Done and dusted for another year, the 2012 Cod Classic will go down in history as one for the ladies. Boats, adult and junior fishing sections plus numerous major prizes were all taken home by the girls proving that the Cod Classic is an event for all.
The Mulwala Football Netball Club hosted Australia's premier freshwater fishing event without a hitch to help celebrate the opening to the new Murray cod fishing season at the home of the Murray cod, Lake Mulwala. At the close of registrations on Saturday morning, 2848 super keen anglers (2444 Adults, 404 Juniors) had nominated for the event and the weather looked like playing the game and give everyone a chance at the fish of a lifetime.
Construction of the mega-marquee and numerous other smaller tents on the Thursday beforehand proved fun as this day was the hottest November day in Victoria for over 100 years. With the mercury passing 42°C, the dedicated band of workers certainly enjoyed a cool drink after the hard day’s toil.
Action started first thing Friday morning as over 50 exhibitors set up in readiness for the fishing and outdoors expo that accompanies the Cod Classic. Gates opened at 2pm with a constant stream of eager fishos passing through for the afternoon. Friday evening saw Rod McKenzie and John Menhennet conduct Cod Talk, an informative and interactive talk session based around anything that has to do with cod fishing from catch and release through to lure selection and casting tips. After a comprehensive event briefing, the drawing of the first boating package for all competitors who had registered up until 8.30pm took place. This is where the good luck for the ladies started. Elizabeth Ransom of Goomalibee was the lucky winner and could not believe her fortune.
Saturday morning the near 3000 anglers were greeted with overcast conditions with potential for thunderstorms, a high barometer and plenty of active fish. None were better than the 117cm monster that took a liking to Helen Pyle's well placed Paul Nicel Humpty lure. Helen presented this mighty specimen in great condition and after a quick measure, it was released to fight another day. As a side effect from last year's floods that saw perfect breeding conditions for carp, these unwanted pests were being brought in at a phenomenal rate.
Saturday night saw 5,000 people converge on the Mulwala football ground for the nights activities. Flathead Fred kept the children entertained for an hour with his energy filled kids fun fishing show. Following this, lucky door prizes were given out. Amazingly all 2,444 adult competitors received a lucky door prize thanks to our many great sponsors. All major lucky door prizes were then drawn followed by giving away another three boating packages. To close out the evening many encouraging hecklers stayed around to witness the final round of the Australian Invitation Pro Casting Championships. Yarrawonga's own Tony Bennett was lucky enough to hang on and take out his third title in four years from previous Australian champions Adam Royter and Stephen Booth.
Sunday morning saw many change tact and fish different sections of the lake or river to what they had fished the previous day. Not a lot of headway was made at the top of the leader’s board but numerous other great fish were presented for measuring that made things interesting for the minor placings.
Presentations for all fishing categories got underway Sunday, again with another large crow in attendance. The juniors got onto some nice fish with young local lass Steph Pfeiffer taking out first place with a ripping cod measuring 74cm. Kade Blow took the coveted junior prize of Swagman Lures Junior Champion of Champions with his two cod that measured 61 and 68cm. In the adult’s section, Helen Pyle's 117cm beast never looked like being passed and allowed her to take home both the SMAK Lures Ladies Champion Angler and the Mulwala Football Netball Club Champion Angler title. This gives Helen back to back female champion angler titles as she managed the same feat last year. Two great specimens measuring 90 and 88cm filled the second and third placings. All in all, 384 legal size Murray cod, 431 Golden Perch and an incredible 4,700 carp were presented for measuring, far surpassing any fish numbers over recent years and again going to show that Lake Mulwala is the premier cod fishing ground in the country.
Thanks to BLA, the Old Town Canoes and Kayaks Australian Canoe and Kayak Cod Fishing Championships entered its second year. Competitor numbers increased over 100% from last year with 58 yakkers taking to the water via paddle or pedal. Ian Kelly was the lucky man to hook a 69cm cod and the title of 2012 Australian Canoe and Kayak Cod Fishing Champion.
To round out the weekend, the 8th Cod Classic Golf Championships took place. Rules such as if you do not hit it you don’t count it, if you can retrieve it within 10 seconds from the tee you can have it again, you could choose to have one kick and one throw somewhere within your round and all sledging is fair while having your shot made for an interesting and very funny morning. After being denied the win last year as official rules state: you can’t win in your first year of participation, Gerald ‘Aqua’ Flanagan proved his prowess with club in hand winning by four shots from Ian ‘Stanley’ Cooper.
Finally the Mulwala Football Netball Club would like to thank all locals sponsors, clubs, teams, groups and supporters who contributed in any way. Please accept this as our official thank you. Your continued input will assist with the Cod Classic being known as Australia's premier inland fishing event. – Tony Bennett
Competitors:2,848 (2,444 Adult, 404 Junior)
|Friday Entrants:||Elizabeth Ransom, Goomalibee|
|Early Entry:||Ben Young, Yarrawonga|
|Cod Catch and Release:||Charlie Apps, Lockhart|
|Carp Boat:||Mark Jeffrey, Tumut|
384 Murray Cod
431 Golden Perch
4700 European Carp
|Longest Cod Adult:||Helen Pyle 117cm (Paul Nicel Humpty lure)|
|Longest Cod Junior:||Steph Pfeiffer 74cm|
|Junior Champion Angler:||Kade Blow, 61cm, 68cm|
|Lady Champion Angler:||Helen Pyle, 117cm|
|Longest Golden Perch Adult:||Rob Franciosa, 55cm|
|Longest Golden Perch Junior:||Reid Knuckey 52cm|
|Longest Carp (Open Section):||Beau Hornidge 85cm|
Murray Cod Statistics
Total Caught:384 (351 adult, 33 junior)