The Yamaha Cod Classic was run and won on the weekend of ‘cod opening’, December 1/2, thanks to the efforts of Mulwala Football Netball Club and plenty of volunteer helpers.
It is a mammoth effort by all involved and the competition seemed to flow like clockwork. The weekend heralded the opening of the spectacular new clubrooms at the footy ground, and everyone got to sample the fine refreshments available for purchase.
The weather was the best it has been in the three Cod Classics I have been to. There was little wind during the day, and with temperatures into the mid thirties, the competitors sure worked up a thirst!
This year’s crowd of 2450 entrants was down on numbers from last year, but they weren’t down on enthusiasm. The 90x15m marquee was packed on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as on Sunday for the wrap up and presentations. Saturday night in the marquee was especially busy, with many people taking home lucky door prizes, or attending the annual casting competition and Flathead Freds Kids Fishing Clinic. Prizes valued at $100,000 were on offer including six boat, motor and trailer packages.
The competition arena stretches from the Murray/Ovens River junction at Bundalong, and includes Lake Mulwala and 12km downstream of the Lake Mulwala Weir – so there’s plenty of areas for everyone to fish.
The legal length for cod has increased from 50cm to 55cm this year, but numbers of cod ‘measured in’ only dropped by a small amount.
The competition is total catch and release for Murray cod and golden perch, but carp are measured and traditionally kept for ‘Charlie Carp’.
Some cracking cod were caught again this year, including a ripper of 1m, plus a few in the 90cm bracket, and more of 80cm plus. Golden perch numbers were more than double last year’s figures, with many fish exceeding 50cm and one giving 60cm a real scare!
Personally, I did not trouble the scorers with a legal length fish (until six minutes after competition closure Saturday!), but my companion, fellow VFM reporter and first time cod lurer Daniel Kent from Apollo Bay, managed to ‘measure in’ a nice 67cm cod plus a 44cm golden perch – not to mention the plethora of undersized fish he tangled with!
Congratulations go to Tony and Vanessa Bennett, Mulwala Football Netball Club, the many sponsors for donating such fantastic prizes. Thanks to all those who helped out run one heck of a fishing competition!
For more info, check out www.codclassic.com.au – see you next year! – Neil Slater
Total competitors: 2442
Total cod ‘measured in’: 314
Total golden perch: 370
Total carp: 470
Longest cod and Open section winner: Ken Grant, 100cm
Second longest cod (and Women’s Champ): Gemma Free 93cm
Third longest cod: Dean Sheehan.
Longest cod junior: Kyle Hodges, 80cm
Second Junior: Linden Duryea, 69cm cod
Third Junior: Zac Shaw, 60cm cod.
Longest Golden Perch adult: John Brady 59cm, Junior: Madison French: 55cm
Longest carp (open section) 83cm