The 14th Grabine Freshwater Fishing Tournament was held at Grabine Lakeside State Park on August 29-31. The final three days of winter were absolutely stunning, to the delight of the 916 strong crowd that attended – especially for those who had attended the 13th Grabine Classic and could still remember last year’s wet and wild conditions.
With this strong attendance it was clear that our change to catch and release had not adversely affected the number of competitors. In fact, according to our survey of 101 entrants, 84% were pleased with the change.
The water level was 55.9% on Thursday afternoon and had risen to 56.3% on Sunday with the fresh inflow after some rain earlier in the week, and the park was looking good. Some anglers found the fishing to be impossible in the 10°C waters, while others recorded some impressive catches. Scott Murphy from the ACT, for example, landed an 82cm cod to be crowned this year’s champion. All six cod entered this year were entered by seniors.
Our senior golden perch winner was Luke Webber with a 51.5cm fish, and our junior golden perch winner was Cooper Cross at 49cm. Robert Fazl caught the biggest silver perch at 44.5cm, and young Sam Cramp’s 38cm silver was long enough to put him in the top spot for the juniors. All four catfish entered were prize winners; the biggest at 54.5cm was entered by Mick Ryan, a senior, with Cooper Cross coming in again for the juniors with his 41cm catfish. No trout were entered this year and there were no reports of any redfin either. A total of 140 native fish were caught and released this year with 114 golden perch, 15 silver perch, six Murray cod and four catfish.
The biggest carp bag and senior largest carp prizes were both taken out by Steven Webber with a total of 72 fish, with the longest measuring in at 74cm. In the junior longest carp category Dean Cerovac took the honours with a 62.5cm fish. Steven, Dean and the rest of our fine carp anglers did a good deed by removing a total of 314 of the pest species, down from last year’s 492.
This year when our contestants entered native fish we asked them what they had used to catch their fish. This year the trusty old worm prevailed at 69%, followed by lures at 20%. Around 8% of fish were tempted by crayfish, 2% went to wood grubs and less than 1% on cooked prawns. To be fair, the cooked prawn landed a 72cm cod!
Peter Hempel of Blayney is now the proud owner of this year’s prize boat, and Graham Hughs was the lucky winner of this year’s trailer full of camping equipment. All 42 prize categories were awarded at Sunday’s presentation, the prizes totalling over $20,000, with the unfilled fish prizes going to lucky entrants who had their entry forms drawn from a barrel.
The tournament committee wish to thank our sponsors for their support, in particular Goulburn Tackle World for our new leaderboard and also to Dick Elvins (Gwydir Gobblers) for his continued support over the years. A special thanks also to Grabine Lakeside State Park for their hospitality and support throughout the tournament.
We look forward to welcoming everybody back to Grabine on the 28 August, 2015 to compete in our 15th Annual Grabine Classic. - Chris WrayReads: 1270