Ross Finlayson’s Top Shot Charters

Cairns Marlin Marina
Cairns QL, Australia

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About this listing

Boat Specs

O'Brien (Offshore sport fishing) originally built in 1998. Powered by 2 500HP Yanmar engines with a maximum cruising speed of 30 knots.

43 ft
8 persons
Types of Fishing
Nearshore Fishing
10-15 miles
Offshore Fishing
20-30 miles
Reef Fishing
Great Barrier Reef
Wreck Fishing
15-20 miles
Fishing Techniques
Light Tackle
Penn & Shimano TLD reels, custom Jack Erskine rods
Heavy Tackle
Jack Erskine rods and Penn International reels
Fly Fishing
Penn fly rods & reels
Targeted Species
Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)
King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Little Tunny (False Albacore)
Marlin (Black)

Marlin (Blue)

Trevally (Giant)
Tuna (Dogtooth)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Cairns is one of the most desirable fisheries in the world, with good reason. Visited every year by thousands of huge Black Marlin, who travel between Cairns and Lizard Island from September to December as part of their annual migration, this is the place to come if you’re hoping to hook a ‘grander’ weighing over a thousand pounds. On top of this, the area’s light and medium tackle game fishery is excellent all year round, meaning you don’t have to be in the area in peak season to enjoy a top notch day of game fishing.

Captain Ross Finlayson is one of the most respected game fishermen in Australia, and he has over 25 years experience of professional big game fishing. He will lead your charter trip aboard his 43 ft O’Brien fly bridge cruiser, which is excellent to handle at sea, providing a dry and stable ride and featuring a wide and spacious cockpit. The boat is equipped with numerous electronics including two Furuno sounders with dual frequency and temperature sounders, as well as two navigation systems and two radios. The comfortable living area is air conditioned, and the full galley features multiple fridge/ freezer arrangements and a hi fi radio and CD player.

When fishing for Black Marlin you will mainly be using live bait, such as scad, mack tuna, spanish mackerel, and rainbow runners. The bait will be rigged on circle hooks in order to keep the Marlin in the best condition when released, and this will be trolled just under the surface at around five to six knots. Black Marlin season runs between September and December, with Blue Marlins normally in the waters until April. October to March also sees good fishing for Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, and Spanish Mackerel, while the winter months are best for Spanish Mackerel, Sailfish, and juvenile Black Marlin. These will be targeted using lures, live baits and natural dead baits. Ross and his crew also specialize in saltwater fly fishing, targeting Marlin and Sailfish with the bait and switch technique.

Air Conditioning
Fighting Chair
Life Jackets
2, Furuno
Fly Fishing Equipment
Snorkeling Equipment
Live Bait Tank
2, plus three freezers
Multimedia System
Wireless Trolling Motor
Tuna tubes
Spearfishing Equipment
Ice Box
Air Conditioning
Fighting Chair
Life Jackets
Trip Includes
Rod, Reels & Tackle
Live Bait
Catch Cleaning & Filleting
First Mate
Fishing Licence
Fly Fishing Equipment
FREE Cancellation
You can cancel or change your booking free of charge up to 60 days before the trip date
Pickup not included
Transfer to/from departure site is not included in trip rates

Other Policies 
Child Friendly
You Keep Catch
Catch and Release Allowed

20% deposit charged upfront by FishingBooker to guarantee your reservation. The remaining balance is to be paid directly to the captain on or prior to your trip date in one of the following payment methods: Cash, Visa, Master Card, Bank Transfer.

About the Captain

Ross Finlayson
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Member since March 2015
Ross Finlayson is a Heavy Tackle and Light tackle/ Sportfishing professional. He has 26 years fishing experience from Cairns and all over Australia along with seasons in Hawaii. Marlin fishing is his passion along with all types of sport fishing.
Response time: 4 hours
Response rate: 100%

Cairns Fishing Calendar


  • Cairns Marlin Marina, Cairns
    QL 4870, Australia