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2019 Tournament, Dates TBA asap

April 24, 2018
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In 1994, a small group of enthusiastic trailer boat anglers met at Nelson Bay on beautiful Port Stephens for an enjoyable weekend of fishing and camaraderie. The Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament has since grown to be amongst the most popular family fishing tournaments in Australia while staying true to its original ideal of making anglers of all ages and skill levels welcome.

The rules have been kept deliberately simple and anglers do not need to be a member of a club. This is the first ever fishing tournament for around 50% of competitors each year, and people travel from all over Australia for the weekend. The tournament is every bit as much a social event as a competition and many families have developed long-lasting friendships over the years. The scenic location and well stocked inshore and offshore fisheries are icing on the cake. People fishing from small tinnies have as much chance of winning as those with large trailer boats.

The Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament may be very easy to enter and enjoy; it is, however, an extremely hard tournament to win. The Senior and Junior Anglers who take home the Champion Angler mantles each year are truly “gun” anglers who have worked very hard to be on the podium for a number of species. There are 14 eligible species including Flounder (a favourite with the juniors) right through to tag & release marlin so inshore and offshore anglers are well catered for.

We look forward to welcoming you to our next Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament to be held at Nelson Bay in 2019 – either the weekend prior to Easter or 2x weekends prior to Easter – TBA. You can enter on-line and book accommodation with our accommodation partners by following the links on our sponsors page or via “Contacts at the Bay“. Don’t forget to ask for Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament special package deals.

View the photos from 2018 and previous years, or click here to enter right now.

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The 2018 Story and Results

April 23, 2018
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Print 2018 TBFT Story and Results

2018 TBFT Photo Gallery

2018 Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament

If 2017 is remembered as having the worst weather ever, then the 25th Anniversary event in 2018 will be remembered as having the best prizes.  Port Stephens started off scarily with torrential rain on Thursday afternoon and then just got better & better & better as the weekend progressed. One of the main reasons we choose this area for the Tournament is the ability to fish inshore and find protected spots in most weather.

This year, one of Australia’s oldest & most successful ski boat builders, Lewis Boats, joined us to display & launch their new range of family fishing boats. I had a good look over them and they represent exceptional value. Can’t believe the price. Well worth considering for your next boat. Our friends at Marine Rescue had a safety display on-site over the weekend and our friends at Shoal Bay Fishing Club ran a top tournament.

And the fishing was great. To enter and compete in the tournament is very easy, but to win it extremely difficult. The rules allow for 14 species, with only the top 3 fish in each category to count for points. This means the gun anglers all shoot for having a top 3 fish in a number of categories, ensuring long hours of effort for the eventual winners.

2017 Champion Angler Mathew Godfrey (1st Tailor & Teraglin, 2nd Snapper) stepped up the plate and smashed the ball out of the park by knocking local guru Paul Lennon (1st & 2nd Flathead and 2nd Tailor) out of first spot with 13 points versus 11 points.

Similarly, in the Juniors, 2017 Champion Junior Amy Falko showed a clean set of heels to a strong field of junior anglers. This year, Amy (1st bream, 3rd flounder, 1st Kingfish, 1st & 2nd Mulloway, 2nd & 3rd Snapper, and 1st Tailor) won convincingly with 33 points from Ava Mayne (1st & 2nd Drummer & 1st Luderick).

Species winners and place getters won prizes from Blue Bottle Marine (Fish Chiller Bags), Club Marine (insurance discount vouchers), Frogleys Offshore (Samurai, Atomic, and Gamakatsu tackle), Mako Eyewear (Mako sunglasses) and Shimano Australia (Shimano tackle, Environet, and PowerPro line).

There were also loads of lucky draws throughout the tournament including prizes from the above sponsors plus a full range of the newly launched Lowrance Hook2 sounder plotters from small to the $2000 plus 12’’ screen models. Local alloy & stainless specialist AliStain offered custom gaffs and slimy tubes, Bay Boat Sales provided service discount vouchers, BOAB Boat Hire offered boat hire packages, Life Cell Marine kindly provided some of their world beating LifeCells, Port Stephens Beachside Holiday Parks and Winning Holidays offered competitors holiday packages. Also, any species prizes not won were lucky drawn so a lot of extra top quality suprizes (!) popped up.

