2012 Gold Coast Flathead Classic
  |  First Published: November 2012

The 2012 Gold Coast Flathead Classic, proudly supported by BlueFin Boats and Carlton Mid, was another roaring success with record numbers of fish landed, measured and released, record scores for the winners and a great time had by all.

With the best weather conditions seen in many years lots of keen anglers put in full days of fishing, which resulted in great capture numbers. A total of 4,918 flathead were caught with 2,653 of them being legal fish over the 40cm minimum length.

The event attracted 434 anglers who made up 178 teams, and every angler landed at least one fish – a testament to the productivity of the Gold Coast and Jumpinpin waterways.

The event runs for 2 1/2 days, culminating in a Saturday afternoon lunch and presentation where the overall results and the random draw prizes are revealed. And while speaking of catering, this year’s catering, by Catering By Clancy was easily the best feeds I have seen and had at a Flathead Classic yet. It was brilliant, fast and super tasty! Just what was required after a hard day fishing for flatties.

On the first night we all had the pleasure to be witness to the unveiling of the prize boat by BlueFin Boats. The prize boat was a Drifter Tournament Pro and was presented in a one-off wrap specially made for the Flathead Classic. The Drifter Tournament Pro was fully spec’ed out and was matched to an Oceanic Trailer and fitted with a 60hp Suzuki by the team at Whitewater Marine. The BlueFin Drifter Tournament Pro created a lot of interest with competitors and they all had envious thoughts about winning it in the random draw on the final day.

The tournament venue was larger than ever and there were a number of sponsors who displayed their goods including The Mad Huis, Evolution, Adventure Outlet, Diztek Lures, Whitewater Marine/Suzuki, BlueFin Boats, Lowrance, Bozos and we have to give a special mention to Austackle who donated 100% of their profits to The Smith Family Children’s Charity.

For the first time the Carlton Mid Rich Fish went off, with Roy Latter from Team Dog taking home a cool $5,000 thanks to Carlton Mid. The Carlton Mid Rich Fish is a tagged flathead (this year 20 were tagged) that is released prior to the competition and the first angler to land a tagged Rich Fish wins themselves $5,000. Roy was a member of the Champion Team (Team Dog) who amassed an amazing and record breaking 5,515 points. Two of the team featured in the top 3 individual anglers overall and captain Graham Dodds finished first in the individual overall scores.

Team Dog trolled the middle banks between the Aldershots and Crab Island and worked over an area with a strategy of targeting large numbers of flathead rather than size. The team aimed to keep ticking over fish to accumulate their points and this strategy certainly paid off for them. They concentrated on trolling the shallows with Lively Lure Micro Mullets and had a very busy time with patches of fish coming on the chew and providing fast and furious action. An amazing effort!

Coming in second for the second year in a row was Team Sands with 4,525 points. Things were a bit different on the Team Sands boat this year with junior Cooper Sands getting the call up. He took his place in the team fishing alongside his Dad and Great Uncle Kev who, at the age of 71, still travels up all the way from Tassie to fish the tournament. The three generation trio had a tough first day but turned it around late in the day and over the next one and a half to make up ground to take out second place, and to also win champion mixed age team. Cooper took to his first Classic like an old pro, fishing well to take out the Champion Junior and Champion Club Junior. Not a bad effort for his first Classic experience.

Team On Strike stepped it up this year to slot themselves into third position with 4,432 points, which saw them also take runners up mixed age team. It was great to see so many teams fishing with a junior on the deck. Consistent finishers Plastics Paranoia finished fourth. The boys played their cards very close their chests and snuck off to ‘secret’ spots to tick over numbers of small fish.

Rounding out the top 5 was Whyte Boys Can’t Jig. The brothers had a fantastic day one, blitzing many in the field and while still ticking over the numbers throughout the comp they could not match the day one effort.

The champion 2 person team was Anglers Connection, taking this out for the second year running.

