Hick up free, the 2013 Yamaha Cod Classic has blown past without a drama, but I suppose that comes with 14 years of practise!
Action started first thing Friday morning as a full book of exhibitors set up in readiness for the fishing and outdoors expo that is now a standard feature of the Cod Classic. Gates opened at 2pm with a constant stream of eager fishos passing through for the afternoon. Friday evening saw Rod McKenzie, Gus Storer and Dr. Paul Hardy Smith conduct Cod Talk, an informative 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. Brian Courtney of Lancefield was the lucky winner and thought this was just reward for many years of participation.
At the close of registrations Saturday morning, 2,653 keen anglers (2,210 adults, 443 juniors) had nominated. Perfect conditions with only a hint of a slight breeze saw everybody take to the water in search of the mighty Murray cod. None were more highly prized than Brian, a specially tagged cod who carried an added bonus of $20,000 if anybody managed to catch him.
With the previous few days’ cold snap (the coldest December day for 8 years), all fish proved to have a case of lockjaw and were being presented at a much slower rate to measuring stations than past events.
One person who didn't have trouble finding a cod was Michael Maher. Michael's trolled Custom Crafted lure was gobbled up by a 113cm monster to see him leading at the completion of fishing Saturday. Junior angler Brock Pierce was another very lucky boy when a 108cm green beast took a liking to his well-presented scrubworm. Surprisingly carp numbers were down after last year's explosion within the region.
Saturday night saw approximately 5,000 people converge on the Mulwala football ground for the night’s 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 only 150 adults missed out on 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. Young casting gun Kaleb Oxley claimed his first title and is sure to give it a fair shake for many years to come.
Sunday morning saw slightly less excitement amongst anglers who had done it hard the previous day. Many changed tact fishing different sections of the lake or river to what they had fished the previous day to try something different. Not a lot of headway was made at the top of the leader’s board but numerous other great fish were presented making things interesting for the minor placings.
Presentations for all fishing categories got under way Sunday with another large crowd in attendance:
The juniors got onto some nice fish with Brock Pierce's beauty measuring 108cm taking the chocolates. Tom Webster claimed the coveted title of Swagman Lures Overall Junior Champion for the second time. His two impressive cod that measured 80cm and 84cm would be the envy of most anglers. Tom had an amazingly successful weekend winning the Swagman Lures Overall Junior Champion title, finishing in third place with junior longest cod, second place in the junior casting section and to top it off, won the open section Charlie Carp boat for anybody who managed to catch a carp. Unbelievable!
In the adult’s section, Michael Maher's 113cm beast never looked like being passed and allowed him to take home the Mulwala Football Netball Club Champion Angler title. Two great specimens measuring 94 and 91cm filled the second and third placings. All in all, 204 legal size Murray cod, 151 golden perch and 1,700 carp were presented for measuring.
Thanks to BLA, the Old Town Canoes and Kayaks Australian Canoe & Kayak Cod Fishing Championships entered its third year with 50+ yakkers taking to the water via paddle or pedal. Darren Fletcher was the lucky man to hook a 76cm cod and the title of 2013 Australian Canoe & Kayak Cod Fishing Champion.
To round out the weekend, the 9th 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 1 kick and 1 throw somewhere within your round and all sledging is fair while having your shot, made for an interesting and very funny morning. Flash Burgess finished with the best score but official rules state that you can’t win in your first year of participation. This left a very proud Darren Ryan the victor and deserves his name on the trophy with other previous legendary winners!
Upon registration, all juniors received a Wilson Slickback Lure, Bassman Spinnerbait, and a chance of another lucky dip prize. Throw in a dozen specially autographed lures and many fishing section prizes, the kids went away with some great rewards. For the adults, 2050 competitors received a minor lucky door prize. On top of this there were 110 major lucky door and fishing section prizes to add to the awesome prize pool package.
Announcements were made in regards to the 2014 15th Anniversary Cod Classic. For the first time, the Cod Classic prize pool will include a vehicle, your choice of either a Ford Ranger 4x4 Ute or Ford XR6 Ute. Stay tuned and look forward to our biggest event ever in 2014.
Stats, Facts and Figures
|Competitors:||2210 Adult 443 Junior|
|Friday Entrants:||Brian Courtney, Lancefield|
|Early Entry:||Peter Plytus, Newport|
|Cod catch and release:||Bradley Sharman, Harden|
|Carp Boat:||Tom Webster, Benalla|
|Murray cod:||203 Murray Cod|
|Golden perch:||151 Golden Perch|
|European carp:||1,700 approx. European Carp|
|Longest Cod Adult:||Michael Maher, 113cm|
|Longest Cod Junior:||Brock Pierce, 108cm|
|Junior Overall Champion Angler:||Tom Webster, 80 + 84cm|
|Lady Champion Angler:||Ann Przybysz, 69cm|
|Longest Golden Perch Adult:||Shane Davies, 59cm|
|Longest Golden Perch Junior:||Alex Hawke, 51cm|
|Longest Carp (Open Section):||Michael Makoshev, 84cm|
Most Productive Methods
|Unidentified Bait or Lure and Non Sponsors:||68|
|Custom Crafted Lures:||3|
|Paul Nicel Lures:||2|
Size of cod
|1m+:||2 (108 and 113 cm)|
Golden Perch Stats
Most Productive Methods
|Unidentified Bait or Lure and Non Sponsors:||76|
Approximately 2,000kg of carp removed and taken to Charlie Carp for processing.
|Best Represented Club:||Cobar Fishing Club - 24 members.|
|Raffle:||David McManus, Gembrook|
|Adult Lucky Door:||Daniel Hartwell, Crookwell|
|Junior Lucky Door:||Jake Stoeckel, Renmark|