Notable senior catches this year included a cracker 1.35 Kg Bream by Craig Astley and a 1.261 kg specimen by David Wood. These are big bream by Port Stephens standards and both were in beautiful condition. Similarly, Paul Lennons 4.966 Kg Flathead was a perfect fish. Similarly, Simon Pandelis’ 3.368 Kg Flounder, Paul White’s 18.751 Kg Kingfish, and Ben Doolan’s 8.145 Kg snapper were all top fish.

The Juniors were nibbling at the seniors heels (fins?). Amy Falko caught a nice 1.037 Kg Bream & 11.705 Kg Mulloway, Ava Mayne a 2.098 Kg Drummer & Tyrese Flood a 6.33 Kg snapper. The battle of the sexes was well and truly alive this year with the girls pipping the boys in many species.

For full results visit the Hall of Fame.

Hope to see you again in 2019.

Tight Lines,

Tony Poole.



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May 4, 2017
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Please support your sponsors whenever possible. They trust us to do a good job with some of their always limited promotional budget. If we let them know that we’re supporting them and that it’s because of their involvement with the TBFT it means you will have more prizes to win next year. Simple. To vist our sponsors sites click on the logo links or give them a call directly.
1300 00CLUB

3mAbrasives, polishes, buffing pads, cleaners, etc
136 136

alistainAlloy & S/S Accessories – Aluminium Boat Repairs & Rocket Launchers.  (02) 4966 4826 or 0438 663 556

bay-boat-salesEvinrude & Suzuki outboards, Savage & Tournament Boats, accessories & repairs.
02 4982 7899
Australian Made Fishing Tackle
07 3271 2844
Boating Industry Association
02 9438 2077
BlueWater Power Yachts – let us find your next dream boat. 02 9029 6554
Evinrude engines and Accessories
07 5539 2888

Glamping tents & units close to Soldiers Point boat ramp.
1800 600 204
Distibutors of high quality fishing and boating accessories.
02 9905 7888

Aussie on-line one stop shop for boating and fishing accessories

Navico , Simrad & Lowrance       Marine Electronics

Local area website with a wealth of information and tips

visit C4 Industries to learn about why Rock Oil is the best for your engines

Fishing tour charters
02 4981 1959

Enjoy a family meal with locally brewed beers and wines from the famous Hope Wine Winery.                   02 4993 3535
Fishing Tackle and Accessories handy to tournament base at Magnus St, Nelson Bay.
Australia’s most popular fishing tackle & accessories

A number of parks with a variety of accommodation around the Bay. 1800 600 201
Units and town houses for rent
02 4984 0100

Award winning safety equipment
02 6659 1145
Don’t want to tow your boat to the Bay – Hire one instead
0429 348 022 or 1300 002 622
Fishing Tackle & Accessories




Our favourite eye protection for fishing and fashion practicality.




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2018 Tournament Rules & Calendar

Print 2018 Club Marine TBFT Rules and Calender

2018 Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament

– Rules & Calender of Events

Host Club: Shoal Bay Fishing Club

Tournament Officials: Nominated members of Shoal Bay Fishing Club. In the event of any dispute related to the Tournament the Officials decision is final.

Tournament Base & Official Tent: Eastern Groyne, Victoria Pde, Nelson Bay.

Entry, Angler & Fish Eligibility:

– Entry is open to members of the public agreeing to be bound by the Tournament Rules and is not restricted to members of fishing clubs or organizations.

– Only fish caught from entered eligible trailerboats by entered eligible anglers will be eligible for points and prizes.

– To be eligible for points, an Angler must hook, strike, fight, and bring the fish to the boat to be tagged, netted, or gaffed without assistance including anyone else touching the rod or reel.

