Rick Benitez – USA (Angler)
I just wanted to really thank you for such an unbelievable trip. It is finally setting in, WOW!!! This sounds like a cliche but it really was a trip of a lifetime. Will definitely, god willing, fish with you next year. The crew and you were very kind and professional. I am not saying this because of the fish we caught. I charter boats around the world and you guys are definitely in a tight group of top professionals.
P.S. You have a whole year to figure out how you can top this, LOL!!
Thanks again, “
Kenneth Que – Cairns, AUS (Angler)
“Outstanding day yesterday! Ross and Andrew looked after our group like we were royalty! Top fishing – The best trip i have had in a very long time and lived there for thirty years! The whale watching was an added bonus! I highly recommend any prospective fisherperson to book this trip! Thank you Ross and Andrew I thoroughly enjoyed my time with you guys. I will be booking with you when next I am in need of a truly tremendous day on the water.”
Lee Shardlow – AUS (Angler)
“Just a quick email to thank you and the crew of Top Shot for another great charter.
I have just realized that we have now fished with you for the past 8 seasons and that this year has been the best to date, catching & releasing 10 Black Marlin (all good size fish) with 6 on the first day was truly amazing.
Josh and I have always been amazed that you consistently seem to be able to find good fishing whether it be casting poppers up against the reef for GT’s, jigging in deep holes for monster doggies or trolling live baits for those big Black Marlin.
Thank also to deckhands Pete and Andy. It was fantastic the way they worked as a team to make sure we got the fish to the boat for that great photo, plus they made the best sandwiches in the southern hemisphere and seemed to know when we needed that icy cold beer. Ross, once again thanks to you and the crew, we love coming to Great Barrier Reef you have the best office in the world!
We hope we can get back again for the 2011-2012 season.”
Lee & Josh Shardlow
Simon Atkinson – UK (Angler)
“Just a quiet email to reflect upon my time spent fishing with you for Giant Black Marlin since 2006. Thanks for the great effort that you and your crew made in order to meet my expectations as a fisherman. Not only the professionalism and enthusiasm on board but also the great atmosphere which made my trip’s so enjoyable, along the way catching many Big Marlin together and I also felt we became good friends and look forward to fishing with you many times in the future.”
Greg Soudure – AUS (Angler)
“Hi Ross – Thank you very much for the heavy tackle fishing trip off Cooktown last week. You, Pete and Eddy showed us a fantastic time and of the many fishing charters which I have been on over the years, yours was by far the best… in every aspect. To catch 6 marlin in just 4 days was well beyond our expectations and the 800 pounder was just beyond belief.
Above all, we really appreciated the compassion you showed the fish and the passion you hold for your industry and its longevity. We wish you all the best in the future and hope to be back on “Top Fish” sometime soon.”
John Mondora – Cairns, AUS (Angler & Fishing Journalist)
“I have known Ross Finlayson for over 10 years and have watched him mature into one of tropical Australia’s best all round fishermen. As a game fishing Captain he is without peer and proof of this is the number of tournaments he is now winning.
He served his apprenticeship under the legendary Captain Laurie Woodbridge, working the deck with Wood for 10 years, before becoming a Captain in his own right.
His expertise in this field ranges from 1000lb black marlin over the continental shelf to fish such as Spanish mackerel, small marlin and sailfish around the inshore reefs.
It is rare for game fishing Captains to be experts in the estuaries and fresh water rivers but Ross is at the top of the tree here. In fact his passion in life is chasing barramundi, mangrove jacks, jungle perch etc. on both lure and fly.
I have no hesitation in recommending Ross Finlayson to anyone looking for a Captain/fishing guide, whether they be chasing 1000 pound marlin or barramundi and everything in between. One of the best guides Australia has yet produced.
This statement is from my own personal experiences as I have fished blue water on game boats, headlands and lakes for barramundi and jungle perch streams on foot with Ross.”
Norm Ennis – USA (Angler)
“Ross, I sure had a great time on each of the three trips I have made on the Sea Baby IV. As you recall we targeted Blue Marlin in January of 2000, Black Marlin in Nov, 2000 and Black Marlin again in Oct, 01. We had successes each trip but the 1254# Black was way above my wildest dreams. I had hoped to see a Grander and catch a fish over 800#. I have fished hard for marlin after seeing a tailing blue off of the Yucatan in the 70’s. I broke off a nice blue off of Texas in 78 and vowed to catch one.
I’ve spent thousands of hours on my own boats and the boats of others but hanging the big one with you, Johno and Fish was a great pay off. I have not quit and plan to share more adventures with you all.”
Martin Hirsch – USA (Angler)
“I am writing to tell you after coming back to reality from my last fishing trip on the Sea Baby. This was the best fishing trip I have had in all the years I have been fishing for marlin. Ross, your professionalism and knowledge without a doubt was the best I have witnessed in all the years I have been fishing.Your unbelievable crew of John and Fish who worked non-stop in changing baits and leaders and also wiring the marlin at the boat was remarkable.
I would also like to praise your ability to manoeuvre the boat regardless of how rough it was in order to make the fishing trip a success. This fishing trip is what you dream of once in a lifetime. 25 marlin caught and released over a 12 day period, three of which were estimated to be over 800 LBS and one estimated to be over 900 LBS. The icing on the cake was catching and releasing 14 marlin in 3 days of fishing and catching back to back 800 LBS marlin.
Donna did a super job making sure all arrangements were made for our flights and hotel accommodations.
Looking forward to fish again on the legendary Sea Baby IV in 2003, 2004, and 2005 and every year I have my health.”
Peter B Wright – USA
“Ross Finlayson leads the parade of hot, young Australian fishing guides. He has trained under the best of the old masters and is a versatile captain and angler.
He is knowledgeable in a wide range of techniques and environments. He is skilled with tackle ranging from ultralight to unlimited including fly, spinning and conventional and is at home in rivers, estuaries, reefs and offshore.
He is a dedicated fisherman, a hard worker, and a pleasant and affable companion.
I wish him well and recommend him highly.”
Debbie & Steve Wotherspoon – AUS
What a wonderful experience, game fishing 30 kms or so out of Cairns!! I think the tally came to about 15 rather large mackerel & a strike (at least) on a marlin!! Kind of speaks for itself however the skipper had the major role to play, we just reeled them in with the help of your deckhand.
Just a note of thanks for a truly fantastic day out game fishing. All of us totally enjoyed the experience (maybe with the exception of our “ill” one!! Who might I add, recovered well)
The expertise shown by youself & John was unsurpassed. As you know we are boaties from way back however your driving skills certainly beat those of anyone we know. John’s assistance on deck was brilliant. It is easy to see where your reputation comes fron.
Congratulations must be extended to you for sharing with us your expertise & such a wonderful vessel – Sea Baby IV. Well done & indeed many, many thanks. It was well worth it!!
This email is copied to all in our address book whom are fishermen or even remotely interested in the sport.
So for all of you maybe even thinking of game fishing in Cairns – go & have a look at Ross & Donna Finlayson’s web site at australiangamefishing.com we totally recommend you go no further than the Finlayson’s Sea Baby. Beats anything we have ever done before. If you know anyone thinking of heading to Cairns then send this email on to them.
When pics are developed they will be posted on St George Water Ski Club site.”