The reborn Sunshine Coast Game Fishing Clubs, Spring Shootout, is fast gathering a reputation as ‘the place to be’ for the start of the South East Queensland billfish season.
This year 30 boats made their way from as far away as Coffs Harbour GFC to take part in what was a glorious weekend of fun, fishing and camaraderie. Despite the fishing being slow, this tournament was about catching up with old mates from other clubs, getting the boat wet and wetting a line in anticipation of the season ahead. Nevertheless, with glowing reports at hand from just north at Fraser Island, everyone was hopeful the little blacks and sails would turn up like previous years.
In all, there were only three black marlin, one sailfish and one blue marlin tagged, with several dropped.
Boats to see the fish were Champion Boat Overall and Champion Boat Under 7m, Walk the Line skippered by Brent Higgins with one blue. Champion Boat Over 7m and Champion Boat Runner Up was Keneka, skippered by Wayne Finlay who tagged two blacks and a sailfish. Third place overall was the ever consistent Blu Reela who was skippered by Roger Bayzand with the Champion Junior, Josh Allwood, on board scoring his first black marlin. Razza, skippered by George from Reelax came third in Over 7m boats and the team weighed a new pending Queensland record wahoo of 27kg on 8kg line.
This year there was an addition of a $1000 cash prize for the heaviest snapper, just to spice things up in a slow start to the season, and this was taken out by the team onboard Chuckles who had local charter identity Rob Smith on the deck.
I believe nearly all boats were guilty of dropping a livie on their favourite spot!
Two weeks out from the tournament there were 22 boats committed to the Spring Shootout. With a new format, $110 entry fee, the famous raft up and over $15,000 worth of prizes awarded to the fishing categories by the clubs generous sponsors, the tournament was deemed a huge success with everyone vowing to return next year.
Thanks must go to Tournament Director, Troy Rumbleow, for his vision and the committee’s help as this was surely one tournament to remember and goes to show the camaraderie of SCGFC members and their friends from other clubs to all get together – fish, or no fish!
Champion Boat:Walk the Line
Champion Boat Over 7m:Keneka
2nd Over 7m:Blu Reela
3rd Over 7m:Razza
Champion Boat Under 7m:Walk the Line
2nd Under 7m:Black Mumba
3rd Under 7m:Never Home
Champion Angler:Barry Higgins
Runner Up:Mick Huestis
Champion Female:Kelly Fenwick
Champion Junior:Josh AllwoodReads: 927