Marlin Challenge / A weekend of reelin’ in the holy grail of fish


For some, the challenge and the excitement of catching a black marlin is without compare. Many anglers perceive this species to be the “holy grail” of fish to catch. The only confirmed breeding ground for the majestic marlin is right on our doorstep, the Great Barrier Reef. In this weekend’s annual Port Douglas Marlin Challenge, conditions and action did not disappoint. Angling started mid-morning on Thursday, continuing through the weekend with idyllic conditions on the water a couple of “granders” to deliver memories of “the fish of a lifetime” for a few crew.

Female angler Chrystal Trkulja and crew on board Little Tubs are thrilled with their 1200lb black marlin on Day 4.
Image Credit / Darci Maunder

Day One

Reg Moore’s new boat Iluka took the lead on the first day with two tags (750lb and 200lb) for anglers Jack Moore and Scott Winkworth. Amokura, captained by Brett Goetze, tagged one fish (200lb) for angler Dave Dormer putting them in second place (provisional results).

Day Two

Gavin Goodwin’s Above Grade took the lead today with three fish tagged. Bounty Hunter tagged two fish, and both Little Tubs and Iluka tagged one each, putting Iluka behind Above Grade on count back (provisional results).

Image Credit /Bounty Hunter

Day Three

Five fish were tagged, one each for Little Tubs, Bounty Hunter, Port Douglas Marine, Black Magic and Katana. Three boats now lead the field each with three tags – Above Grade, on count back from Iluka and Bounty Hunter (provisional results).

Image Credit / Bounty Hunter

Day Four

A great last day for the tournament with a total of four fish tagged, including two “granders”, marlin that weigh in at over 1000 pounds.  Above Grade steamed ahead of the competition, adding another three fish to their tally, including one for angler Ben Henderson that they recorded at 1000lbs. Little Tubs tagged a marlin that captain Damien Langley put at 1200lbs for angler Crystal Trkulja.

Final Results

Day 1/ Champion Boat – Iluka (2 tags)

Day 2/ Champion Boat – Above Grade (3 tags)

Day 3/ Champion Boat – Little Tubs (1 tag)

Day 4/ Champion Boat – Above Grade (3 tags)

Champion Female Angler – Lily Sims (Bounty Hunter)

Champion Male Angler – Ben Henderson (Above Grade)

Champion Boat – Above Grade captained by Gavin Goodwin

Champion Angler Overall – Ben Henderson on Above Grade

Runner-up Boat – Iluka captained by Reg Moore

A presentation was held last night at the Port Douglas Combined Club with some fabulous prizes shared amongst boats and crew including a Penn 130 rod and reel, lure roll with a heap of Blue Dog lures and a little over $7000 in cash to Gavin Goodwin’s team on Above Grade.

Prize contenders battled closely for honours but overall enjoyed a successful and social weekend on the water with some great fish tagged, plenty of acrobatics, some great battles and a couple of “granders”.


Be the first to know the latest news from the Douglas Shire.


Be the first to know the latest news from the Douglas Shire.