More than 450 competitors took part in the 2013 Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic held by the Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game Fishing Club.
With over $40,000 in prizes on offer, the Victorian seaside town of Warrnambool was buzzing with excitement as the daily weigh-ins attracted crowds of spectators to the local breakwater. The competition is an annual event and is open to the public. With approximately half of the entrants from out of town, it is fast becoming a great tourism drawcard for South West Victoria.
The weather was perfect, and plenty of people were able to enjoy the spectacular fishing found in our local region. Dedicated fishos and the weekend warrior were all giving each other a hand when needed; families having fun together with kids and grandparents fishing side by side – this is what makes the event so popular and so worthwhile!
A wide variety of fish were weighed in for the comp: makos, gummies, schoolies, tuna, snapper, bream, whiting, trout, perch, kingfish, sweep and salmon.
It was great to watch the kids as they marvelled at the fish brought up to the scales. Some memorable captures include: Jackson Wilson’s 103.10 kg mako shark caught on 24kg line; Paul Dumesney 2.5kg snapper; Stephen Rhook’s southern bluefin tuna of 22.55kg on 15kg line; Helen Bartlett with a blue morwong of 2.65kg; Clayton Smith's gummy shark of 22kg; Harry McLoughlin’s snapper of 1.40kg (junior); Darcy Dodoro’s gummy shark of 6.30kg (junior).
The presentation on the final day saw raffles of local seafood, and plenty of lucky draw prizes thanks to the generosity of local sponsors. There were free sample bags for all the kids with goodies galore to encourage their interest in fishing.
The major prize was a boat and motor package worth $17,000, and the tension was electric as the major prize was drawn. Congratulations to Mrs Rantall for taking it home!
Next year’s comp will be held on 1-10 March 2014, and promises to be bigger and better than ever. There are quality prizes for heaviest fish in all categories and, as something new, prizes will be awarded in a random draw for most species. This means that you just need to weigh in a fish for that species to be eligible. 2014 will also see two boat and motor packages offered as major prizes.
The entry fee is $25 per adult, and $5 for kids. The 2014 event will be supporting Peters Project (www.petersproject.org.au), helping raise $5 million toward the building of a desperately needed Integrated Cancer Care Centre in Warrnambool.
The competition is aimed at all fishing groups, from the dedicated offshore enthusiast to families, and covers a wide range of species – including estuarine and fresh water fish.
Introducing kids to fishing, and helping them develop a passion for the sport is a focus of the event. We will be holding a free kids fishing education session and BBQ on Sunday 9 March in conjunction with FishCare. This promises to be loads of fun with plenty of helpers to share some wisdom, and plenty of giveaways to make a kids day.
We could not hold such a wonderful event without the help from our sponsors, and we are truly grateful to them for their continuing support. Special thanks to the Coastguard for providing their services for the event, and all the members of the Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game Fishing Club for their efforts in making this event run so smoothly.
Our club has in excess of 100 members. We are a group of passionate, dedicated anglers of all ages who are keen to help others get into fishing, have a bit of fun, and do some good for the local community. If you are interested in more information either as a competitor or a sponsor, please see our website for details www.wolgfc.com.
Visit our Facebook site www.facebook.com/shipwreckcoastfishingclassic for more information about the fishing competition.
We would love to see you there!Reads: 742