Alexandra Czabayski is a junior member of the Game Fishing Club of South Australia. For the past two seasons she has tried with great determination to beat the black marlin junior record from her father’s 55ft Viking Spartacus, based at Port Douglas in Far North Queensland. She is the daughter of Ralph Czabayski and the granddaughter of Rolf Czabayski, both wellknown competitors among Australia’s heavy-tackle gamefishing fraternity.
Over three trips during the 2010 season and three trips this past Cairns season, Alexandra tagged and released a number of smaller blacks, but the fish she needed eluded her. On her last trip for the 2011 season she was determined to make it happen. This was a threeday expedition out to Lynden Bank with her father. They raised nothing for the first two days, but then on the final day, Alexandra hooked a nice black early in the morning, only to lose it minutes later when it was overcome by sharks.
Shortly after midday, another black piled on and 15-year-old Alexandra was back in the chair working the rod like a seasoned angler. This time she got the marlin alongside and the crew got the first gaff in – but then lost it when the gaff came out and the leader broke!
Then, in the last minutes of fishing on that final day, another hook-up! It appeared to be another nice black and Alexandra again went to work, bringing the fish to a standstill in short order. This time the gaffs stayed in, but as with the rest of the day, things quickly went pearshaped. The sharks turned up again, stalking the marlin alongside the boat. This time, the crew immediately manhandled the marlin up through the transom door and into the cockpit – not the ideal thing to do, but with all of the previous earlier mishaps, everyone on board wanted this fish in the boat as bad as Alexandra did!
To the overwhelming delight of Alexandra, they had overcome a day of frustration to succeed with a black marlin of 167.2kg on 37kg line-class. Her catch is now a pending world and Australian Junior record.