The 9th Annual Port Douglas Marlin Challenge, held 8th -11th November 2018 was deemed a great success. This year the tournament got off to a sensational start with a glassed out morning for the sailpast, which is always a spectacle as the boats head out to the fishing grounds in formation. It is filmed by Perrin Clarke each year with the GBR Helicopter Group.
On the first day boats spread from Spur Reef in the south to as far north as Ribbon Reef No 1. Long time combatants Gorilla hooked up first and tagged a 250lb model within the first hour of fishing. Then out of the blue the Wild Turkey vessel had a big afternoon finding a hot bite and completed three tags to throw a massive spanner in the works. To finish out the first day Gorilla and Reel Cross added one tag each late in the day. It was a two horse race at this stage with Wild Turkey and Gorilla leading the pack. The weather was just sensational.
Day two belonged entirely to the Reel Cross boat. In a huge effort they went three for three to overtake the lead in the blink of an eye. Other boats registered several lost fish throughout the day and could not add to their tally. Opal Ridge was the place to be where Reel Cross did all their damage.
On day three the leader board didn’t change in order but tags were added by Black Magic up north on the Ribbons and Saltaire, Kyrenia, Duyfken and Gorilla added to their stocks. It was going to be a close finish going into the last day with Reel Cross holding onto a slender lead with Wild Turkey and Gorilla clipping at their heels.
However, unfortunately the fishing literally shut down on the last day with not a single boat able to add a tag to their score. A couple of fish were lost but that’s fishing !!
The two main trophy’s awarded were the Brett Thomas Memorial won by Reel Cross for Champion Boat and the Leon Thomas Memorial for Champion Angler was won by Bob Reynolds on the Wild Turkey boat.
The club would like to give a huge thanks to its sponsors this year including the Port Douglas District Combined Club, who did a brilliant job of hosting the briefing and presentation nights. We’d also like to thank GBR Helicopters, Perrin Clarke Image Bank, Bransford’s Tackle, Coastal Coverings, Above Grade Marine Services, Stingray Sunglasses, The Big Boat Shed, Wellsy’s Tackle, Great Northern Brewery, Penn, Let’s Go Experience Company and Nautical Marine Sales.
We are looking forward to our 10th Anniversary tournament next year to be held 7th – 10th November 2019.