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Stu's Grander

Stu Potter and mates fishing aboard 'Ultimate Lady' wide off Cairns had a spectacular trip. 7 days of fishing produced 13 marlin, with the odd yellowfin, mahimahi and wahoo thrown in for good measure.Included amongst the marlin were four fish over 900 lb and a grander weighed after the fish had died. The fish pulled the scales to 1058 lb, congratulations Stu, fellow fisherman and the skipper and crew of Ultimate Lady. The fish took a Gaza tint - skippy lure and took around 4  1/2 hours to boat on 130 lb tackle. The Gaza tint - skippy lure also caught other marlin, yellowfin tuna and mahimahi during the trip.

(Photos courtesy of Stu Potter and Gary Smith).

Species:     Black marlin

Date:          19/11/2009

Angler:       Stu Potter

Weight:      1058 lb/480.9 Kg

Line class: 130 lb/60 Kg

Skipper:     Tom Francis

Vessel:       Ultimate Lady

Location:   Cairns

Lure:          Gaza  - Skippy

Stu's Account Of The Catch

The day was the 19 November 2009 and it was to be the ultimate days fishing and the day that we would catch a grander on a NZ made lure by Azure Lures.

Andrew Randell landed a small black that morning at around 10 am of around 100 kg which was brought aboard to be smoked back on land. That fish was caught on the same lure. Immediately after landing that one we had another black come in on the centre bait. It took a bit of line and then lost interest after 5 minutes. Half an hour later we struck gold and found the fishermans eldorado. After three days we had found the fish aggregation the longliners had foretold us about. All around us we had marlin, tuna and whale sharks feeding on baitfish. Gary Smith and i were lucky enough to swim with a couple of the whale sharks.

It was about 15 minutes after our amazing encounter that she hit. I was still drip drying my grundies when the Gaza - Skippy got rampaged. The water exploded as she vented her fury for the first 5 minutes on the surface.

We could all tell this was a big fish. The first 30 minutes she took out plenty of line, rolled and changed angles. Then 45 minutes into the fight she went straight down. The drag was well above strike and shee peeled line effortlessly. Then the unthinkable, she died with close on 1 km of line taken off the spool. It was sickening to think of the effort required to fill the reel back up. I tried to lift the fish but the weight of the fish and the drag of the line made it all in vain. The only method to bring a fish off the bottom under hese conditions was to "bust the cogs", which was manually pulling the line inch by inch with your left hand whilst you wind at the same time on the reel. Passing all physical and mental boundaries, with the amazing support of my friends and crew the fish came to the boat after 4 .5 hours. It was then that we noticed the line had wrapped around the fishes mid section. By this stage it was dark so we settled in for the night and eagerly woke early the next morning for the weigh-in. The fish pulled the scales down to 1058 lb and was the first grander to be weighed in Cairns that season. My thanks to Grant from Azure Lures, the skipper and crew of Ultimate Lady and friends Gary Smith and Andrew Randell for their unwaivering support and encouragement that allowed me to catch the fish of a lifetime.

Stu Potter.

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