Proud History

The first 25 years

The images you see on these pages are from the club’s publications “The First 25 Years”. Please browse through the illustrious history of the club.

The Cairns Game Fishing Club was formed with its innagural meeting held on the 25th January, 1965 and will soon be celebrating its 50th Anniversary.

1969 – 1970

Several more big fish recorded during this period including a black marlin for Eddie Seay on 50lb that weighed 1124lg – a remarkable effort from a small boat and the 10th 1000lb fish caught off Cairns.

1978 Angler of the Year

Graham Johnson, angler of the year for 1978 landing a 931lb marlin on 80lb line. Big fish small boats - David Curnock christened his boat Sea Mite. Both Graham and Dave’s fish were remarkable catches from small boats.

1983 – 1984

1983 The trend each year has been to tag and release and over 800 marlin were allowed to swim again after being caught during the 1983 season. This was the highest number since the start of the tagging program in 1969. Thirty-six black marlin over 1000lbs were weighed. The heaviest was caught by Jack Anderson of Bermuda at 1307lbs.

1968 – Two by 1100lb+

More big fish including a 1137lb black marlin for Peter Goadby in 1968 and a 1157lb black marlin for Bill Dickens, also in 1968.

Dolly Dyer Sailfish

126lb sailfish caught by Dolly Dyer in 1967 – photographed with Daphne Nielsen, Neil Lange, Olwen White, Dolly Dyer, Paddy Nielsen, Bob Dyer and in front, Charlie Chambers, Rod Lange and Michael Leahy.

First Cairns 1000lb black marlin – Richard Obach

The fish that started it all. The first thousand pound black marlin caught off Cairns by Richard Obach on September 25, 1966. The news of this capture spread like wildfire and Cairns soon became the black marlin capital of the world!

Tag & Release Program

In 1969 the Cairns Game Fishing Club became actively involved in Tag & Release through the interest of Mr. Athel D’Ombrain of Maitland NSW. The tagging equipment used in the daly years came from the US National Marine Fisheries in La Jolla, California. Later, NSW State Fisheries became active in the program and is now the source of the equipment.

Images from 1976 to 1981

The late Sir Thomas Covacevich with the late Sir Colin Hannah and fish in 1976 to Kay Mulholland with her 575lb black marlin at Lizard Island in 1981.


Bernie Smith - a life member of the Cairns Game Fishing Club since the early days and also a skipper for many years with his own game boats and famous mothership the Reeftel. A profile of his game boat Simone.

The Early Years (1965)

The early years with an account of the start to 1965 and the convening of the Cairns GFC committee.

Peter B Wright

Peter B Wright presents the well, and successfully,used Dúyfken harness to CGFC President, Graham Johnston, Oct, 2013.

Images for 1965 – 1969 (2)

Images for 1965 - 1969 including the first 1200lb fish weighed at Cairns. The fish weighed 1208lbs for Basil Mitchell

Images for 1965 – 1969

Images for 1965 - 1969 including the first 1200lb fish weighed at Cairns. The fish weighed 1208lbs for Basil Mitchell.

1980 – 1982

Including an account of Jack Erskine who started seriously with 2kg lin and received an Australian Mens record for a 20kg sailfish. In 1982, the heaviest marlin weighed 1236lbs and was caught by Rick Jones of the USA.

About Cairns GFC’s Illustrious Member and Historical Gallery

The club has an illustrious history and has played host to both world-class records and fishermen since its inception in the early 1960s. Take a walk through history and some of the most significant catches of all time.