The Champion Senior was Graham Doddss from Team Dog with 2,057 points. Graham’s lure of choice was the omnipresent Lively Lure Micro Mullet. Runner up Champion was young club member Tom Ryan. Tom has worked his way through the junior ranks and only a few years ago was the Junior Champion at the Classic. Tom netted a 91cm beast on day one that boosted his points. His efforts were also rewarded as he was capped Champion Club member.

Champion Female was Fay Rohweder with 838 points fishing in an all female team with junior angler Mariah Neilsen. The pair won the champion female team. Club member Tamara Anderson certainly enjoyed her first Classic experience, not only out fishing the fellas on the boat but also finishing as runner up champion female.

The biggest flathead caught was a whopping 96cm specimen. She was caught by Michael Green in team Dead Fishy. They were trolling a Lively Lures Micro Mullet along the weed edges around the flats of the Pin area. The fish gave Michael a bit of curry taking him over 15 minutes to boat on light line and after his Dad apparently missed it with the net four times! Michael received the Humminbird Biggest Flathead trophy and a Humminbird sounder.

There were two 91cm fish caught on day one by Mick Horn and Tom Ryan. Both these came on soft plastics. Mick’s was the first capture and he was awarded the biggest flathead on a soft plastic Mick was using one of his favourite Z-Man plastics to work the drop-offs around Crusoe Island.

The random draw was once again a real highlight for the event. A lucky 7 Seniors and 3 Juniors were added to the draw each night to have their chance to win a boat. For the seniors it was the fabulous BlueFin Drifter Tournament Pro package worth close to $30,000 and the Juniors were chasing the Blue Fin Catfish and Suzuki 4hp. Nobody went home empty-handed with all juniors in the competition receiving a prize thanks to Tackleworld and Engel and all 28 seniors in the draw taking home a swag of fantastic prizes.

It is always exciting once it’s down to the final two and you have them sitting in the boat. This year saw George Sands and Gavin Dunne taking the last two spots for the prize boat. The winner was Gavin Dunne taking home the BlueFin boat package and George Sands missing out but taking away a great Minn Kota iPilot/Humminbird package .

A big thanks to the dedicated members and committee who make this event happen. There were a great number of people who offered their support this year and the event certainly benefitted from having a few more hands on deck. Well done team Gold Coast Sportfishing Club! – Christine Hunt with Stephen Booth

Fact Box

The Winners Team Dog

Team Dog was a standout performer at this year’s Flatty Classic amassing a record breaking team score, having all three anglers finish in the Top 10 Individual placings and also catching the tagged Carlton Mid Rich Fish for an extra $5,000.

The team consisted of Graham Dodds (2,057 points and 1st individual), Roy Latter (1,914 points and 2nd individual) and Paul Phillips (1,544 points and 9th individual). The team overall score was 5,515 points and this was made up of 138 fish, of which 98 were scoring fish over 40cm. Surprisingly to many, Team Dog did not land a fish over 55cm for the competition and concentrated fully on putting together numbers of scoring fish.

We spoke to Graham Dodds, a veteran of 18 of the 19 Classic held, about the amazing performance of his team and he was open about everything from the lures they used to the locations they fished. And as Graham said, “There’s no point keeping secrets when 40 other boats are fishing alongside you now is there?”.

The lure of choice for Team Dog was a Lively Lure Micro Mullet in pink and purple, although they did experiment with a customised pink bits Micro Mullet and also a standard green. However it became apparent after the first two hours that pink and purple was the colour.

The team fished a few locations and by the end of day one they had settled on a little patch of water they call the Ghost Hole (named after the ghost colour Lively Lure that traditionally fishes very well in this hole), a depression between Crab Island and the Aldershots that drains out to about 3’ at low tide and carries about 8’ of water at high tide. Graham said “It’s covered in weed and sometimes difficult to fish, however the clean running nature of the Micro Mullets means you can troll the Ghost Hole at any stage of the tide”.

Some of the points made by Graham during our chat included the need to slow right down and work your lures hard. He uses an old 2-stroke outboard that he swears trolls a little slower than most of the modern motors. And when you add some vigorous rod work to the slow speed, the erratic nature of the trolled lure being worked and the clever boat driving, the recipe for success is clear. Graham also noted the presence of a lot of baitfish. He said “Usually there are baitfish in the depression at high tide, but during the comp the baitfish were there all day. There were also dugongs playing around, turtles and birds. The area was definitely hot with activity”.

