The Sunshine Coast again witnessed the excitement of competition angling with the successful running of the Shane Stewart Memorial Fishing Competition over the June long weekend.
The Caloundra Coastguard run all aspects of the annual competition on behalf of the Stewart family who lost their son Shane to a tragic boating accident. The competition was then launched to continually highlight the dangers of not having navigational lights on your boat at night and to remember a great lad who loved life and fishing.
The number of competitors this year was up on the previous year, which set the scene for a fierce and fun fight for the top of the leader board.
Day one saw very low winds and glassed out conditions towards the afternoon, making the fishing just a little slow, but the estuaries still fired. Plenty of good bream, mangrove jack and whiting hit the weigh-in table the moment the first official weigh-in started.
Some of the offshore competitors mentioned that they had to move around a lot and found fish in the middle of nowhere, making it interesting. It’s great when the fish really put your knowledge and expertise to the test.
Sweetlip dominated the offshore catch, followed by snapper and pearl perch, both around the 2-3kg mark.
The Sunday was also a classic day for fishing, one that was just a pleasure to be on the water. Those who ventured out overnight fought hard for the big snapper but most were pulling up around the 4-7kg mark.
Good size sweetlip, cobia and pearl perch filled most of the eskies. However it was Rodney Thompson who bought home the winning snapper at 8.86kg, with second and third place recording fish over the 7kg mark. The winning sweetie came in at a very healthy 5kg and was a wicked fight for Ben Brown.
Sunday also saw stacks of boats on the Pumicestone Passage all searching for that big bream and whiting. The very first photograph I took for the competition turned out to be the winning whiting. Lyn Madsen weighed the fish in at 520g. It was nearly pipped at the post with second place coming in at 510g.
Jarred Rodgers came in with a cracking 1.21kg bream to put the win beyond doubt, rounding up a well supported competition.
The competition arena was packed and the atmosphere was busy and friendly when it came to the presentation of the trophies and cash prizes. It was a time for all to offer advice on where and how they got their catch and to applaud those who had taken a prize.
On a sad note, Dennis Stewart was absent this year having lost his battle with cancer, but Beverley Stewart, Shane’s mum, was ready to present the winning snapper cheque for $1000. We wish her many more successful opportunities to be there on behalf of the family.
Competitions like these have a lifeline in local businesses that continually give to support the community, and without them such events would not be possible. A big thankyou to all the sponsors, in particular the Sunshine Coast Marine Centre who provided the major prize – a 4m Quintrex Dart with a 25hp Mercury outboard and trailer package, which was eventually won by Greggory Wolff.
Shane Stewart Memorial Fishing Competition Results 2009
|1||Keryy Kendrick (Cobia)||20.51kg||Pfleuger Contender Rod & Shimano TLD20 reel|
|2||Neville Telford (Cobia)||10.09kg||Pfleuger Contender Rod & ABU GT345 reel|