Black Marlin Success in Australia

The group releases 16 black marlin, fishing the Great Barrier Reef

black marlin jump
David West captured this beautiful image of a black marlin going vertical off Australia's famed Great Barrier Reef.David West

The group flew into Cairns on October 18, 2016, and then headed to Cooktown on the following day. That's where the six boarded Bounty Hunter with Capt. Darren "Biggles" Hayden and Capt. Tim Dean of Calypso.

mothership Phoenix One in Australia
The Phoenix One was the mothership for the trip.Mark Davis
black marlin fishing in Australia
The team is hooked up to a nice black marlin while fishing on Bounty Hunter.David West

Mark Davis and his group of anglers experienced first-hand why Australia is one of the premier black marlin fishing destinations in the world. A one-week trip to the Great Barrier Reef netted 16 black marlin releases, quite a feat for the American anglers. Davis and his wife Wendy were accompanied by Ed and Lori Garrett, and David West and his girlfriend, Katie Hurta.

black marlin in Australia
A black marlin takes flight just off the Great Barrier Reef.David West
jumping black marlin picture
Another black marlin is captured mid-jump on camera by Mark Davis.Mark Davis

From there, the group headed for Ribbon Reef No. 5 to meet their mothership, Phoenix One. Most of the offshore fishing was between Ribbons No. 5 and 7, where the bite was hottest. In addition, the weather was beautiful and winds were light. "This year was a stellar trip," Davis says.

jumping black marlin picture
One of the 16 black marlin caught and released by Mark Davis and the crew aboard Bounty Hunter.David West
black marlin jumping pictures
A black marlin leaps near the boat. These fish are renowned for their acrobatics.David West

A big reason he feels that way is the 900-pound black marlin the group hooked and released, which was the largest black marlin they encountered. That was one of four blacks that were over 700 pounds, with the group releasing two in the 800-pound range and one more between 700 and 800 pounds.

black marlin in Australia
The fight comes to a close and another black marlin is ready for release.Mark Davis
Australia offshore sunset
Once again, Australia proved to be an unbeatable destination for black marlin, in terms of both size and numbers of fish.Mark Davis