Phillip Millauro was crowned champion senior angler at last weekend's Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament held at Port Stephens. His catch included a 21.783kg Cobia, a 1.569kg morwong, and a huge 3.982kg trag.
Ben Doolan was runner-up, scored with a first in the kingfish division (14.498kg) and dominating the snapper category.
In her last year as a junior, Amy Falko swooped late to win to claim champion honours ahead of tournament newcomer Lilly Hancock.
Around 550 anglers and 220 trailer boats of all shapes and sizes made the trek to The Bay and enjoyed some top fishing and socialising over the weekend.
"This year the tournament leapt into the 21st century and posted live reports with photos as fish were being weighed (with many released) and regular scoreboard updates onto the Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament site on Facebook," Tony said.
"This worked out exceptionally well as people were able to see what was on the board to help them decide whether to weigh a fish or release it straight away.
"The pointscore system means that only the top three fish in each category count for points so once a 0.395kg Flounder or a 15.447kg Cobia is in 3rd place there is no point bringing your fish in if it is lighter than this. This system means we weigh in very few fish during the tournament given the high number of anglers competing."
Whilst many of the species didn't turn up in numbers or sizes until the last day, Tony said the jew were plentiful.
Notable catches included Tony White's 23.591kg fish, whilst in the juniors Amy scored with a 12.266kg fish.
Past champion angler Paul "Ringo" Lennon won the flathead species with a huge 6.056kg fish as well as 3rd with 4.183kg.
For more info, results, and photos visit www.tbft.net.au.
Congratulations to fourteen-year-old Fish of the Week winner Isabella Thwaites who has a pending Australian record for her 73.1kg striped marlin caught off Port Stephens last weekend.
Isabella was fishing on Scott Thorington's boat Freedom, with step dad Joel Adamthwaite, and as reported this week in the Herald's Topic's page, was pretty stoked with her effort.
"She's pretty fired up," mum Jo Murray, said yesterday.
"She's looking to get back out on the water over the next couple of weekends and add a black and blue marlin to the list of catches."
There was a nice run of marlin last Saturday.
As reported last week in this column, Craig "Righto" Wrightson and wife Glenda followed up on their stated intention to head out, and Glenda ended up catching her first ever malin, a striped.
"I was left to battle with the tuna," Craig said. "Her marlin left a nice billmark on my leg as I was retrieving my lure that we purchased from Tacklepower while collecting our prize from the other week. How bizarre!!"
Following on from concerns expressed about Pelican boat ramp in this column last week, Carrington local and dedicated angler George Sewell rang in this week to point out similar worries about Carrington boat ramp.
According to George, Newcastle City Council has handed over responsibility to RMS and he is worried the popular boat launch site may be under threat.
Lynette Lambert, who edits Stockton-based local newspaper Portside Local, has reported on the issue recently.
"RMS has taken it over and sent a list of requirements to council but nothing has been heard since," Lynette said.
"It is an important facility for boat users in Newcastle because it's the only ramp on the Newcastle side of the harbour and it would be a shame for everyone if they neglected it."
The ramp was refurbished back in 2008 with much fanfare, the official opening attended by no less than then Minister for Ports and Waterways Joe Tripodi, Member for Newcastle Jodi McKay and the Archdeacon of Newcastle Father David Simpson who gave a blessing for future users. Freeman of the City Arthur Wade was also involved in proceedings.
The project was a joint partnership between Newcastle City Council and NSW Maritime for local boating and fishing groups and included replacement of a sub-standard concrete boat ramp, access road to the ramp, a rebuilt parking area, lowering of the road under the bridge to allow easier access and a new fish cleaning table.
The NSW Government's and NSW Maritime's infrastructure program provided $440,000, Newcastle City Council $210,000 for road and access works, survey, design and project management and the Federal Government $34,500 from the Recreational Fishing Community Grants program.
Clearly it was a big deal back then, so hopefully it remains dear to the hearts of the city's powerbrokers.