Another tips Graham had was the need to run lures relatively short. He said he would rarely troll a lure further back than a good cast and would prefer a drop back of less than 20m, quite often significantly less. Like other keen flathead trollers, Team Dog definitely believe the boat does not spook the flathead. In fact with over a dozen multiple hook-ups (doubles and triples) the evidence is pretty clear that just maybe the boat and the prop act as a bit of a FAD for flatties.

Graham said he’d love to thank Alan Dolan from Lively Lures for his support over the years, Tony Moore from Sporty’s, Doug Burt and Kevin Ballantine for their support over the years and their continual sharing of information. Graham said “It’s the kind of information that makes it worthwhile walking through the door of your local tackle store. You just can’t get that anywhere else”.

Congratulations to Graham, Roy and Paul on a stunning, tournament long effort. It will be hard to repeat those sort of numbers next year, but as Graham said with a smile “This year everything worked for us and it was good fun fishing catching so many flathead”.


Overall Senior Results


1Graham Doddss2057

2Thomas Ryan1985
3Roy Latter1914
4Danny Sands1897
5Brenden Whyte1767
6Mick Stewart1734
7Christian Cross1693
8Blake O'Loan1618
9Paul Phillips1544
10Geoff Carey1532
11Christian Pulvirenti1470
12Chad Paterson1339
13Matt Kair1297
14Michael Horn1292
15Brett Rayner1219
16Ben Job1198
17Kevin Sands1188
18Allen Brice1158
19Michael Green1144
20Richard Morris1140
21Brad Job1136
22Dale Giddings1132
23Guy McConnell1124
24David Whyte1114
25Joel Erskine1110
26Ross McCubbin1109
27Jason Heller1089
28Jack Rawlings1084
29Alex Hallam1054
30Barry Martin1038
30Greg Dean1038
32Troy Wegner1029
33John Rafton1010
34Stephen Booth997
35Justin Willmer985
36Michael Fox972
37Tony Livermore959
38John McGrath955
39Doug Burt941
40Stephen Wilson937
41Chris Brown935
42Bernie Frauenfelder931
43Michael Angus919
44Michael Vacca903
45Jamie McKeown902
46Shane Gartner900
47Nathan Frecklington877
48Neil Decker867
49Scott Blair853
50Darren Borg849
51Michael Aubrey841
52Fay Rohweder838
53Tamara Andersen828
54Anthony Fullarton822
55Brad Shorter801
56Glenn Crawford800
57Michael Broun799
58Glanville Heydenrych795
59Terry Ryan794
60George Sands781
61Mark Wetton776
62Shaun Harrington773
63Doug Whaley769
64Tate Smedley752
65Ian Woodward747
66Mick Kelly743
67Nate Lapham740
68Shayne 'Cuddles' McKee737
69Mark Grice736
70Brett Thomas722
71Jayden Faraone720
72Phil Manitta714
73Michael Morris695
74James Mavroidis694
75Dave Goodyear687
76David Hill686
77David Newton685
78Keith Stratford673
78Shane Austin673
80Phillip Duncan672
81Grant Flesser670
82Joel Scott668
83Gary 'Squidgie' Palmer666
84Brett Dixon659
85Stuart McCready658
86Aykut Ahmet655
87Nick Whyte653
88John Thwaites641
89Scott Waine635
90John Hall631
91Luke Slavin630
92David Green626
93Chris Paterson624
94Craig Toohey622
95Dean Thomson621
96Malcome Stapelton613
97Rick Waldron611
98Steve Lennard607
98Mike Smith607
100Kazi Rembacher606
101Chris Stratford604
102Tracey Mammen594
103Aaron Herd589
104Brett Horner586
104Simon Saint586
106Shane McGrath583
106Geoff Shiell583
108Mark Ward582
108Brad Donald582
108Peter Jung582
111Ben Godfrey581
112Tim Nagano578
113Wayne Duncan577
114Ashley Ward576
115Luke O'Connor569
