The Pakula Friendly is no ordinary fishing event! Like the website says: This Tournament has NO RULES, NO PRIZES, NO TROPHIES, NO START OR FINISH TIME, NO NOTHING.
So why bother paying $50 to enter, I hear you ask? Well, because it has a fantastic purpose: to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Research foundation and Camp Quality. And even though there were no prizes there were plenty of sponsor gifts and giveaways, including lures, hats, shirts, and so on. As an added sponsor bonus, the Band Of Brothers production company flew up from Sydney to produce a DVD of the event. All proceeds are being donated so keep an eye out for this online and in various shops around the country.
The Pakula Friendly is now in its ninth year, but this is its first time held in Queensland. In previous years it was only run down at Port Stephens, but having the event in Couran Cove on South Stradbroke Island on the Gold Coast didn’t deter the 23 teams that came from as far as Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns.
The Friday kick started with the Peter Pakula giving his time to entrants who wanted to learn more about gamefishing. He spent around three hours of his time tying knots, rigging lures and explaining methods of how and where to catch marlin. I have never attended an event where every competitor, some I had only known for 20 minutes, were giving me information that would have taken them years of on-water knowledge to collect.
Saturday was fishing day one and, as the sign stated, the option to go offshore was up to the competitor. As the weather was blowing pretty hard and the swell was up, only 8 boats went offshore.
Team Pakula Freetime were lucky enough to be aboard Lucky Strike Skippered by Ross McCubbin. McCubbin has had an amazing marlin season and managed to get his crew three shots at black marlin, two of which were tagged. The first fish was caught by Kane Champion on a Pakula Hothead Torro Cockroach Lure, which also happened to be his first marlin as well. Later that night at the dinner he was awarded a Pakula T-shirt and the lure he caught his fish on to remember this great feat of tagging his first marlin.
On the Saturday night dinner there was an auction. Every team was to donate something that would be auctioned off by the committee, this was called the 15-second-dump-it auction. Competitors donated everything from used hats and reels to a rusted gaff head then a few good CD’s and other fishing products. This 1 hour auction raised just over a $1000, which was a great effort! On Pakula.com before the event all sponsors donated a product to go online for a bidding auction this was a huge success also with a lot of money raised.
The Sunday was rough again but with a little less swell so most of us did the hard yards. On the offshore marlin ground was a tough day and only a few marlin were tagged. The bigger boats got into some action but for us in the smaller boats we got bashed around for most of the session.
The event overall raised over $10,000, which was an amazing feat for something that stated off as an idea to go fishing with your mates.
Peter Pakula is very passionate about this project, his wife Jo has been fighting cancer since just before the Pakula Friendly’s started and to this date is doing great.
Next year is already promising to be huge, with more sponsors already coming on board, so keep an eye out and come along even without a fishing boat you can learn enough to make it worthwhile.
All the sponsors and contributors can be seen on www.spgsfc.com/PF09 – Travis Davies
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