2011 Billfisheries of the Year – #6 Great Barrier Reef

The Billfish Report is counting down its Top 10 Billfisheries of the Year, and coming in at #6 is the Great Barrier Reef.

Criteria for our Top 10 list – taken from the daily billfish reports we receive from hundreds of captains around the world –  include the following: fish numbers, variety of billfish species, average size of fish and length of season.  These are then compiled, factoring in the number of boats regularly fishing that fishery, to derive a score.  The rankings of those scores yield this year’s Top 10 list.

Grander black behind the Shaka - one of three reports of granders captured by this boat in 2011.

And you know the fishing is pretty phenomenal elsewhere when the Great Barrier Reef – inarguably one of the premier billfisheries in the history of the planet – has five fisheries before it in a ranking.  And though it was a slightly subpar year for the reef, it says something about the fishery when “subpar” still equals 108 black marlin over 500 pounds, and 24 blacks over the mark.  To repeat: 24 black marlin over 1,000 pounds caught in Australian waters in 2011!  That matched last season’s total.

Grander for Little Audrey

There were also blue marlin, sailfish, and the odd swordfish in the reef’s 10-week season.  A terrific year, for sure.

Stay tuned for #5 – posting soon!


  • Andy Dow
    Posted January 24, 2012 4:29 am 0Likes

    I carnt belive Cairns is rated as 6 in the world, Our 2011 season was a normal season we caught 65 fish in 61 days heavy tackle fishing and 20 were over 750lb. Were else can you do that year after year.

    • Hook
      Posted January 24, 2012 11:49 pm 0Likes

      I think it says everything about how Great Cairns is, that on an average year you are still #6. We take in a number of factors including variety of species, length of season, size of fish (Cairns is clearly #1),numbers of fish and even fishing fleet size. We also take in consideration where this year stacks up against other years.

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