Cairns & Cooktown Giant Black Marlin Pursuit!

The Great Barrier Reef is the only known spawning ground for black marlin in the world and in particular the waters north from Cairns to Lizard Island. Within this area is a place called the Ribbon Reefs. The Ribbon Reefs stretch approx 60nm south from Lizard Island and is one of the most beautiful reef locations in the world.

From September to December giant black marlin grace this area and are often caught over the magical 1000lb mark (450kg). Boats, crew and anglers come from all over the world to experience this unbelievable fishing. It is within this area that more 1000lb marlin are caught every year than all other marlin fishing location in the world combined! This is the only place in the world where a 200lber (100kg) fish is considered a small one!

Since 2012 Sea Fever have ventured north for a 6 week stint to join in on the giant black marlin action. Departing either Cairns or Cooktown we offer a handful of 5 day extended private charters from approximately early-mid October to mid-late November, which is generally the peak part of the season.

Each day usually kicks off with a snorkel on the reef before breakfast them some light tackle trolling for mackerel, tuna, scads which are used for bait. There is the option of some popper fishing or jigging prior to heading to the outside in search of the big marlin! Fighting the fish from a big game chair and 130lb Shimano Tiagra outfit gives you the best chance of capturing the trophy fish. Trolling big baits is the normal procedure. It’s not uncommon to use a 10kg mackerel or tuna as a whole bait to tempt these big predators, and the sight of a huge marlin crashing these big baits is unforgettable!! Fishing usually goes through to 6pm before tucking back into a calm reef lagoon for the evening. It doesn’t stop there! The reef dwellers come out after dark and some light tackle reef fishing can be loads of fun. Spangled emperor, red bass and cods are always on the cards.

  • 5 day / 4 night Private Charter
  • Departure/return: Cairns or Cooktown depending on dates
  • Small groups. 2-3 guests is ideal, however we can take up to 4
  • Cost: Enquire  (we can also work in with a mothership if preferred)


Charter includes:

  • Experienced crew – Captain and 2 deckhands
  • All heavy tackle marlin gear/ limited light tackle/popping/jigging
  • Meals, snacks, bottled water, tea, coffee and soft drinks
  • Bedding, linen and towels
  • Edible catch cleaned for you to enjoy

Please bring:

  • Welcome to BYO popping/jigging gear
  • Clothing for the duration of the trip, toiletries, sunglasses, hat and camera
  • Alcoholic beverages (limits apply, cans preferred)


These trips are getting more and more popular so please enquire in advance and join us for our annual Giant Black Marlin pursuit!

Make an enquiry

Our Charters

Full Day Great Barrier Reef Live-aboard Great Barrier Reef Specialised GT Popping Heavy Tackle Black Marlin