The 20th Anniversary, 2013 Gold Coast Flathead Classic, run by the Gold Coast Sportfishing Club, was another great success with anglers finding a way to cope with the tough conditions and the tough fishing to secure some impressive fish.
Top of the tree was a Sydney-based 2 person team, the Soft-Ons, who battled out the competition around the Jacobs Well/Cabbage Tree Point area amassing a very credible 2101 points, the only team to score over 2000 points for the tournament. Making up these points were 29 individual fish that measured a combined length of 14.61m. If you remember back to last year when Team Dog amassed almost 4000 points, it’s clear evidence at just how tough this year was when compared to last year’s fruitful event. Soft-Ons’ average fish size was just over 50cm and I reckon plenty of teams would have loved to have that average over the competition.
Taking out the top 3 person team was Switchbait with an impressive 1931 points. This team nailed the fish all tournament for an impressive 91 fish landed and 33.8m of flathead bought to the boat and measured. Switchbait’s average fish was just over 37cm, showing the incredible importance of maintaining the catch rate. You really do have to keep the score card ticking over.
This year saw a record 503 anglers compete across the 2 1/2 days of what proved to be quite tough fishing conditions Despite being in temporary housing due to the Commonwealth Games development, punters reported that the tournament precinct was the best yet. It was bigger, there was more seating and more exhibitors and sponsors came on board to make quite a spectacular tournament precinct. A big thanks to those sponsors who had displays and added signage this certainly contributed to the atmosphere, it made this into an event, not just a fishing tournament.
The largest fish caught over the comp was by Brenden Whyte from Team Evinrude Whyte Boyz, who also came in fourth overall. This fish was an absolute cracker at 95cm and was caught in deep water on a Jackall Transam near Crusoe Island. The second largest fish was a 94cm corker of a fish caught on the last day in the final 10 minutes of the competition, also in deep water near Crusoe Island. So while there were not many fish in the deep, there certainly was some impressive size about them.
Taking out the junior prize was Stuart Grice who amassed a very impressive 945 points to edge out young gun Cooper Sands who tallied up 745 points. To put this into perspective, these kids would have finished 6th in the seniors for Stuart and 16th for Cooper. In a very hard competition, that is very impressive fishing and shows the talent of the kids coming through.
The major senior prize of a Blue Fin Wild Cat, Evinrude E-Tec 50hp, Oceanic Trailer and a Bonza wrap was much sought after by the crowd and the random winner, Ryan Dixon, walked away with it and he was absolutely blown away! He is replacing a very shabby tinny and will be proudly fishing this boat very soon. The Junior random draw winner young Aiden Cross who walked away with a Blue Fin Catfish, Evinrude 3hp and an Oceanic Trailer. The look on his face was priceless. Everyone who was lucky enough to participate in the random draw finale walked away with some great products including fishing gear, eskies and electronics.
So how did Fishing Monthly go? We were pretty happy to finish 12th overall in the competition and found the fishing exceptionally tough. We landed 32 fish for the tournament at an average length of almost 44cm. Most of our fish were caught on the troll, but Shayne McKee started our tournament off on the right foot with a 67cm fish on his third cast. It only got tougher from there for us and to finish 12th was a real bonus.
Make sure you check out the fact boxes with the winner’s interviews and log onto www.goldcoastsportfishingclub.com.au or check out the Gold Coast Flathead Classic Facebook page for a heap of photos, some great info and all the results.
Soft-Ons go hard to win while Mayhew wins Individual Champion
For overall winners, Soft-Ons, the tournament was a raging success and the Sydney-based, 2-person crew had an absolute blast of a time fishing the Flathead Classic.
I spoke to Andrew Mayhew, Overall Senior Champion, about their spectacular effort.
“Thursday was a bit of a fail for us.” Said Andrew.
“We had very few fish but some great advice and a bit of searching on Friday turned everything around.
“On Friday we looked for shallow water between 0.5m and 1.5m deep and trolled a mix of Austackle Bonehead and Lively Lure Micro Mullets. I used the Austackle Bonehead in purple with black stripes and Friday was the day that it shone.
“We trolled at about 3 knots and covered plenty of ground between the Pin and Russel Island until we found a good patch of fish. We landed 13 scorers and that jumped us right into contention.
“On Saturday we found a different patch of fish in the same general area, but it was Dean’s turn to shine as I struggled to turn a reel. Dean landed an 86cm and 72cm fish in quick succession on the Micro Mullet and set up our win.
“My Saturday was a little more interesting with a lure not swimming and a bit of gear failure leading to a broken rod, a dropped outfit and me going for a swim fully clothed to rescue the outfit. Dean thought it was hilarious,” said Andrew.