116Scott Clarke567
117Craig McKenzie563
118Dave Hyndman560
119Kevin Ballantine552
120Kim Jones548
121Mark Thornton546
122Shane Levesconte542
123Luke Rafton540
124Craig Lockhart530
125Luke Moore528
125Dan Folley528
127Mark StLedger524
128Patrick Kiely523
129Daniel Hickey520
130Karl Rembacher516
131Carl Shiell508
132Darren Caldwell505
132Evan Harvey505
134Brendon Knight502
135Charles Britton499
136Shane 'The Hobbit' Juttner498
137James Innes491
137Daniel Hogg491
139Alan James483
140Nigel Middleton475
141Chris Brynes472
142John McGrath (PP)471
142Paul Freeburn471
144Robert Slavin470
145David Spencer468
146Darrin Crowley460
146Steve Richards460
148David Asmussen457
149Rodney Cook455
150Wayne Loddington453
151Stuart Morgan450
152Darren Davis449
152Joel Madam449
154Brad Farrell447
155Jack Yamauchi444
156Bruce Moss442
157Grant Waine439
158Bryce Low436
159Scott Gregory434
160Josh Dowthwaite432
161Nick Phelan427
162Lincoln Crawley426
163Peter Bryant425
163Murray Rogers425
163Andrew Lewis425
166Aidan Hurry420
167Chris Jordan419
168Rob See409
169Pete Thornton406
169Jamie Paterson406
171Gavin Dunne405
172Brad Callaghan404
173Craig Madam401
174Luke Jarzynski398
174Jeff Callaghan398
176Lindon Wilkinson397
177Ben Monro395
177Shaun Bryant395
177Scott Whitfield395
180Adam Long392
181Charlie Endres389
182Dale Samms388
183Tim Rough385
184Michael Coad383
185Bruce Andersen380
186Gary Rayner371
187Lee Hennessey370
188Dave Litzow369
189Anthony McQueen367
190Alan Osborne365
191Red Livermore361
192Tony Zann359
193Carol Brown358
194Greg Livingstone357
194Jackson Hockings357
196Wayne Smith354
196Keith Woods354
198Greg Butterworth351
199Martin Zietsch350
200Michael McErlean349
201Oliver Braben348
202Eddie Kettley346
203Justin Morrell344
204Mark Scott343
205Keeden Jannusch340
206Kelt Wright339
207Josh Pagura337
208Paul Cordery333
208Nethaniel Andersen333
210Salvador Jimenez323
211Brad Sargeant319
212Chris Bell318
212Stuart Dowie-Bridges318
214Jay McKean306
214Danney McDowell306
216Paul Flanders305
217Ben Richards302
218Steven Nash300
219Kevin Lappin298
220Dylan Cook296
221Matt Long294
222Liam McMahon291
223Shane Kliendienst290
224Jeff Robinson288
225Justin Sargeant285
226Brett Hyde281
227Rory Saint280
228Allan Davies276
229Eugene Allen275
230Ben McGurgan274
231James Nishida272
231Nic Catasti272
233Sean Chambers269
233Kenneth Thompson269
233Robert Scott269
236Dave Bradshaw268
237Mark Stambera265
237Jordan Clark265
239Rhondda Wetton264
239Clinton White264
239John Ward264
242Sean Conlon263
243Mark Faraone261
244Neville Jorgensen260
245Rick Pope258
246Trent Jepson257
246Michael Bryant257
248Nic Burow254
249Trent Griffin252
250Andrew Morgan251
251Matt Walker247
252Andrew Mayhew243
253Kurt Buhner227
254Johnathan VanLook226
254Gavin Reid226
256Glenn Owen225
256Julie Alder225
258Joshua Drinkwater223
259Alan Huggard219
260David Callins217
260Mark Hartwell217
262Dean Bentley216
263John Faulkner215
263Cameron Golightly215
265Troy Dixon212
266Corrie Clarke210
267Bruce Ruttley209
268Kevin McGurgan207
269Glen Birch206
269Jamie Douglas206
271Rob McIntosh205
272Nick Sarikas201
273Andrew Reeves200
273Graham Ryan200
275Craig Backus198
276Morgan Spooner196
277Scott Fleming195
278Glen Jackson190
279John Bartsch187
280Evan Zikos184
281Russell Plant181
282Michael Cole180
282Anjie Kaimuko180
284Nick McGurgan173
285Jarrod Greer170