– The fish must be caught during tournament time and within tournament boundaries.

Tournament Director – all correspondence to:

Tony Poole -Trailer Boat Fishing Tournaments Pty Ltd
19 The Crescent, Dee Why, NSW, 2099
Ph: (02) 9029 6554   Fax: (02) 9972 3211   Email:

Boat Eligibility:

Entry is restricted to trailerboats – defined as any vessel capable of being transported by a NSW registered trailer being towed by a conventional motor vehicle including 4WD upon NSW public roads up to a maximum beam of 2.6 meters.

Entry Fees 2018:

– $85 per senior angler

– $40 per junior angler (under 16 years old at the time of the Tournament).

– This fee may include food and refreshments as may be provided by the organisers.

– Official close of mail entries is Monday 9th March . Online entries accepted up until 1700hrs Monday 19th March.  A Late Entry Fee may be charged for entries received after these dates. The late entry fee is $170 per Senior and $80 per Junior.


3rd Party Property insurance at a minimum is required for all competing boats. Policy proof is required. Valid and current Policy details must be provided as part of each entry.

Angler Identity:

– Angler ID cards (to be collected at registration) must be presented to any Tournament Official on request and prior to any fish weigh in or prize claim or for any other claim such as food or refreshments as may be provided.

– Anglers must be present and produce their own Angler ID card to be eligible for any Lucky Draw Prizes.

– Secondary proof of ID may be requested for any prize collections.


– All boats must comply with the relevant NSW Maritime safety regulations current at Tournament time.

Details at .

– Boat and crew safety is the responsibility of the skipper of the vessel.

– The decision to enter, compete, and fish is the decision of the competitors.

Fishing Area & Marine Parks:

– Boats must be launched and retrieved within Port Stephens or within 12 kilometers by road from Tournament Base.

– Marine Park boundaries and usage regulations must be obeyed. Details at .

Fishing Licenses:

Anglers must hold relevant and current fishing licenses, permits, etc as may be required by NSW Laws. Details at .


Prior to starting fishing, intending entrants MUST check & register their attendance at the Offical Tent at Tournament Base. Prepaid Tournament T-shirts and Caps will be available at Registration.

Official Tournament Calender – 2018

Thursday 22nd March – Official Tent Open 1730 – 2200

– Registrations & clothing pick-up commences 1800

– Competitor Briefing 2000 approx

– Lucky prize draw may be held before & immediately after the briefing.

Friday 23rd March – Official Tent open 0600 – 2200

– Start of fishing is after 0600

Saturday 24th March – Official Tent open 0600 – 2200

– BBQ / Refreshments & Lucky Prize Draws: 1200 – 1500 (weigh station closed)

– Lucky prize draws will be held immediately after the BBQ.

Sunday 25th March – Official Tent open 0600 – 1200

– Close of fishing 1200

– Anglers must be in the official Compound prior to 1200 sharp Sunday for their fish to be eligible for weigh in.

– The Official Award Ceremony will commence at approx 1330

– Lucky Prize Draws will be held before during & after the Awards.

– The final major Lucky Prize will be drawn immediately after the Awards.

Point Scoring & Species:

Individual prizes will be awarded to the angler/s (Senior & Junior) who over the Tournament weighs in the heaviest of the following eligible species:

Bream – Live only (30cm)   Cobia (65 cm)       Drummer, Black (35cm)      Flathead (36cm)

Flounder (25cm)                  Luderick (30cm)   Marlin / Billfish (t&r only)   Morwong (30cm)

Mulloway (85cm)                 Tailor (35cm)        Teragalin (45cm)                  Tuna inc. Bonito (40cm)

Snapper (30cm)                   Yellowtail Kingfish (65cm)

Species may be added or deleted at the Organisers discretion.

Competitors will be advised of any changes at the Briefing & Registration.

For the purpose of this Tournament and to avoid unnecessary fish kills, the Organisers have imposed a minimum species length eligibility above that set by NSW Fisheries in some cases. These lengths appear alongside the eligible species above. Please visit for the latest statutory species and bag limits.

