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Marlin Tournament Snares The Big Dollars for TNQ
The annual Port Douglas Marlin Challenge will be capturing more than fish – hundreds of thousands of dollars will come to town along with the big boats.
By: Tourism Port Douglas Daintree
Tournament director Lynton Heffer said there were more than 15 boats registered for the competition, providing a very healthy bump to the Port Douglas economy.
Mr Heffer said each boat has a crew of four and the fishermen often bring family to stay in Port Douglas. "There's fuel and food and supplies plus accommodation for wives, and often it's quite significant."
Fishing conditions are looking 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 a big fish was "around 1000 pound [453kg]". The boats for the tournament come from Sydney upwards on the east coast while the competitors travel from around Australia, the United States and Asia.
Black marlin are the predominant species caught, but occasionally a blue marlin is hooked. The marlin come to a stretch of water between Lizard Island and Cairns to breed from now until December.
The warm waters of the Great Barrier reef and nearby continental shelf provide food and shelter.
Mr Heffer said the region's reputation for mega marlins is key to the success of the tournament with 85% of the world's 1000-pound marlins caught in local waters. The Port Douglas Marlin Challenge is now in its eighth year.
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett said the well-established Port Douglas Marlin Challenge was a great example of events adding another layer to the visitor experience for our destination.
"Not only does it provide a welcome boost to our economy, it also firmly positions the region as a game fishing hot spot," she said.