The 20th Riviera Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic, held over 7 days of fishing 15 -21 October 2006, attracted 47 boats, with 140 Anglers representing every State in Australia and overseas Teams from New Zealand, South Africa, United States, Finland, UK and Japan. Russia had entered a team for the third year in a row, but sudden illness of the Team Captain caused a late withdrawal. They will be back next year.
Following a spectacular sailpast of the entered vessel along the beachfront of the Resort’s lagoon on Sunday 15th October, fishing was called on at 1100hrs for Day 1 and stop fishing called at 1730hrs. These were to be the fishing times for the ensuing 7 days, except on the last day, when the 20th Riviera Lizard Island Black Marlin Tournament concluded at 1630hrs.
The Battlewagons of our Gamefishing Fleet had to contend with 25 knot South East winds on day one, with a welcome relief later in the week, with winds down to a comfortable 10 – 15 knots some days. Worse than the prevailing winds was the fact that the current was running at about 2.5 to 3 knots from the South throughout the week and the resultant unseasonably cold water accounted for the smaller number of strikes, hook-ups and tags compared with last year. However, the stats show a run of very big fish tagged, some after many hours on the line, others beating the angler after over 8 hours of fighting.
Altogether there were 258 strikes, 226 hook-ups and 113 tags, plus another 6 tagged but self disqualified for technical breaches of the rules. Once again, we are proud of the honesty and professionalism of this fleet in the manner in which they honour the rules of our sport in this Lizard Island event, like no other in the World.
The size range in pounds of the 113 Black Marlin (Makaira Indica) tagged and released in good health was:
100 – 300 = 58; 300 – 500 = 26; 500 – 700 = 7; 700 – 900 = 6; 900 – 1100 = 14 and 1100 plus = 2.
There are many applications pending to join the prestigious Lizard Island Game Fish Club Thousand Pound Club. When the entry forms are completed and signed by anglers, Captains and crews concerned and the judges have examined the photographs or videos of the tagged fish in the water, then it is expected we will have a few more join the four who qualified last year. The honour is not easily attained.
The Champion Team, for the second year in a row, consisted of Team Captain, Kim McKendrick, James Cameron, James Morphy and Tom Cameron and all came from Victoria. They fished on “Tenacious”, a 56 foot Precision skippered by Chris (“Sharky”) Miles, last year’s Champion Boat and Skipper. They had 8 tags.
Runner-up Champion Team with 7 tags all came from the Gold Coast and was Captained by Danny Simons with Lee Holtsbaum and Kevin Cook. They fished on “Diamond Girl”, a 48 foot Riviera skippered by Kim Anderson, a previous winning Skipper.
Champion Male Angler was Jim Warpole, from Port Douglas, with 6 tags, fishing on “Allure” with Captain Darren (“Biggles”) Haydon.
Runner-up Male Angler was Kevin Cook with 5 tags fishing on “Diamond Girl” with Captain Kim Anderson.
Champion Female Angler was Trudy Myburgh, from South Africa, with 2 tags, fishing on “Marlin Blue” with Captain Ken Bryant.
Runner-up Female Angler was Janelle Heany, from Mooloolaba, with 1 tag, fishing on “Viking 56” with Captain Scott Heaney.
Champion Boat was “Tenacious” with 8 tags skippered by Chris (“Sharky”) Miles.
Runner-up Boat was “Diamond Girl” with 7 tags skippered by Captain Kim Anderson.
Third place “Allure” with 6 tags, Fourth “Don’t Ask Me” with 5 tags, Fifth “Kanahoee” with 5 tags,
Sixth “Billfish” with 4 tags, Seventh “Adrenaline” with 4 tags, Eighth “Iona” with 4 tags,
Ninth “Marlin Blue” with 4 tags and Tenth “Shaka” with 4 tags.
Then came “Sea Baby IV” 4; “Bite Me” 4; and all the following on 3 each: Joe Joe, Whirlpool, Calypso, Top Shot, Castille, Hellraiser, Balek, Kajeki, Kamari, Mistress.
On 2 tags each: Bill Collector, Fascination, Moana, Fascination 11, Hard to Swallow, Cabochon, Viking 56 and Ultimate Lady which motored across from New Zealand.
On 1 tag each: Andiamo, Jag, Miss Behavin, Viking 11, New Moon, The Joker and Inkwazi.
Daily Awards for the Team Tagging & Releasing the most marlin were won by the following Teams:
Day 1 “Billfish” 4 tags Anglers Robert Lang and John Bennett, Skipper Ric Eustace;
Day 2 “Kanahoee” 3 tags Anglers Ralph Czabayski Jr and Grantly Goldner, Skipper Dave Pemberton;
Day 3 “Diamond Girl” 2 tags Anglers Danny Simon, Keviv Cook and Lee Holtsbeaum, Skipper Kim Anderson;
Day 4 “Sea Baby IV” 2 tags Anglers Tomonori Oni and Naoto Aoyagi, Skipper Ross Finlayson;
Day 5 “Cabochon” with 1 tag Anglers John George, John Wagner and Don Fletcher, Skipper Paul Shepard;
Day 6 “Tenacious” 2 tags Anglers Kim Mckendrick, Tom Cameron, James Cameron and James Morphy, Skipper Chris Miles;
Day 7 “Mistress” 2 tags Anglers Ferdi Pistorius, Braam Duvenhage and Dries Duvenhage, Skipper Alan Geale.
Dates for the 21st Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic are 13th to 20th October 2007.
President Lizard Island Game Fish Club Inc.
LIZARD ISLAND GAME FISH CLUB BLACK MARLIN CLASSIC
Tournament Statistics from our Inaugural Tournament in 1987
Of the 3834 Black Marlin hooked in the 20 year history of the Black Marlin Classic, only 22 have been presented to the weigh station, which is only .573%. This reflects the Clubâ€™s and its memberâ€™s dedication to conservation and scientific knowledge of the species by our commitment to tagging and releasing.
In the year 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, Voyages 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.
President Lizard Island GF C Inc.
(The 21st Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic will be held 13th to 20th October 2006)
|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.