15th November 2017
The Port Douglas Marlin Challenge was on 9-12 November and saw anglers from all over the country and indeed the world, arrived in Port Douglas to fish for one of the ocean’s greatest prizes. Held every year in the first weeks of November, the event was predicted to draw a ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’ boost to the local economy.
Known as the Marlin Coast, Port Douglas offers some of the world’s best Marlin fishing and every year hundreds flock to the popular coastal holiday town to undertake the challenge of trying to catch the 1,000lb fish. Game boats and crews arrived for the tournament which kicked off with a briefing night at Hemingway’s Brewery at the Port Douglas Marina and continued on throughout the weekend with fishing over four consecutive days.
Hosted by the Port Douglas Fishing Club, the event saw boats spending anywhere between $3000 to $5000 per day across all four days. Tournament director Lynton Heffer said that there were over 15 boats registered for the competition, which provided a rather healthy boost to the Port Douglas economy. Each boat has a crew of four however many also choose to bring family with them and make a holiday out of it by extending their stay in Port Douglas.
“There’s fuel and food and supplies plus accommodation for wives, and often it’s quite significant,” Heffer said.
“Fishing conditions were superb for the event with marlin being caught quite early for the season.
“We are looking at some big fish early in the season, which is really good. We were catching them early to mid-September, when usually they are not about to early October” he said.
88 per cent of the world’s 1000-pound marlins are caught in Port Douglas waters and it is this reputation for mega marlins that is the key to the success of both tournament and the region.
Now in its eighth year, the Port Douglas Marlin Challenge is a strictly catch-and-release competition.