Breathtaking — Giant Black Marlin Take Flight

A professional photographer catches the excitement of fishing for huge marlin off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Giant black marlin leaping
We Have Liftoff!
Fallon says, "It's truly amazing to see these big fish get their entire bodies out of the water." That seems particularly true when one consider that upwards of 1,000 pounds are going ariborne.Kelly Dalling Fallon

With a lifetime steeped in sport fishing and a photographer's eye for composition, Australian Kelly Dalling Fallon has added photography to her crew duties aboard the Cairns-based 56-foot O'Brien big-game boat Kekoa. She spends nearly 200 days each year on the water alongside her husband, Capt. Luke Fallon, a part of that fishing for giant black marlin off the Great Barrier Reef. Coupling opportunity with ability, Fallon's talent is clearly on display in this Sport Fishing gallery. You can see more of Fallon's work in photos and words on her Marlin Fishing Blog web site and facebook.

Giant black marlin leaping
Nothing Casual Here
Strong winds, rugged seas and big fish make this a serious game. The soaked hand, bottom right, belong to angler Jason Hassett. Location: Number 8 Ribbon Reef.Kelly Dalling Fallon

"THE BIGGEST BOAT IN THE FLEET CATCHES PLENTY OF FISH."

- Kelly Dalling Fallon

Giant black marlin leaping
The Aptly-Named Ultimate Lady hooked up
Note how much of this 90-footer with an amazing 33-foot beam is lost in the wave trough. Fallon cites this renowned Vanuatu-based game fisher with having incredible sonar "capable of marking fish from more than 200 yards away!"Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
On Fire
Capt. Corey Hand on Askari was one of many game boats on fire in 2014, Fallon says.Kelly Dalling Fallon
black marlin leaping
Smaller Fish Hang Inside
In September (just before the real giant-marlin season kicks in), anglers can hook many juvenile marlin inside the reef.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
Near-Grander Gets a Tag
This estimated 900-pound black was brought to Kekoa by angler Alex Kaiko during the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic where it received a satellite tag. "The tag popped off the fish after six months, by which time she had traveled a modest 881 nautical miles to the Solomon Island," says Fallon.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Dinner at Cooktown, Australia
Evening Before the Tournament
Teams have gathered for the 2014 Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic briefing, only that year's event was held out of Cooktown, with Lizard Island undergoing renovations courtesy of Cyclone Ita.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
A Wireman's Tough Assignment
Acrobatics at the end of the leader demand the greatest concentration from a wireman.Kelly Dalling Fallon

EVERYONE ON THE BOAT GOT A GOOD AND THOROUGH DRENCHING!

- Kelly Dalling Fallon

Giant black marlin leaping
Nearing the End Game
Angler Jada Van Mols is steered in the chair by her father, legendary Kona skipper, Chip, in October. Fallon calls the sea condition typical for that time of year. "It was eventually released in healthy condition but not before everyone on deck got a good and thorough drenching!"Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
Head Shake
The photographer says this is one her faves. "A slower shutter speed captured the moment almost like a painting," she adds.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
Leap Year
Even fish of "average" size offer a tough fight and often-fabulous aerial displays.Kelly Dalling Fallon
black marlin leaping
Little, Hungry and Fiesty
Plenty of aggressivel "little" males patrol the same waters as the giant ladies. "These smaller males are notorious for trying to eat baits too big for them, getting all wrapped up in the process," says Fallon.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
Broad Jumper
Low leaps across the water make wiring a big fish that much trickier.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
View from Above
Another perspective of the excitement is offered from the flying bridge.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
Number 10 Ribbon Reef
This famed spot draws in both big marlin and big game boats looking for them, both visible here.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
Freight Train with a Bill
A huge black barrels toward the horizon at high speed in the late afternoon.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
When the Fleet Heads Wide
Typically, late in the big-marlin season, Fallon says, "As the weather calms for longer stretches, the fleet heads wide to big blacks on the tuna aggregations, and blues as well." This particular fishery hasn't fired up significantly in recent years but could reignite any time.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
High Flyer at Number 5 Ribbon Reef
This small spot can be quite productive; boats fishing here often take turns trolling over the hot spot.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant trevally
GT Sideshow
Often, Fallon says, the crew of the Kekoa will give anglers the chance to tussle with a giant trevally, throwing poppers on shallower reefs.Kelly Dalling Fallon
Giant black marlin leaping
Jaw Droppin' and Eye Poppin'
Marlin off the Great Barrier Reef register some astounding jumps.Kelly Dalling Fallon