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Despite the woeful long-range weather forecasts, almost 300 brave souls made the trip to Port Stephens for the 27th annual TBFT. Unfortunately, the forecasts proved correct, and it was torrential rain, gale force winds, and huge seas.

We have never experienced conditions like this. It was too windy to even put up the tents and scoreboards in the park. We also had to cancel all offshore fishing and remove many species from the eligibility list. Safety is our priority. That’s the bad news out of the way.

On the positive, Shoal Bay Fishing Club did a superb job of running the tournament over the weekend. If you’re considering joining a local club, you could do worse than joining this group. It is a small club with many skilled anglers that are (some of them anyway ?) happy to help those not so skilled. In a similar vein, the PCYC was generous in letting us use their facility and in addition to their safety services, Marine Rescue stepped up and did a top job with the BBQ on Saturday.

The best thing, however, was the attitude of those who entered and competed. I think we were all very happy to have the Covid monkey off our backs, get away from home to spend time with family and friends for a weekend, and the weather was largely irrelevant to the overall experience. There was also the impetus of knowing that with having species cut back and not many fish caught, the chances of winning a lucky draw prize were much improved.

At registration on Thursday afternoon the biggest issue was incomplete registrations. Because of security separating the purchase of entries & merchandise from the actual entry details, incomplete entries did not show up on our spreadsheets. 95% of people had correctly input all their crew and boat details but did not finish by putting these details onto their 2022 entry. We’ve figured out that the fault is largely ours and will make the entry instructions much clearer for next year. TIP: If anyone on your boat is paying and entering separately, they need to LOG IN using your username and password, otherwise there is no way of linking them to your boat.

Once again, our many sponsors were very generous and we’d like to personally thank Bay Boat Sales, Bluebottle Marine, Capture Imaging, Crossfire Marine, d’Albora Marinas, Duffs Salamander Tackle, Frogleys Offshore, LifeCell Marine, Lowrance, Mako sunglasses, Port Stephens Beachside Holiday Parks, Shimano, Sunblessed Sunscreens. TackleWorld Port Stephens, Tweed Bait, and Winning Holidays.  Please support your sponsors whenever possible.

Unfortunately, a couple of sponsors were caught out by flooding and staff shortages, so their prizes arrived late. The good news is that starting with June, we will be lucky drawing a pair of Mako sunglasses and/or a Gamakatsu / Atomic Tackle pack each month. Terms & Conditions: Once entered, your name stays in the draw each month. No refunds. Entries open: 1st June, First draw: 30th June, Final pre-tournament draw: 10th March.

Congratulations to our 2022 Senior & Junior Champions, Adrian Fowler and Kaio Medeiros. A top effort. Of interest, Adrian Fowler and Father Chris plus runner-up Tyson Yule and Father Darren have fished together in virtually every TBFT. It is heart-warming to see how close these competing father/son teams have stayed. We’re expecting to see the 3rd generation joining them soon – no pressure there.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Bay for the 2023 Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament.

Tight Lines,

Tony Poole.

2023 – 31st March, 1st & 2nd April.

Port Stephens




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