The team caught no fish on plastics for the entire tournament and coming from Sydney, competing as a 2-person team and winning overall is a sensational achievement. Both Dean and Andrew finished in the top 5 to finish what can only be described as one of the great performances in one of the toughest tournaments the Flathead Classic has seen.
Switchbait switches it up to take 3-person team
Team Switchbait, the suppliers of the fantastic tournament shirts for this year’s Flathead Classic, changed their tactics and location constantly over the three days to secure their fish and complete a fantastic overall 3-person team win.
Dan Hickey said “We didn’t manage to do much prefishing as a team, however we had a bit of a plan going into the event of hitting our old spots and working from there.
“On day one we struggled in our tried and proven locations, but after a bit of spot hopping we found a heap of fish in tight to the mangrove edges that were nailing plastics. We caught a heap of fish, but really struggled to find bigger fish and we spot hopped a lot.
“We were fishing bright coloured plastics in the dirty water and moved from down near the Seaway all the way up to Tipplers on day one without finding a really reliable pattern”.
Day two arrived and Switchbait decided to brave the elements and hit the Pin in 25-30 knot southerlies. They struggled to find fish early and made the decision to move back to the Tipplers area and fish the edges of the mangroves again.
Dan said “The edges produced a few fish but not enough so we switched up to trolling and chose the ever reliable Lively Lures Micro Mullet.
“Colour didn’t seem to matter as all the colours we used got hit. What was important to us was to show the fish something different and the Micro Mullets are a vastly different presentation to the plastics,” said Dan.
Day three started slowly and it wasn’t until 9:30 that the Switchbait team got their first fish, a fish around 60cm that was quickly followed by another. The key here was that they had switched tactics again, lightening up their leaders and using vibration baits such as Jackall Transams and TT Switchblades. Again Tipplers was the chosen venue.
“I think it was important to switch presentations over the course of the competition and I have to thank David Green and Danny Sands for pointing out that the fish get lure fatigue. They said that sometimes, something different is more important than finding somewhere different and this proved spot on during the competition,” said Dan.
With a team total of 1931 points, Switchbait finished almost 150 points in front of the next team to finish second overall and claim to 3-person team title in 2013.
Big Girl for Brenden
Brenden Whyte, from Team Evinrude Whyte Boyz was lucky enough to catch the largest flathead of the competition, a cracking 95cm girl that came as a bit of a surprise.
“We were fishing in the deep water (around 25’) near Crusoe Island looking to find a patch of 40cm fish on the run out tide to keep the scorecard ticking over,” said Brenden.
“The water was very dirty and I was fishing a Jackall Mask Vibe in clown colour with a lift and drop retrieve under the boat. The tide was racing out and the big girl hit just like a mulloway. The first run was a classic with the fish taking around 30m of line.
“After the first run, the fish basically gave up the ghost and as it neared the boat I saw its tail and that’s when all hell broke lose on the boat.
“All of a sudden everyone was focussed on getting this fish into the net as we knew it was big. Luckily my crewmates, Nick and Dave, are good at their jobs and the big girl slid into the net and we were amazed.
“Measuring 95cm overall, she just fit inside our 1m long measuring device and we were stoked”.
But Brenden did not stop there with the big fish as he also took out the biggest mulloway, a cracking fish at 106cm.
Brenden said “The jew came from around Short Island and took a 5” McCarthy plastic in chartreuse. The fight lasted around 15 minutes and we knew it was a good mulloway from the way it was violently shaking its head and taking line at will. This fish was also caught in dirty water”.
I asked Brenden about his tackle and he said it was nothing special and a simple 2500 Certate reel matched to a Loomis NRX 803 rod capable of handling the 20lb braid and leader set up he uses was it. Simple and effective!
