Gold Coast Flathead Classic
  |  First Published: November 2006

Of the 295 anglers to contest the 2006 Gold Coast Sport Fishing Club’s 13th annual Flathead Classic, only Brett Howell from Team Jack had what was needed to take out the Champion Angler Trophy.

Using pink and trout coloured Pig Lures and fishing the mid reaches of the Broadwater, Brett boated a comp winning 47 flathead during the competition, which began with perfect conditions and deteriorated to 25 knot winds out of the south on the final day. With all of Brett’s fish ranging from 32-55cm he showed that you don’t need to target monster flatties to win the comp, but just catch good numbers of legal fish. Reports from many of the competitors showed that finding good concentrations of fish was hard with the warm, dirty and at times weed infested water hampering their efforts. Finding the cool, clear water certainly improved catch rates.

The tally of flathead caught and released this year eclipsed all previous records. The biggest of the 2674 fish landed was a whopping 98cm fish. This fish was landed by Darryl McMahon of Team Bluefin, a dedicated bass angler, who was encouraged to have a go at some flathead by a mate. Darryl is not fond of trolling but it was this method of fishing that helped coax the impressive fish to take a 25mm Mac’s Lure. When Darryl first hooked the fish all onboard called it for a ray, until the fish came off the bottom in 4ft of water and tail walked on the surface. It was then that Darryl and the netter started to panic as they watched the rear and front sets of trebles straighten. With only one contact point on the fish holding the smallest amount of lip, the net was thrust under the fish and it was landed.

In the Teams section, flathead fishing guru David Green, his son Michael and local Kelvin Williams took out the Champion Team Trophy ahead of Team Dog by the smallest of margins: just 34 points or one 40cm flathead. This was the 5th consecutive Teams win for David and Michael, an effort unlikely to ever be bettered.

In a new category for the Flathead Classic, Chad Patterson and Brett Rayner took out the 2 Person Team Trophy from Team Jack by just 15 points.

Gold Coast local, Joel Gartner of Pig Lures, took out the junior category, using Pig Lures in a variety of colours and fishing the mid reaches of the Broadwater. Joel boated 12 flathead to just take out the title from Bryce Litzow of Team M.A.D.

The two major boat prizes were again given away via a lucky draw, which enables any of the competitors to win these great prizes. This year’s senior prize of 4.40 Mako Craft truck centre console fitted out with 40HP E-tec supplied by BRP was won by a very happy Zack McDonald. The junior prize of a Mako Craft car topper fitted with 2.5HP Johnson was won by a very exited Dylan Joy. The expression on Dylan’s face when he realised he had won the boat was priceless. It will be a moment he will remember for a long time.

One of the major sponsors this year was the new kid on the soft plastics block, Bozo’s Tackle. Phil Alder has put a lot of time, research and money into his new business and he saw this year’s Flathead Classic as a great place to get his product out to some hardcore anglers. As way of incentive Phil had on a 4.5 day live a board trip on the Mary River in the TNQ with Anglers Choice during the run-off early next year on offer. This fantastic prize valued at around $4,000 was available to one person drawn out of the group who caught the 20 biggest flathead caught on a Bozo’s lure.

All up during the comp upwards of $60,000 worth of prizes were given away, with every angler taking home a tournament shirt and goodies from the very generous sponsors. The Gold Coast Flathead Classic has again proved itself to be one of SE Queensland’s premier catch and release tournaments and the committee will soon be hard at work organizing the 2007 comp – hope to see you there. – FC


Top 5 Teams

Dead Fishy 2 (3803)

Team Dog (3769)

Doug Burt’s Bozo’s (3516)

Team Bush ‘N’ Beach (3417)

Team Atomic (2998)


Top 5 seniors

Brett Howell (1800)

Brett Rayner (1756)

Kelvin Williams (1699)

Doug Burt (1569)

Graham Dodds (1490)


Top 5 juniors

Joel Gartner (382)

Bryce Litzow (322)

Michael Webb (304)

Kirk Tomalin (265)

Joshua Ward (248)


Longest Other Species
SpeciesAnglerLength (cm)
MullowayPaul Harich105
Trevally Shane Gartner59
Estuary Cod David Lynch51
Tailor Darren Burns 49
Mangrove jack Tako Nagano 46
WhitingSimon Marshall39
Bream Michael Horn 35

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