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November 26, 2011

AUSTRALIA: Great Barrier Reef Report 2011

After my Marlin Grander in Cape Verde Islands in May 2011, many of my fishing friends said: "Now you have to catch a Black Marlin Grander as well." I wanted to know, of course, in advance if any angler had already caught these three marlin Granders. My investi-gation revealed: to date, no angler had caught a Pacific Blue Marlin and a Atlantic Blue Marlin and a Black Marlin Grander weighing over 1,000 lb (453.56 kg). Now I was sure I had to seize this unique opportunity. Where have the largest marlin been caught? That's why I chose the Great Barrier Reef as my fishing destination. I searched for a very good boat at the Great Barrier Reef and found Capitan Tim Richardson – currently the best captain. Tim’s TRADITION sets sail from Cooktown. My trip was as follows: departure from Frankfurt, stopovers in Abu Dhabi, Sydney and Cairns, then continuing to Cooktown with the bush pilots. My trip (Frankfurt to Cooktown) took 36 hours! My partners for the next 14 days were: Tim Richardson, Australian captain and owner of Tradition; Scuba Steve Hall, USA, Decki; Carl Copeland USA, Decki; and the professional photographer, Scott Kerrigan, USA. The Great Barrier Reef is located approximately 50 nautical miles from Cooktown. Our desti-nation there was the "Ribbon No. 10 " sector. But alas, bad luck for two fish in the same year – perhaps it simply wasn’t to be? That did not mean that my fishing trip to Australia was unsuccessful: 29 Black Marlins behind the boat, 19 hook-ups and 9 that we caught. The boys valued the fish from 150 to 600 lbs. Two of the 700-class fish freed themselves from the hook. Unfortunately we lost another big fish after a 35 minute wrangle; this was also the only fish that may have weighed than 1,000 lbs! Other boats had more luck. Some of their (released) marlin were estimated heavier than 1000 lbs. I was also a bit unlucky with the weather. The first week it weather was very nice and the sea calm. However the second week it was quite the contrary: squalls up to 38 knots, waves up to four meters and torrential tropical rain.

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