The 35th Anniversary October Long Weekend Mighty Bonanza Fishing Competition had fantastic attendance this year. Anglers of all sizes headed out from the northern end of the Eurobodalla to wet a line for the chance of winning some great cash and fishing prizes.
The event drew more than 450 people, including 262 competitors, 99 of which were juniors. The word is getting around about the competition now as the fishing club committee has worked hard to rebuild this tournament over the last few years – back to the level where it used to draw over 500 competitors.
The tournament had several special visitors from government departments – DPI Fisheries, RMS Maritime and the Batemans Bay Marine Rescue Unit. On the Saturday, Fisheries Officer Mr Hollywood spoke to the attendees and walked through the crowd having friendly chats and helping those he spoke to, educating them in areas they were unsure of. Officer Hollywood commented that in his opinion, the Mighty Bonanza is the largest competition of its kind on the South Coast that focuses on the family unit.
It’s become a much more family-oriented fishing competition, still with a low entrance fee which parents like to see. It makes for a reasonably priced weekend for the whole family to enjoy. This event caters to families and had a number of juniors competing this year. Every single junior received a competition bag, which contained excellent contents such as an Al McGlashan DVD, Compleat Angler hat, ANSA catch and release mat, DPI Fisheries catch and release kit and more in every bag.
It was a quiet start to the event on Saturday, as windy conditions presented a challenge to those casting a line out. However, the weather improved on the Sunday, with competitors treated to sunshine all day and an improved catch rate.
The three junior champions received a bonus prize to go with their championship Compleat Angler vouchers. The trio received autographed copies of the brand new book The Complete Fishing Bible, 4th ed. from fishing TV show host Alistair McGlashan with a special message inside reading, “Congratulations on being the Junior Champion of the Mighty Bonanza 2016. Fish Hard. Al McGlashan.” The committee kept the books a secret right until the end when the winners were announced to make it that little bit more special.
The real winners were everyone who made the competition possible. In the past, the Tomakin Fishing Club has had to sponsor one or two of the categories, but this year they didn’t have to. In fact, over a dozen local businesses asked why they hadn’t approached them to sponsor the great event. The event organisers couldn’t state enough their gratitude to the all the local businesses that have come on board this year.
A special mention must be made to Anthony Stokman from Compleat Angler Batemans Bay, and Alistair McGlashan for helping make this year’s event a success. That’s not to forget the tireless efforts of the fishing club committee, with months of organising and hard work to make it the success it was.
The Tomakin Fishing Club has now become an affiliated club of the Australian National Sportfishing Association, the Underwater Skindivers and Fisherman’s Association and the NSW Recreational Fishing Alliance. It was a privilege to have Stan Konstantaras and Tony Steiner from ANSA NSW visit on the Sunday for support and to catch up with members.
The fishing club is hoping to modify the Mighty Bonanza for future years to include a full line-up of Catch and Release categories with the intention of filling the month of October in the ANSA NSW Calendar. If you’re looking to rejuvenate your club and find ways to make it fresh and engaging for members, consider these great organisations. This tournament has created many new friendships and contacts that are more than happy to help with the betterment of recreational fishing. The Tomakin Fishing Club recently kicked off a spearfishing category for their monthly competitions.
Check out the competition results, all gut and gilled weights. The club prides itself on making sure every prize is won even if the species isn’t captured. The prize for any species that was caught was given to an angler randomly drawn from tickets.
– Adam Martin
|Senior Male Champion||Dave Clark||19.10kg|
|Senior Female Champion||Annette Turner||10.51kg|
|Junior Male Champion||Tom Cargill||13.69kg|
|Junior Female Champion||Callie Evans||8.72kg|
|Sub-Junior Champion||Dustan Piggott||5.03kg|
|Champion Club||The Tomakin Fishing Club|
|Heaviest Boat Catch||The Clarke & Barnes show|
|Mystery Flathead weight||Luka Brogan||685g (target 687g)|
|Heaviest Shark||Rohan Rivett||13.20kg|
|Green Eel||Sophie Nedwich||1.29kg|
|Longest Flathead||Nick Sandilands||84cm|
SPECIES CATEGORY CHAMPIONS
|Leather Jacket||Sam DeGraaf||0.752|
|Pig Fish||Brett Wallace||0.693|
|Silver Trevally||Rowan Stelzer||0.507|
Juniors 12-18 years
|Leather Jacket||Jacob Beissner||685|
|Pig Fish||Noah McCarroll||546|
|Nannygai||Brendan Bingley and Brylie Drazevich||458|
|Silver Trevally||Dominic Scicluna||706|
Sub-Juniors under 12 years
Junior Female Champion, Callie Evans with Junior Vice President Justin Evans.
Junior Male Champion, Tom Cargill with President Adam Martin.
The Sub-Junior champ Dustan Piggott with Vice President Brendan Winnell.
Most of the junior group. Each junior received a goodies bag for the event.
Sophie Nedwich and Rohan Rivett who won the Green Eel and Biggest Shark prizes. There were plenty of different species caught on the day!Reads: 80