Lizard Island Black Marlin Wins IGFA Great Marlin Race

A 700-pounder from Australia is the presumptive winner for the 2015-2016 race year

tagging marlin Great Marlin Race
The winning black marlin traveled 4,393 nautical miles (purple track).Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

The IGFA Great Marlin Race will soon declare its winner for 2015-2016 — an estimated 700-pound black marlin satellite-tagged off Lizard Island, Australia.

Although 63 other billfish were tagged in 11 events during the race year, the marlin tagged during the 2015 Lizard Island IGMR is leading the race by more than 1,400 nautical miles and will likely bring back the title to Australia for the second year. After reaching the exact 240-day programmed period, the tag popped up just south of the equator, roughly halfway between Papua New Guinea and South America — 4,393 nautical miles northeast from where it was deployed.

A special place for big-game fishing, Lizard Island is home to the largest and second longest-running IGMR tournament: Fish tagged there dominate the Great Marlin Race leader board. Since 2011, anglers have deployed 253 tags in 20 countries around the globe. Of those, 67 were caught off Australia, and 56 of those were on black marlin that have swam a combined distance of 48,393 nautical miles. The IGMR will return to the 30th Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic this year, where 22 tags were sponsored for deployment. Keep an eye on the IGMR.