285Graham Endres170

287Rodney Milkins168
288Dave Wareham163
289Shaun Forrest158
289Clinton McClennan158
291Andrew Griffiths157
292Denis Kliendienst156
293Paul Neilsen155
293Ross Richards155
295Brian Davies151
296Christine Hunt150
296Darryl MacDonald150
298Wayne Bunt149
299Jamie Lockyer145
300Dale Haw143
301Mark Greer142
302John deBle141
303Joshua Holmes139
304Summer Kirk138
305Brock Wadsworth137
306Carl Haack133
307Jayson McKenzie132
308George Sarikas131
309Phil Alder126
310Scott Sellens125
311Kent Sadler122
312Dean Hanckel120
312John Poole120
314Ash Haigh119
315Philip Hill118
316Don Christie117
317Cameron Ward115
317Heath White115
319David Maroske110
320Scott Stapylton104
321David Lawless102
322Chris Mitchell97
323Glen Parker94
324Peter Lockhart87
325John Pulvirenti86
326Paul Tamis81
327Mark Ziebarth79
327Brett Ferdinand79
329Michael DeSimone71
330Matt Bailey70
330Daniel Ford70
332Daniel Webster68
333Ross Dalzell60
334Angler 1 Wildcats59
335Joakim Olander56
335Michael Bartsch56
337Don Johnson55
338Nigel Constable54
339Wayne Hughes49
339Bernie Hockings49
339Jimmy Bosgra49
342Jeff Endres48
343Paul Higgins46
344Tony Pring43
344Glen Hazlett43
346Rob Woodley40
346Ben Cole40
348David Lutomski25
348Bill Aubrey25
348Mark Warren25
351Dan Hockings20
352Angler 2 Wildcats15
352Colin Macdonald15
352Michael Hoy15
352Tim Dalzell15
356Jai Endersby10
356Paul Pulvirenti10
358Graham Ferdinand5
358John Hockings5

Top 30 Teams Overall


1Team Dog5515
2Team Sands4525
3Team On Strike4432
4Plastics Paranoia3698
5Whyte Boyz Cant jig3534
6Team HiSeas3443
7Team TT Lures Z-Man3306
9Keep It Cool3089
10Anglers Connection Bait & Tackle2558
11Dead Fishy2425
12Beer n Bullsh!t2277
13Queensland Fishing Monthly2232
16Team Polycraft1964
17Team Next Year1956
18The Jig Spitters1954
19Currumbin Boatshed Biat & Tackle1934
20Lizard Wizards1922
22The Creek Clubbies Anglers Connect1879
23The Mad Huis1873
24Tug Tellum Too1838
25PIG Lures1835
26Gem Bait & Tackle1835
27The Creek Clubbies1772
29Furious Flickers1705
30Kakadu Annexes1642

Overall Junior Results

1Cooper Sands1440
2Stuart Grice1228
3Aiden Cross1005
4Timothy Angus930
5Jayden Erskine769
6Andrew Duncan708
7Jake Parkinson688
8Max Vacca654
9Taj Faraone650
10William Smedley601
11Jake Neilsen550
12Carter Oliver410
13Jack Burt388
14Emily Backus378
15Mariah Neilsen355
16Kyle Paterson313
17Rebecca Hay295
18Kai Smith292
19Terry Callaghan215
20Hunter Austin171
21Brayden Kliendienst169
22Jacob Stapelton165
23Brayden Maroske157
24Jaimee Horner151
25Madeline McKenzie137
26Brodie Parker124
27Alex Ferdinand113
28Hayley Duncan101
29Nicholas Newton86
30Nicholas Ferdinand61
31Elise Ballantine51
32Hunter Grove-McGrath49
33Liam Burt5
33Alex Robinson5

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