an expedition for every season

Black Marlin

World class Black Marlin Fishing in Cairns, Australia – Big Game Fishing capital of the world.

Cairns, Queensland, Australia became the Sport Fishing capital of the world for the mighty “Grander” Black Marlin on the 25th of September 1966, when American crewman Richard C. Obach landed a World Record 1064# Black Marlin on 80# test line. Not only was this the first Grander Black Marlin caught in Cairns but also the first Thousand Pound Marlin of any kind caught on 80# test line anywhere in the world. This made international Sportsfishing history for Cairns and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef region. Big Game Fishermen from all over the world flocked to Cairns in subsequent years, with hundreds succeeding in capturing their dream Billfish.

World record billfish, including the mighty Black Marlin and the acrobatic Sailfish are to be found in the rich waters off the Outer Barrier Reef. Whether light tackle world record sport fishing, fly fishing, tournament marlin fishing or conventional heavy tackle marlin fishing, Cairns is the place to be when the mighty black marlin migrate to their spawning grounds off the outer barrier reef between Cairns and Lizard Island.

The Cairns fleet of modern sport fishing boats and their professional Captains and crews have led the world in Billfish Tag and Release fishing since the 1970’s. This continued practice and the consequent research has seen the past five years being the best Black Marlin fishing for twenty years. The majority of these crews are members of the Cairns Professional Game Fishing Association with a code of practice they strictly adhere to.

International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) Certified Captain Laurie Wright specialises in game fishing charters especially exclusive black marlin mother ship & live aboard charters. A comfortable mother ship and a modern sportsfishing vessel allows the dedicated Big Game Fishermen and their partners a high level of comfort and luxury.

From June to September the waters inside the Great Barrier Reef abound with juvenile Black Marlin. Averaging 15 to 20kg/ 30 to 50#, these little fish are fantastic sport on light tackle and fly. They are readily taken on trolled bait or lure and can be easily teased to the fly. The waters off Cairns and Townsville are particularly productive for these little fish.

From September to December the large Black Marlin migrate to the waters off the outer Great Barrier Reef to spawn, and it is at this time we can target these large fish. At any time during this period you have the opportunity to catch a fish in excess of 1,000#.

All of our fishing charters commence out of Cairns with direct pick up or transfer by aircraft to Lizard Island or historic Cooktown.

Black Marlin Expeditions Australia


Light Tackle and Fly fishing, June to September:

Extended charters from 5 to 7 days are available during this time. Living aboard our comfortable sports’ fishing vessel, two to three anglers can enjoy the fishing during the day, and then, anchored behind the reef at night can enjoy the peace and tranquillity.

All fishing, meals and refreshments are included.

Bounty Hunter Sportsfishing Boat

Heavy tackle and fly Fishing, Cairns, September to December:

Day trips and extended charters are offered for this prime black marlin fishing time. Both live aboard and the ultimate mothership experience, are available for those purist big fish anglers. We highly recommend mothershipping as the best way to enjoy your trip of a lifetime. After a long day on the water, a good meal and a stable night’s sleep, you are ready for the next day’s action.

Our comfortable mothership can cater to three couples or four singles. Larger mother ships are available for bigger groups.

Worldwide Billfish Consultation services on all facets of marlin fishing and boat preparation are also available.

Bounty Hunter Sportsfishing Boat

Estuary & Reef

East Coast: Explore the pristine and picturesque estuary systems of the Daintree, Russell, and Mulgrave Rivers and the picturesque Hinchinbrook Channel, which are teeming with life. You will be transported by modern, air-conditioned 4WD’s and towing your modern flats style fishing boat. Upon this scenic drive to one of the main river systems north and south of the City of Cairns you can take in the varying natural wonders that Northern Australia has to offer. An exclusive river fishing trip will see you hooking up to such species as the world famous barramundi, mangrove jack, fingermark, grunter, queenfish and trevally.

The thousand of inshore reefs abound with demersal (bottom) species including coral trout, red emperor, nannygai, spangled emperor, etc. Bottom fishing for these species, jigging for a multitude of “denizens of the deep” and popper fishing for the Giant Trevally (GT) are all available within close proximity of Cairns.

Barramundi Fishing Australia

Outback Safaris

For those wishing further adventure, for example, travelling to the wilderness of Cape York Peninsula or the Australian outback, we can tailor an exclusive overland safari that will suit your needs.

All of these or part of these options can be incorporated into your visit to Cairns and the surrounding areas.


Outback Australia


“Dear Laurie:

I wanted to write to you earlier but it is today that I have finally settled down since coming back from Australia. To put in simple words the trip was outstanding, and this can only followed by “thank you” (I am sure that you are used to hearing this). To be in the company of yourself, Dingo and Dave, in Cairns with the amount of fish we raised was a truly a dream come true.

After the struggle to get to Australia we all wondered whether it was actually worth the trip, and we agreed in the end that it was actually a small sacrifice. I can not speak highly enough of the mothership operation and the outstanding service we got and the comfortable amenities. Believe it or not the night conversations and fun I had were to me as important as the day of fishing.

This is just a simple note to express my deep appreciation for the outstanding fishing adventure you put together with your outstanding crew.

The best fishing experiences come in the company of people that share your passion and everybody having fun in a wonderful relaxed atmosphere, and this seems to translate into good luck. This was overwhelming true in this trip.
I cannot wait for next year.

One more time thank you very much.”

Luis Angel Rincon, Venezuela


“… But when everything is going right, the fish is well hooked, the gear holds together, and the fish out-pulls you-then you know you have encountered something special.”

Sea Level by Jeffrey Cardenas


“Laurie has gone far beyond the ordinary in terms of assisting with the planning for, and has delivered a 10 day sportfishing trip and extended exploration of Far North Queensland. The quality of service on board his vessel was superior to any previously experienced around the world and all of his recommendations were spot on.”

Rick Gaffney, Hawaii.


“For any angler, to be fishing for giant black marlin along the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, is the ultimate big game angling experience. Chartering a mothership and game boat combination allows you to experience and appreciate the enormous size and variation of the GBR. You are able to move up an down the reef, depending on where the marlin are biting and experience various kinds of fishing and diving available. So each day becomes a 24 hour experience that will overload the visual senses with shapes, colours, and fishing action beyond belief. Bring a good camera!

There is no better captain to put you on the fish, than Laurie Wright. Laurie has been fishing the GBR for 28 years, and knows every pass and pinnacle. Laurie and his crew are extremely professional, catering to the fishing requirements of his clients, and some… are very unusual, like me, who will take advantage of any unusual encounters with all kinds of reef animals from clown fish to whale sharks, that all make for a tremendous GBR experience. Not only is he a great captain and diver, but Laurie is a naturalist, and when you are on one of the greatest natural wonders of the planet, it is good to have a professional guide.”

Guy Harvey.