The fifth annual East Coast Classic game fishing tournament was run and done out of Newcastle last weekend, and a great time was had by all.
Good weather, outstanding fishing and a top turnout of anglers saw 50 boats and over 250 anglers enjoy a top weekend of sports fishing.
Sydney GFC boat Reel Time claimed the $5k prize for champion team tag and release, generously donated by Marmong Point and Koolewong Marinas
“They ran out of tags on the Saturday and had to be replenished,” Newcastle Game Fishing Club president Scott Morris reported.
“They finished with 129,950 points, made up of 11 marlin and a whaler shark tagged.”
Port Stephens boat Glaucus, on 92,000 points, came in second followed by Weekend Detention (Port Stephens) on 87,400 points.
Newcastle boats Sea Baby IV (80,500 points) and Weapon (77,850) finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The $5000 for heaviest marlin over 150kg, courtesy of Triple M Sheet Metal, went to the team on Off Da Hook, who boated a 156.1kg blue.
Over two days, 109 marlin were tagged and released, made up of 65 black, eight blues and 36 striped.
In general fishing terms, there was miles of bait on the Carpark where the majority of the fleet congregated leading to a few interesting moments.
“We were drifting in my boat, Game Time, and another boat about 100m hooked up a striped marlin,” Scott said. “The skipper, me, was on the toilet, when the boys began yelling about a striped marlin heading straight at them.
“I emerged from my contemplations to find this fish bearing down, apparently their skipper had been trying to radio me. I tried to pull away at 12 knots. The fish launched and missed the back of the boat by 10cm.
“It was that close it wasn’t funny, the boys on the deck were scattering and if we hadn’t been moving it would have landed in the boat.”
Scott later called into skeds guru Neil Grieves for a rule clarification with tongue firmly planted in cheek. “If a marlin lands in my boat can I tag it?” Scott asked. “No Scott. You can’t,” was Neil’s typically dry reply.
“It was very funny,” Scott recalled.
Sunday night’s presentation a was merry affair and Scott extended special thanks to Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club who worked overtimes to cater to everyone over the weekend.
“Planning starts for next year,” Scott said.
“We ended up with nearly $80,000 in cash and prizes, lots of giveaways, so most boats walked away with something and we’ll be looking to make it bigger and better next year.
“I’ve already booked in the weather and the fish.”
The Lake Macquarie Trophy Flathead Fishery tagging program keeps throwing up some interesting data.
Michael Aubrey recaptured a 78cm flathead on Tuesday, March 13 at Warners Bay that had been tagged at Green Point on February 28 By Brendon Lane of Gilleston Heights.
In the two week turnaround it covered 5km
A total of 63 fish have now been tagged and five recaptured.
“Brendon did the right thing and measured and re-released it,” tagging director Mark “Wilba” Williams said.
“It’s great because the message is getting across about releasing big flatties and recording the data, and the fact that fish are being recaptured confirms not only that they move, but also they will survive if you catch and release.”
Interestingly, Wilba’s team of “flathead whispering” taggers reports good numbers of big tailor.
Possibly has something to do with the solid run of squid around the Drop Over and Murray’s Beach. There’s also been some excellence snapper caught down in the southern sections of the lake.
Teralba Lakesiders Fishing Club held their last competition for the season last Saturday and lots of fish were weighed. The club is keen for new members, so if you’re interested, inquire at Teralba Bowling Club or give Ian Guy a call on 0400 883 239. The club will hold its AGM this Sunday, March 18 at 10:30am and presentation night on Saturday, March 24, starting at 5:30pm with prawns and drinks, then inside for a sit down meal.
Jason Downie claimed honours at the Newcastle District Anglers Association estuary comp last weekend with a bag of bream, whiting, tailor and mullet. Craig Oaten was runner-up with the same number of fish but down 1kg.
Evergreen Bob Hodges was veterans champion, Melissa Oaten saluted in the ladies division and Ryan Thoroughgood won sub-juniors.
The next NDAA comp is the beach event April 14-15.
Entries are still open for the Port Stephens Trailer Boat tournament running next weekend, March 23-25. For information about entries, visit www.tbf.com.au.
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