ALL EYES ON MARLINS: Interest in the Fraser Coast's game fishing market has spiked since angler Rob Crane hooked this 650kg black marlin last week.
ALL EYES ON MARLINS: Interest in the Fraser Coast's game fishing market has spiked since angler Rob Crane hooked this 650kg black marlin last week. Alistair Brightman

'Best-kept secret': Game fishing predicted to soar

ONE of the Fraser Coast's best-kept tourism secrets is starting to surface.

As news of the 650kg black marlin being snagged in waters off the Fraser Coast goes global, the region's tourism leaders have spruiked the potential of the local game fishing market becoming one of the best in the world.

And the long-term economic windfall could bring millions into local businesses.

Calling it the region's "best-kept secret", Fraser Coast councillor Darren Everard said the recent interest in game fishing was putting Hervey Bay's marlin fishing spot "at the forefront of people's minds".

"With this fish being landed, this will create publicity we could never afford or buy," Cr Everard said.

"Many of the local anglers have known about it for a long time and now our secret is out there for the world to see.

"Hopefully this is another piece of the puzzle taking the Fraser Coast forward as a world-class destination."

The particular marlin, caught on Thursday near Lady Musgrave Island by angler Rob Crane, was less than 5kg off the world record.

It put the Fraser Coast in the spotlight as photos of the fish went viral.

Last week, the Chronicle revealed anglers could spend up to $3500 a day to charter a game fishing boat and spend a minimum of three days in the region just to fish off the marlin grounds near Hervey Bay.

But Fraser Coast Tourism and Events marketing manager Christine McLiver said anglers from all over the world were starting to talk about the region.

"It's a very small and tight community that does this type of fishing and word of mouth gets around," she said.

And FCTE general manager Martin Simons said that word of mouth represented "a big value addition" to the Fraser Coast.

"The boat that caught the large marlin fuelled here when they came in and out... that's all income for the community along with staying locally and spending money in shops," Mr Simons said.

"In the Fraser Coast the length of stay for the average tourist is four-and-a-half days and a spend of $566.

"And that's direct expenditure into local businesses.

"So there's definitely growing potential here and it's starting to be recognised."



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