Demand for luxury bespoke fishing adventurers on the Great Barrier Reef continues to increase, driving growth in what was previously considered a niche market.
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett said operators had been reporting steady growth over the last 12 months and now with the launch of Tourism Australia’s (TA) global campaign “Best of…” series with a focus on fishing, business was set to get a whole lot busier.
“It is fair to say fishing is back on the radar and Port Douglas is well placed to benefit from this growth with a number of operators offering exclusive fishing charters and liveaboard adventures,” she said.
Ms Bennett said it was a real coup for Port Douglas based Far North Sports Fishing (FNSF) to be the only Queensland operator highlighted in the TA campaign, putting the region and its fishing opportunities firmly in the spotlight.
FNSF operates a fleet of five custom-designed vessels, including a 70-foot super yacht, Blue Martini and the purpose-built game boat, Black Magic.
“The fleet provides a spectacular platform for clients to enjoy rare access to untouched reefs with prized species such as barramundi, giant trevally and black marlin,” Ms Bennett said.
FNSF director Tony Fyfe said the fleet comprised vessels that together allowed for a range of high-end, bespoke fishing adventures.
“We have worked hard to ensure our fishing operation offers a true, five-star experience, appealing to those who appreciate the finer things in life with haute cuisine, premium wines, top-end tackle and world-class guides,” Mr Fyfe said.
Port Douglas Marlin Challenge tournament director Lynton Heffer said his annual event, which is held in November, also continued to gain momentum attracting multi-million boats from across the country.
“We are expecting a field of more than 20 boats to compete this year, with some coming from as far as Sydney to take part.”
Driving its popularity as the must do fishing competition in Australia was the region’s reputation for super sized marlins.
“We have the best marlin fishing ground on our doorstep. Statistics show 85% of the world’s 1000 pound marlins are caught in our local waters.”
“It is also a real fun and social tournament, which ties into how Port Douglas is itself,” he added.
The tournament is open to all members of clubs affiliated with the Game Fishing Association of Australia or the International Game Fish Association.
It is also strictly tag and release, in which the angler attaches a tag to the marlin and records data such as date, time, place, size and approximate weight.
It will run from November 10-13. Registrations close on October 31. For more information visit www.portdouglasmarlinchallenge.com