Fly fishing is one of the biggest challenges left on the bluewater and is certainly one of the fastest growing facets of saltwater fishing. Black marlin and sailfish are both fly favourites and all other species targeted with conventional tackle can be caught on the fly.  The world record opportunities are excellent on the Great Barrier Reef during the winter to spring months (May to November) using 8 to 16 weight tackle.

Ross has been involved in a number of world record captures on fly both as crewman and captain having also caught 4 black marlin in one day on fly as an angler.

3 World Records – Bluewater Fly

1995 – World Record – 4kg Tippett – 17.5 kg Black Marlin –  (Angler – Dr Glen Scott, “Sea Baby IV”)

1998 – World Record – 4 Black Marlin in 1 Day on Fly

  • Winner of the International Black Marlin Fly Fishing Tournament
    (Anglers – J Erskine & BMcLeod, “Sea Baby IV”
  • 3 Marlin on Fly Caught in One Day (4 Times – “Sea Baby IV”)

2005 – 200lb Black Marlin captured for regular anglers Mr Ishikawa from Japan (Sea Baby IV)

2006 – 150lb Black Marlin again captured for Mr Ishikawa (Sea Baby IV)

Ross and his crew target marlin and sailfish using the bait and switch technique, giving the angler the best opportunity to make a cast to a fish that is eager to bite.

12 to 14 weight rods and quality large capacity reels are favoured, although lighter or heavier tackle may be used depending on the size of the fish, and the anglers skill. Dual hook Flashy Profile flies, large multi hackled poppers, and tube flies are all effective

Other bluewater species that can provide great fly fishing include Spanish (King) Mackerel, Cobia, Yellowfin Tuna, Longtail (Bluefin) Tuna and Mackerel
Tuna (False Albacore).

These pelagics can at times be approached as they herd baitfish to the surface and attack, offering exciting visual fly fishing action. Locating schools of predators electronically then burleying (chumming) with live or cut bait produces consistent results.

Flies that imitate the baitfish or chum are cast off intermediate or fast sinking lines into the bait trail attracting the attention of switched on predators. 9 to 12 weight rods with large capacity reels are standard, however some anglers like the challenge of ultra light rods (2 to 6 weight), quality reels with plenty of backing are essential, definitely no place for Trout reels.