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Austackle Lakes Entrance Flathead Classic
  |  First Published: May 2016



The Labour Day long weekend in March saw the Austackle Lakes Entrance Flathead Classic held for its third year. Run by the Lakes Entrance Game and Sport Fishing Club, the event, as the name suggests, targets flathead in the waterways of Lakes Entrance and Lake Tyers.

It is a catch and release event open to all types of fishing. Teams can be up to four people, with the four largest fish length counting towards the final result – the largest average length per four fish bag is the overall winning team. There are also many other prizes on offer, such as the largest fish per day, junior winners and a mystery length prize. This tournament is a real winner as it has something for everyone, regardless of skill level or age.

A bit of time on the water

I was lucky enough to have a fish at Lake Tyers on the second day of the competition. Lindsay and Steven Pryke generously agreed to have me on board for the day and show me around the lake. I had not fished Lake Tyers before and its reputation as a big flathead fishery had me pretty excited.

We were met by overcast conditions and misty rain, but this didn’t dampen the enthusiasm on board. Steven quickly got the first fish and followed it up with a few fish that were not the target species. The first hour had been a bit slow so we headed to a bay that had a rocky point at each end. There were lots of little patches of weed and distinct drop-offs, so hopefully our luck would change. And change it did, as Lindsay very quietly let us know he was on.

Lindsay wasn’t giving much away, but it was pretty obvious it was a good fish. Using just 6lb leader, it took a while to get the fish into the net range. There was a sense of relief and exhilaration as an 88.5cm monster flathead was safely lead into the net. Amazingly, this massive fish had taken a small Ecogear ZX lure in black knight colour in about 6ft of water.

Finally things went our way and we consistently picked up fish until our fishing time was up. I snuck in a 51cm flatty, while Steven added a couple more about the same size. Our team total was a healthy 60cm average for the day. Lindsay’s fish ended up being the largest fish for the competition – well done Lindsay and thank you for getting me out on the water.

Largest Flathead – Junior

In a hotly contested Junior section, Conner Talbot took out the largest flathead by 1cm from Paige Hamilton. I had a quick chat with Conner and he was pretty excited to catch the biggest flathead at 67cm.

He was fishing Lake Tyers with his Pa, Barry Smith. They were casting and slow rolling lures across the many shallows of the lake. Barry had already caught a 71cm fish when Conner hooked up. His Bass-X lure got smashed in pretty shallow water and it took more than 10 minutes before Pa was able to slip the net under it. A few quick photos and his beautiful fish was released to fight another day.

Conner said they had a great day, with Barry getting another good fish later in the session. He said he couldn’t wait to get out and fish in the comp again next year.

Teams winners

Team Tyers Tryers made it a ‘th-repeat’, for the third year in a row they took out the Overall Team winners’ trophy with an average fish size of 67.5cm. The team consisted of John Bourke, John King, Ray Schmidt and Vic Forugla, who enjoyed fishing the tournament and targeted the larger flathead using live baits or pilchard cubes.

Looking forward to 2017

The committee of the Lakes Entrance Game and Sport Fishing Club is looking forward to this event becoming bigger and better as their membership grows and the word gets out there. There is no doubt that the fishery is exceptional and with the ongoing support of great sponsors like Austackle, success is almost guaranteed.

To find out more about the clubs events go to www.legsfc.com.au or contact the club on 0497 432 982

Facts

Top TeamLake Tyers Tryers

Largest WhitingLindsay Pryke38cm

Top 3 Junior

1st Conner Talbot 67cm
2nd Paige Hamilton 66cm
3rd Jackson Smith 61cm

Top 3 Senior

1st Lindsay Pryke 88.5cm
2nd John Burke 87.5 cm
3rd Ashley Harley 85 cm

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