Turnbull, and its past Treasurer, the late June Turnbull, with Life Memberships for the enormous amount of work put into establishing and running the Club before they stepped down in year 2000 and Bob Lowe was elected President.

Since then the following members have been elected to life membership:
Paul Caughlan, Hugh Wily (deceased), Richard Jenkins, Bob Lowe, Andrew Wily and Peter Teakle.

For further information contact President Bob Lowe at boblowe@lizardislandgfc.asn.au.


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