Other Category Winners
|Longest Flathead Overall and Casting:||Brenden Whyte, 95cm|
|Longest Flathead Trolling:||Jamie Pollock, 87cm|
|Longest Mulloway:||Brenden Whyte, 106cm|
|Longest Trevally:||Scott Blair, 53cm|
|Longest Tailor:||Jason Heller, 49cm|
|Longest Mangrove Jack:||Bill Hossack, 43cm|
|Longest Estuary Cod:||Carl Lorrigan, 47cm|
|Longest Whiting:||Chris Byrnes and Luke Haber, 40cm|
|Longest Bream:||Craig McKenzie, 40cm|
|Random Junior Boat Winner:||Aiden Cross|
|Random Senior Boat Winner:||Ryan Dixon|
16Reece de Beer145
Senior Results * QFM writers and staff in bold
|19||David "The Doctor" Green||723|
|29||Steve "Ankles" Booth||662|
|37||Guy Mc Connell||622|
|38||Shayne "Cuddles" Mckee||621|
|52||Joel "JS" Scott||541|
|58||Shaun "Hazza" Harrington||511|
|67||Gary 'Squidgie' Palmer||484|
|74||Damon "Smoke" Nichols||472|
|171||Morne de Beer||284|
|183||John L McGrath||266|
|223||Mark St. Ledger||208|
|229||Greg "Man Lure" Livingstone||198|
|248||Simon "Avocado" Marshall||172|
|315||Ian "Big E" Phillips||94|
|357||Michael De Simone||53|
|368||Jan van der Kwast||35|
|375||Dave "Coal Train" Taylor||20|
|Rank||Team Name||Team Type||Points|
|4||Team Evinrude Whyte Boyz||Senior||1755|
|6||Beer & Bullshit||Senior||1584|
|7||Team Hi Seas||Senior||1580|
|10||The Mad Hueys||Senior||1524|
|14||Great Northern Brewing Co||Senior||1438|
|16||The Geriatric Duo||Senior||1401|
|17||Ballina Bait and Tackle||Senior||1387|
|21||Gold Coast Trailer Supplies||Senior||1340|
|22||Popeyed Scare Bears||Senior||1336|
|25||Flat Out Flickin||Mixed||1234|
|26||Anglers Connection Bait & Tackle||Senior||1221|
|30||Hella Marine Team On Strike||Mixed||1166|
|31||Team Big Fish||Senior||1131|
|35||Abbott & Costello||Senior||1120|
|40||Team Head Hunters||Senior||1070|
|41||Shakin The Shad||Senior||1068|
|45||Give Me Flat Head||Senior||1044|
|48||Team Next Year||Senior||1010|
|49||Flick and Troll||Senior||981|
|53||The Jig Spitters||Senior||944|
|55||The Marlin Hunters Health Retreat||Senior||933|
|56||Fifty Shades of Flathead||Senior||876|
|60||S & R Caravan Solutions||Senior||802|
|62||Mad & Dad||Mixed||784|
|63||The Salty Seamen||Senior||782|
|65||Team Fish Culture||Senior||780|
|70||Team Urunga - Spotters||Senior||737|
|75||Chuck 'n' Duck||Senior||647|
|80||Team Pany Dropper||Senior||621|
|81||Skye High Stoners||Senior||599|
|83||Dougie's Tackleworld Family||Mixed||592|
|84||Team TT/ZMan Jrs||Junior (U16)||591|
|88||Lure Fishing On The Gold Coast||Mixed||564|
|89||Team Quitya - Bitch'n||Senior||563|
|91||The Reel Teasers||Senior||551|
|92||Team 13 Fishing||Senior||545|
|93||A Tradie & His Lady||Senior||527|
|94||The Plastic Surgeons||Senior||520|
|95||The Try Hards||Senior||509|
|97||Salt 'n' Pepper||Senior||506|
|100||Lowrance Gen 2||Senior||481|
|102||Team R & R Hay||Mixed||465|
|103||Hit and Miss||Senior||456|
|104||Flick & Duck||Senior||456|
|105||Team Flat Stick||Senior||445|
|106||The Flick Wits||Senior||442|
|110||The Fishing Templates||Mixed||428|
|111||That DaM Team||Senior||423|
|115||Team Brisbane Camperland||Senior||406|
|117||Whitewater Marine Stacer||Senior||399|
|119||Electric Sports Fishing||Senior||390|
|120||Oxenford Bait & Tackle||Senior||389|
|123||Dawn 'til Dusky||Senior||377|
|124||Team Heavy Tackle||Senior||370|
|127||No Flicking Idea||Senior||366|
|129||Addicted Fishing Co.||Senior||360|
|133||The Tackle Shop Carseldine 1||Senior||356|
|139||The Plastic Spastics||Senior||320|
|140||Two Shads & A Stickbait||Senior||318|
|142||Fins N Grins||Senior||299|
|143||The Barnacle Brothers||Mixed||298|
|149||The Tackle Shop||Senior||256|
|156||The Master Baiters||Senior||206|
|158||Dyslexic Luckhead Flatwits||Senior||167|
|160||Team Island Tribe||Mixed||159|
|163||Big Mac and Small Fries||Mixed||132|
|165||Power Hook||Junior (U16)||122|
|166||Delirium Blind Bastards||Senior||121|
|168||Get Jiggy With It||Senior||114|
|170||Jackal and Hyde||Senior||108|
|173||Team Flatz Ratz||Senior||103|
|176||Flatty Yakker||Senior Kayak||85|
|177||Team Ol' Trout||Senior||84|
|181||The Reel Deal||Mixed||79|
|184||All The Gear & No Idea||Senior||61|
|186||Mudgeeraba Auto Electrical||Senior||48|
|187||Blow'n Off Steam||Senior||43|
|192||The Bench Boys||Senior||20|
The Soft-Ons were the first 2-man team to take out the overall win in a lot of years – and they did it easily!
Brenden Whyte with the biggest flathead of the competition, a cracking 95cm beast.Reads: 2295