The 2009 Rhyll Gamefishing Classic will be held by the Victorian Gamefishing Club over the weekend of February 21/22.
Based out of Rhyll Fishing Club on Phillip Island, the competition is a sanctioned event with line class categories and prizes to match, but also heavily promotes tag and release.
The briefing will be held on the Friday night, while Saturday night sees a tournament dinner and the raffle draw.
While the majority of tournaments run by Victorian gamefishing clubs are held at Bermagui and other locations on the south coast of NSW, the Rhyll Shark Tournament is an event that attracts a large contingency of boats and anglers who target the offshore waters of Bass Strait.
Over the last few years the Rhyll Tournament has seen good numbers of small to mid-sized makos caught. Best of all, the shallow water of Bass Strait make the perfect environment to target them on light tackle, and this is just what many anglers do, with several records coming from this tournament.
At the other end of the scale there are always a few monster makos lurking around to keep anglers on their toes. The 2007 Tournament saw Victorian Gamefishing Club member Steve Pearce hook and land a 247kg mako on 15kg gear, while the 2008 tournament saw possibly the top Victorian shark boat Home Strait, run and owned by Steve Taranto, hook a mako on 15kg tackle that the boys fought for five hours before pulling the hooks. At the same time Short Stroker was in battle with another monster mako on 10kg tackle. Unfortunately the boys also lost their fish.
Besides makos the local waters are also host to good numbers of blue sharks, which always help to bump up tag points. There is also a strong population of bronze whalers that can be found anywhere from the deeper offshore waters to the protected shallows of Port Phillip and Western Port. This also offers a great backup if the weather turns sour.
February is also a great time to target the elusive but highly regarded thresher sharks that call this area home.
For more details about the tournament, check out: www.vgfc.com.au - Lee Rayner
The 2009 Rhyll Shark Tournament is to be held on February 21/22.Reads: 2003