Cairns Black Marlin 40th Anniversary



September 25th this year will see the city of Cairns host the largest fleet of Australia's most luxurious game fishing vessels and their professional crews ever seen north of the border. A huge gathering of anglers, crews and visitors from all over the world will be treated to a week of celebrations that will surpass anything ever seen in Cairns, the home of the black marlin.


On the 25th of September, 1966, Richard was fishing on a crew day with Captain George Bransford on his game fishing vessel “Sea Baby 1” when he caught a large black marlin off Euston Reef, approximately 30 nautical miles from Cairns. This marlin, weighing 1,064 pounds was caught using 80 pound (37 kg) line. It turned out to be a new world record, eclipsing the old mark of 871 pounds and the first marlin ever caught on rod and reel over 1,000 pounds using 80 pound line. The capture of this fish put Cairns on the world game fishing map, and was the commencement of international tourism that Cairns is now famous for. Since that day, tens of thousands of anglers have enjoyed the fishing in the Cairns region, injecting in excess of 100 million dollars annually into the local economy.


Australia's #1 offshore magazine, BlueWater Boats and Sportsfishing are proudly hosting Richard Obach's trip to Australia for the Cairns Black Marlin 40th Anniversary celebrations to be held in Cairns from Monday, September 25th to Sunday, October 1st, 2006. This will be Richard's first time back to Australia since that momentous event in 1966.


The anniversary will commence on Monday, September 25th, 2006 with a huge welcome reception hosted by Engel Distribution and an archival film presentation by WIN Television at the acclaimed Cairns Convention Centre. The registration desk in the foyer will be open from 12 noon for teams fishing in the Cummins MerCruiser Diesel Cairns Black Marlin tournament which will commence on Tuesday, 26th with a giant sail past in front of the Cairns Marlin Marina. In excess of sixty boats have already registered interest in fishing this four day tournament and it will be a showcase of Australia's finest sportsfishing boats, crew's and angler's. This tag and release only tournament will highlight the conservation efforts of the Cairns industry with a special prize for the team tag and releasing the most marlin on circle hooks or lures donated by Bransfords Tackle Shop.  Shimano and Laurie Casey Handcrafted Rods have also donated custom rod and reel outfits.  A small number of observers, sponsored by Rivergate Marina and Shipyard and drawn from past captains and crews will be rotated on the competing vessels throughout the week. The Lizard Island Game Fishing Club have made available complimentary team entry into the 20th Lizard Island Classic to be held from October 14th to 21st. Registration forms for the  Cummins MerCruiser Diesel Cairns Black Marlin tournament are available online at Tournament brochures will be available from early April and to ensure that we have enough berths available for competing boats, the committee urges everyone to register and pay the entry fee by May 1st.  There are still a few boats available for teams wishing to compete.

Plans for the “Pelagic Ecosystems and Billfish Symposium” to be held from Wednesday, September 27th to Friday, 29th are well under way with keynote speakers including Dr. Michael Domeier from the Pier Institute in California, Alain Fonteneau from France, Dr. John Kalish from Australia, Dr. Pierre Kleiber from Hawaii and the Hon. Virginia Chadwick AO all confirmed to attend. You can register online and find more information on the symposium on line at;  Registration brochures are available and these can be obtained from OzAccom Conference Services Email:  
Tel: 61 (0)7 3854 1611 Fax: 61 (0)7 3854 1507

World renown artist and filmmaker Guy Harvey has confirmed he will be exhibiting original works, prints, photographs and his acclaimed book “Portraits of the Deep” at the Cairns International Boat, Trade and Tackle show and Marine Art and Photography exhibition on Saturday, September 30th and Sunday, October 1st, 2006 at the fabulous Cairns Marlin Marina and Pier Shopping complex. The Cairns Marlin Marina is a world class facility attracting a large number of game fishing boats and super yachts each year especially for the heavy tackle black marlin season. Together with the newly refurbished Shangri-La hotel and Pier shopping complex, the Cairns Black Marlin 40th Anniversary International Boat, Trade and Tackle show and Marine Art and Photography exhibition will attract thousands of visitors over the two days.


Craig Smith, Bodo Muche & David Granville will also be presenting their latest work and the opportunity to see and purchase works by these gifted artists and photographers should not be missed.

Boat manufacturers, tackle and electronic distributors, artists and photographers, companies and individuals interested in exhibiting in this pivotal event are urged to book space now, please contact the committee on 07 40952260 or email; Sponsorship packages are still available for all events, please contact the committee for further information.


The Saturday night gala presentation night will pack out the Cairns Convention Centre with the inaugural Cairns “Hall of Fame” awards expected to attract a lot of attention. The fantastic audio visual presentation by WIN Television of the week's events will be a highlight, guaranteeing to entertain and impress.


Accommodation packages are available to anglers and visitors and these can be booked through the accommodation page on the web site at: or call Ozwings, toll free 1800 814 611


The Game Fishing Association of Australia will also be holding their Annual General Meeting in Cairns to coincide with the 40th anniversary celebrations with IGFA President Rob Kramer attending.



September 25th, 2006 to October 1st, 2006


Monday 25th:         Registration & Briefing for the Cummins MerCruiser Diesel Cairns Black Marlin 40th Anniversary Tournament at the Cairns Convention Centre from 1200 hours.

Welcome reception including showing of historical game fishing footage. The welcome reception is proudly hosted by Engel Distribution Pty. Ltd. From 1830 hours.


Tuesday 26th to Friday 29th:

Cummins Mercruiser Diesel Cairns Black Marlin Tag & Release Tournament. This tournament will be a qualifying tournament in the prestigious Rolex – IGFA Offshore Championship.


Wednesday 27th: Welcome reception for the International Pelagic Ecosystems and Billfish Symposium


Thursday 28th & Friday 29th:

International Pelagic Ecosystems & Billfish Symposium.


Friday 29th:            International Pelagic Ecosystems and Billfish Symposium Dinner

Drinks and fish stories at the Cairns Marlin Marina from 1900 hours to 2100 hours for tournament and boat and trade show participants.


Saturday 30th & Sunday, October 1st

International Boat, Trade & Tackle Show and Marine Art & Photography Exhibition, at The Cairns Marlin Marina and Pier Shopping Complex from 1000 hours to 1700 hours.


Saturday, September 30th:

Gala presentation night, with induction into Cairns Game Fishing “Hall of Fame” from 1830 hours.

See you in
Cairns and tight lines,


Laurie Wright
Cairns Black Marlin 40th Anniversary organising committee