Fish weighed in will have their tails docked. Live fish being released into the Bay or Big Tank for display and later release will not have their tails docked. Many anglers return their catch to the water alive after weigh-in, and this behaviour is encouraged and applauded by the Organisers and Spectators alike.

Champion Angler:

Titles will be awarded to the Senior & Junior Anglers who over the Tournament amass the most points counted as follows:

1st Heaviest of a species: 5 points

2nd Heaviest of a species: 3 points

3rd Heaviest of a species:  1 point

In the event of a tie, the winner will be the first person or boat to reach the winning points.

Champion Boat

Titles & prizes will be awarded to the boat that amasses the most eligible points as detailed for Champion Angler above. Only the top 3 fish in each species (whether caught by a Senior or Junior Angler) will be awarded points for “Champion Boat”.

Failure to abide by any of the Tournament Rules may result in disqualification from the Tournament at the Officials discretion.

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Top weekend for the whole family

February 26, 2017
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In 1994, 68 enthusiastic anglers in 26 trailer boats met at Nelson Bay on beautiful Port Stephens for a weekend of fishing, fun,  and comradery.

The rules were kept deliberately simple so as to be attractive to the majority of people who do not normally go in fishing tournaments or belong to fishing clubs. The format was such that inshore and offshore species were fairly evenly weighted for points and that enthusiastic amateurs could compete on a fairly even footing with experienced gun anglers. Most importantly, the very simple rules and tournament format were designed to be enjoyable and yet challenging to anglers of all ages and skill levels.

These ideals have been carried through to the present day and the event attracts many family groups. In fact, each year, we welcome many crews comprising 3 generations of the same family. There are 96 species prizes offered and the plethora of lucky draws mean the not-so-skilled or not-so lucky anglers stil have plenty of chances to win some great prizes from our many sponsors.

As we approach our 25th Anniversary Tournament, you can expect to be joining over 1,000 fellow anglers (with a large number of Juniors) and over 400 boats at Port Stephens for the Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament. It is now amongst the largest and definitely the most enjoyable family fishing tournament in Australia and has stayed true to the rules and ideals set around 25 years ago.

It is truly a wonderful weekend for family and friends to experience on one of the most beautiful waterways in the world.

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Entry tips & information

February 26, 2017
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Print Entry Tips & Instructions

Information Required to Enter Online:
Even if you have entered the Tournament before, start your new Entry by clicking on “Enter Online”. You will be asked to log on after you have selected your entries and merchandise. You will still need to enter your current boat and crew details in full. You cannot use precious years details.

  1. Number of Senior Anglers
  2. Number of Junior Anglers
  3. Numbers and sizes of Tournament Hats & Shirts required.
  4. Previous Entrants – if you are a returning user then you can now log on with your exact email address and password as previously used.
  5. Credit Card Details plus holders name & address; phone number and email address.
    **Email address needs to be confirmed.  – ie – typed in twice.
    After entering your payment and having the payment accepted you will receive an email confirmation of the payment with “TBFT – Order Number #…………”. If you do not enter a valid email address you will not receive a receipt.
    Please print this email and keep it handy. It is also an ideal place to write the email address & passwords you used for future log-ins. Quote this Order Number in all correspondence and bring a copy of it with you to Tournament Registration (just in case there’s a gremlin in the system).
  6. You will now be allowed to enter your boat and crew details. Please note: A lot of this information is required for safety purposes in case of emergency so please provide accurate information.

Information Required:

Boat name – (if you don’t provide one we will)
Boat Length:……………. meters
Boat Brand: …………………….
Boat Model Year: …………….
Boat Material: Alloy, Fibreglass or Other
Hull Type: Monohull, Catamaran, or Other
HP of Motors:
Motor Year Model:
Number of Motors:
Motor Brand:
Motor Type: 2 stroke or 4 stroke
Trailer Registration Number:
Boat Registration Number:
Insured By: ………………………………..
Policy Number:
Expiry Date:

NOTE: 3rd Party Insurance at a minimum is required. You can apply for and pay for comprehensive or 3rd party insurance with our major sponsor Club Marine by clicking here or using the links at Use the codeword “TBFT” to access any special offers to competitors.

