If you were going to order some weather conditions, be it for a wedding, funeral or fishing competition, you would order the absolute perfect conditions served up to the masses for the recent 2016 Yamaha Cod Classic. Near on 2500 fishers descended on Lake Mulwala and the Murray River to enjoy what was labelled as ‘the perfect event.’ Everything went to plan without a hitch, and the fish came to play as well.
With the main marquee being set up two days earlier than usual, the pressure was off to have everything ready by 2pm on Friday when the gates opened. The usual steady crowd flocked in to enjoy the fishing and outdoors expo for the afternoon. Numbers swelled into the evening with huge crowds present for the evening’s activities. There had been bigger event numbers in the past, but never before had so many chose to attend the night’s festivities due to the great weather. After an informative event briefing, the drawing of the first boating package took place. Brent Sheather of Young was the lucky winner and celebrated accordingly with his travelling fishing party!
At the close of registrations Saturday morning, 2492 eager anglers (2204 adults and 288 juniors) had nominated. With new rules in place in regards to fish measuring and verification, it was going to be a case of wait and see what was caught for the day. Rules stipulated that anglers had to photograph and release their fish upon capture and then return their photos for verification at day’s end.
Saturday evening saw masses converge on the verification tables, cameras and phones in hand, all wanting to show and recount their day’s captures. There was no better set of photos than those produced by Lance Veivers from Queensland. Lance had landed himself a beautiful 103.5cm cod that saw him the one to catch going into Sunday. The word had spread that a 135cm monster had been caught, but unfortunately that was a small mistake from the measuring master who had read the tape measure wrong. Thanks to Lance’s honesty, this small mistake was pointed out and the event continued as usual.
Saturday night’s crowd was a blockbuster, with conditions being perfect once again. Boats, beer and banter made for a super evening at Lonsdale Reserve, the event’s HQ.
Sunday morning saw anglers greeted with perfect conditions once again. Headaches and hangovers put pay to a lot of well-laid plans, but the door was still open for someone to pip the leaders. Unfortunately this was not to be, and Saturday’s leaders remained at the top of each section. Lance Veivers took the chocolates for his 103.5cm beast, while Josh Hughes came out on top in the juniors with a healthy 88cm Murray cod. The winners in the senior and junior ‘Yella’ sections were 58 and 54cm respectively, and a monster carp of 85cm took out the longest carp prize.
Interestingly, cod numbers were the second highest in the history of the event, only finishing behind last year’s total. There were 522 legal size cod verified, while 426 yellas were captured and 275 returned to collect points. Again, it goes to prove that Lake Mulwala is the home of the Murray cod.
Thanks to Capacity Sports, the Native Watercraft Australian Canoe and Kayak Cod Fishing Championships entered its sixth year with 70 yakkers taking to the water via paddle or pedal. Tony Moriatis had a good day on the water landing a 75cm cod, long enough to help him claim the title of 2016 Australian Canoe and Kayak Cod Fishing Champion.
The lucky winner of the major boat raffle was Rod Hume of Griffith.
One of the most pleasing aspects of the event was a phone call from NSW Fisheries, who complimented all anglers on their compliance with all fishing rules. They also noted they did not see one dead fish and decided to leave and head to the Murrumbidgee River in search of those trying to flout the law.
To round out the weekend, the 12th Cod Classic Golf Championships took place at the magnificent Black Bull course. Some of the rules were 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 one kick and one throw somewhere within your round and all sledging is fair while having your shot, and this all made for an interesting day. Under the Handicap Equalisation System, Dave Silva was the eventual winner with a 91-43-48! This left Dean Turner wondering how he could manage to have a super 73 off the stick (handicap 4) and still manage to be 21 shots off the pace!
On a sad note, great friend of many Cod Classic competitors and long time participant, George Jovanovic passed away on the Saturday evening of the event after his battle with a nasty illness. George’s family have mentioned he may have passed earlier but were sure he was holding on to see another Cod Classic.
George Jovanovic, competitor 1352, rest in peace.
Thanks to the support from the many sponsors, donors and volunteers. Your assistance is appreciated and the event could not do without it. Everyone looks forward to another successful event in 2017. – Tony Bennett, 2016 Cod Classic Event Director
|Longest cod (adult)||Lance Veivers||103.5cm|
|Longest cod (junior)||Josh Hughes||88cm|
|Longest yella (adult)||Mark Ikstrums||58cms|
|Longest yella (junior)||Jonathon Svilar||54cm|
|Longest carp (open section)||Peter Ohlsen||85cm|
Photo courtesy of Stephen Booth.
Photo courtesy of Stephen Booth.Reads: 512