Black Marlin Fishing – Adrenaline Charters 2017

Adrenaline Charters Black Marlin Cairns 2017- Matty

It has been a dream for years to catch a giant black marlin, after countless hours trying in my tinny Bryce and I decided to was time to ramp things up a bit and head out with someone who has experience catching these monsters of the sea. A good mate of ours put us onto Captain Tony from Adrenaline Charters who has caught hundreds of black marlin and has recently upgraded to a nice new game boat and started running charters. The plan was hatched to spend 4 days out wide off Cairns on the boat and try and land the fish of a life time.

We assembled the team of lads who were up to the task, our good mate Harry (Harramundi) who you would have seen on a few of our DVDs by now, a mad keen fisho and handy camera man. And Greg from HD Hunting Supplies in Darwin, who all you need to do is tell him what time the trip starts and he is there, as long as the beers cold Greg is in, and of course, Bryce and I. We met the night before the trip in Cairns and had a fairly large night trying to calm the nerves on the Cairns town. The next morning it was straight into it, on the boat and out wide to chase fish. We had all grown some good moustaches for the trip Marlin and Mo’s!

Adrenaline the boat is luxurious, especially for a few lads from the bush who are used to fishing from little tinnys. The boat has twin turbo 450hp diesel engines, toilet, shower, cooking and plenty of freezers for keeping beer cool. It is also air conditioned, so you can literally sit in the aircon and watch the rods for action, how good it that? Tony had two deck hands on board who treat you like kings, it was a little awkward to begin with as you naturally want to help out with jobs but you soon realize you are more of a hindrance than help. All food is prepared and served, beers are on ice 24/7 and the boys are all over it, you just sit back relax and save your energy to reel in the big one.

Day 1 at about 10 am we hit the outer reefs off Cairns and we started trolling some hard body lures to catch some fresh bait, for those who don’t know, when trolling for giant black marlin you tow big baits that you have to catch first, baits of choice are scaley/shark mackerel, Spanish mackerel, scad and tuna species mack tuna etc. It didn’t take long before we had some fresh baits on deck and we headed out to the grounds Tony wanted to fish.

Now we have all heard stories about blokes trying to catch Marlin for years and heading out for days without seeing any action so when one of our baits got hit in the first hour of trolling we thought it couldn’t be right, could it? Bryce was first up in the chair and all hell broke loose, Tony was yelling orders the deck hands were reeling in baits and strapping Bryce into the game chair, the drag was set on the big Penn 130w game reel, next thing a huge marlin broke the surface about 150m behind the boat. We were on! You don’t often hear a bunch of 30 year old lads scream like teenage girls at a Just Beiber concert but if you were onboard that day that’s what you would’ve heard when the fish first broke the surface. It was an epic sight, the biggest fish us 4 had ever seen. The big girl was fresh and put on a show, Tony was backing down the big black watch and Bryce was holding up well in the chair. The fight lasted about 15-20mins Bryce angled it well and stopped her from going deep and Tony had the boat in perfect position. When we got the big girl to the back of the boat she jumped clean out of the water 3 times. Gilly the deck hand was on the leader, this fish literally pulled him from one side of the boat to the other, he was lucky to pull it up. Tony called for the leader to be cut and Dan the other deck hand set her free. The boys cheered like teenage girls again, Tony came down from the tower and it was poorly executed high fives, man hugs and handshakes all round. That was it for me, I wasn’t even on the rod, but to see 300kgs of Black Marlin jumping only meters away with a group of your best mates I could’ve gone home that arvo a happy man, truly one of the coolest hunting or fishing experiences I have ever had, I can see why game fishing is addictive, and we still had 3 days to go.

The rest of day 1 was uneventful fishing wise, but it didn’t stop us celebrating Bryce’s fish. Many beers were drunk and the story was told over and over again, Tony put the fish at around 650 pound, but you ask Bryce and Gilly and it was 700 pound every day of the week. The morning of day two we woke up on the water 60k off Cairns, parked up on a reef some where all feeling a little dusty from the celebrations. Dan the other deck hand was cooking up a feed of bacon and eggs, Greg was back into the beers and we all decided to jump in for a snorkel. The local Maori wrasse was a friendly fish and you could feed him chunk of food out of your hand which was pretty cool and going for a snorkel first thing in the morning on the pristine Great Barrier Reef certainly helped ease the headache. Day 2 was largely uneventful on the fish, we had one big marlin take a bait but the hooks didn’t set unfortunately, but that’s fishing.

Day 3 we were up and we had requested that we do some spear fishing so Tony took us to a nice reef out wide and dropped us so we could use the current to our advantage spear the whole edge of a reef and he picked us up at the other end. We got a few nice trout for dinner and that was us sorted. Marlin don’t generally come on the bite until after lunch so the mornings can be spent how you please. Tony will literally take you to target and species you want, he is fully equipped for spearfishing, GT popping, jigging bottom fishing you name it. If you wanted to he would take you to remote Cape York Barra fishing you name it he can arrange it. I had a few good conversations with Tony while he was up in the tower driving the boat, turns out he used to love his piggin and ran dogs, quads and would go on trips out bush all the time. He has some amazing stories about hunting and fishing, heading bush solo for a week at a time chasing pigs and fish. You can tell by how excited he gets when he tells his stories he is a passionate bloke with years of experience in both hunting and fishing. His passion shows though with his work as he is often down on the deck giving the deck hands pointers on rigging baits, tying knots, all the small 1% things he has learnt over time that has obviously served him well. Just being able to pick his brain on fishing for a few hours was priceless.

On the arvo of day 3 things heated up, we landed two marlin and dropped another. Both Harry and Greg landed fish, it was an exciting arvo and the deck hands were getting worked hard as they were stitching up baits and keeping everything in order in the hot sun. I always thought being a decky on a game boat would be a pretty awesome gig, but after seeing Gilly get up early work his ass off all day in the hot sun dealing with countless baits I think I have changed my mind, and he reckons being a decky is easy compared to his normal job as a pro fisherman! Bugger that.


Day 4 was my turn in the chair, I think we raised 3 fish dropped one monster and I got to land a nice black marlin, I was about half the size of Bryce’s and it put up a great fight, same thing it come up to the back of the boat and jumped clean out of the water! What a sight and what a trip. A trip so good you might have to wait for Hog Dogs Quads 8 to see the action. A big thanks to the crew and to Tony for putting us on the fish each day, if you want the trip of a life time, put fishing with Adrenaline Charters on your bucket list. And don’t forget, if you’re not heading north, you’re heading nowhere.

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