Comprehensive insurance is generally not much more expensive than 3rd party alone for most trailer boats.
You can reduce your premium by lowering the 3rd Party Insurance from $10m to $5m and/or increasing the amount of your excess.
Entrant1 / Skipper/ Owner:
First Name
Middle Initial:
Last Name
Senior / Junior
Male or Female
Street Address
Emergency Contact Number:
Onboard Contact Number:
Email Address: please ensure you enter a valid email address.

Crew: The above information is also required for each member of the crew. Please remember that much of the information requested is required in case of emergency.

TIP: Do not enter the same email address for multiple people. If you do not have a valid email address for anyone (except the skipper/owner), leave the field blank. If you use the same email 5 times you will receive 5 emails from us.

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February 8, 2016
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Got some questions about the tournament? First have a quick look through our frequently asked questions to see if we’ve covered it already. Click on the question and you’ll see the answer. Otherwise, please contact us and we’ll get back to you shortly.

Brickbats & Bouquets

This has been a common query over the years!
It involves the status of the fish caught by juniors and how they relate to champion boat points.
The champion boat points are allocated from the three heaviest fish of each species weighed during the tournament, irrespective of whether they are caught by a senior or junior angler. 5 points for heaviest, 3 for 2nd and 1 for third.
The boat Max scored a total of 4 points which came from the 2nd & 3rd heaviest Mulloway. The juniors on board “Max” had other prize winning fish in the juniors section but other boats had larger fish overall.
eg. Tylan Maxwell on “Max” had the heaviest junior Drummer at 1.584 kg, however there were five other Drummer recorded, ranging from 1.719 kg to 2.783 kg.
The boat points for Drummer went to:
“Divert” 5 points 2.783 kg
“Tinnie” 3 points 2.345 kg
“Theresa” 1 point 2.258 kg
The important thing to remember is that there are three fish only of each species that are awarded points for champion boat.
I hope this clears it up.
I did ask John to clarify this during the presentation because we have had other queries over the years. John did mention it but very briefly.

Congratulations & thanks for the kind words.
See you next year. Maybe in your new Polycraft / Evinrude outfit.

Thanks for the kind words. We were lucky with the weather and the tournament seems to attract a wonderful group of like minded people out to enjoy the weekend.
Saturdays crowd decision to continue the lucky draws in the rain sums up the attitude. Everyone was happy to stay out in the rain (except of course Gary Miller who got stuck with holding the speaker system 240v wires up out of the water).


Gday there , I have fished a few TBFT's and was lucky enough to get to Hakula Lodge in Tonga last year through being in the comp. I will be up there again this year and have a suggestion that may save organisers and participants alot of time and effort. My idea is that the TBFT nominate a mobile phone number which would be manned by someone around the weigh master or tally board so that when an angler is out fishing and they catch a fish that they think may be worth weighing they give the mobile a quick call to see what has been weighed for that species to determine whether it is worthwhile to get back to weigh it or not. You could just get a prepaid phone card whack it in an phone and it could take anglers enquiries at no cost to the TBFT. The phone number could be included in the boat bag given out. This would save alot of fish being brought in to be weighed when there are already weighed fish in the top three places for that species so it would be a waste of everyone's time in getting them in to be weighed and the less fish having to be weighed for no result would make life easier for the guys on the scales as well. It also might see a few more fish released as well as not everyone has an adequate way of keeping them alive. This idea dawned on me a few comps ago when we had a semi decent flatty and made a long run to weigh it only to find out it was a long way from the mark to make an impression on the board. If we could've given someone a quick call to get an update of what flattys had been weighed would have seen the fish released, we wouldve had more fishing time and the TBFT staff wouldnt have to bother weighing extra fish. Best Regards CRAIG BEENCKE

Hi Craig,
Congratulations on your win last year. Jeff & Janine are wonderful hosts and feedback from all our trip winners over the years is that the fishing is A1++.

