The following graph, produced by Dr Julian Pepperell shows the number of black marlin hooked (circles) and tagged (squares) per boat fishing the Lizard Island Tournament in each year since its inception. Some differences in the total number of days fished may have occurred in given years, due to such factors as days or parts of days lost to bad weather, days or parts of days lost to mechanical problems etc.
Nevertheless, the graph shows the variability and fluctuations in catch rates over the years. Averages for the 20 years of the tournament are 8.5 hookups/boat and 4.3 tagged marlin per boat, so the results for 2006 (4.8 hookups/boat and 2.4 tags/boat) were down on the overall average. This was very likely due to the unusually cool temperatures experienced this year.
Interestingly, these rates are not the lowest in the history of the tournament. Lower rates for both hookups and tags/boat were recorded in 1988, 1990 and 1998.