Top idea. I’ll put it to the team at Shoal Bay Fishing Club – they actually run the tournament.

This tournament was originally designed & formatted to minimize fish kills, and has been used by a number of other tournaments as a guide to best practice. These days we try to have the big tank when budgets allow (it’s very expensive) on site to allow easy release of fish by anglers.

To give you an idea of catch rates, I’m pretty sure that in 2008 we weighed under 250 fish in total. That’s for over 1000 anglers in 3 days. If you include the number of live fish weighed & then released, the catch rate for the tournament fishing effort is insignificant. I’m also sure that many families enjoy a healthy fish meal after the tournament, as all the capture species are good eating.


Entry Fees

The Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament will not be cancelled or postponed.

If you think it is too rough to go out in your boat then stay onshore. Your safety is your responsibility to your family, your crew, their families, and everyone else (like all future competitors) who will be adversely affected by you making a bad decision and getting into trouble.

Even if the weather is too bad to go fishing, the registration / briefing will be held on Thursday night, the competitor BBQ on Saturday, and the Main Presentation on the Sunday. In the event of foul weather these events will be held at the Police Boys Club (7 Austral St Nelson Bay).

We purchase a lot of the prizes, commit to a number of sponsors, purchase a large amount of clothing, commit to catering and refreshments, plus commit to supporting a number of community organizations and charities. At the end of the day there’s not a lot of the entry fees left by the time the tournament is finished.

One of the biggest things we stress at the briefing is that competitors are responsible for their own (and their crews) safety. If you are not confident of the offshore weather conditions or forecast, then fish inshore. If you are not comfortable with the inshore conditions either then stay ashore. Going out in a boat is one of life’s grand adventures, and staying within your safe working capabilities is one of your main responsibilities. None of us want more and more limitations, rules, and laws thrust upon us, so the best thing to do is boat safely.

The weekend is meant to be an enjoyable weekend away with family & friends, and we’re not fighting for sheep stations or world domination. Nothing would spoil that for more everyone than people going fishing in conditions that they can get into trouble in. It’s not only uncomfortable for all aboard and nerve wracking for those left ashore, it can be downright dangerous and ruin lives.

The great news is that even if we can’t or don’t want to fish on the weekend there’s still a great BBQ on Saturday with lots of Lucky Draw prizes on Sunday. We do not take any of the prizes back. Therefore, in a perverse way, the less fish caught the more chances people have of winning a prize.

Always remember, safety is your responsibility and you’re there to have a great time. Swimming around a swamped boat hoping your mate is somewhere safe and the Water Police will arrive soon is not part of that fun.

The good common sense of our competitors over the years means we have a perfect safety record and managed to keep the rules simple. Let’s keep it that way.


Hi Tony,

I with my young son have fished the trailer boat for the last 2 years and find it a very enjoyable comp to be apart of. The effort the Shoal Bay club provide in helping out makes everything run smoothly despite the obvious obstacles placed against you this year.

I, as a father feel I need to provide some feedback regarding the distribution of prizes to junior and senior competitors.

My son Xavier won the prize for the biggest snapper in the junior devision and that absolutely made his weekend.

Based on this I saw a lot of disappointed juniors miss out on a prize and another junior walk away with 12 fishing rods, back packs etc. ( you know who I’m talking about) My suggestion for future years to make it fairer would be you can only win 1 prize per category not all 3. That way more juniors/ seniors who caught a fish in a certain category would have a chance at a reward.

The look on some peoples faces (including juniors) watching the same junior repeatedly collect prizes was not great.

Please don’t take this email as being negative because as I stated from the start my son and I had a great time.

Kindest Regards, Mathew.

Hi Mathew,

Need all the feedback we can get. Not afraid of change and always looking for improvement.

Xaviers snapper was a fish any angler would be proud to catch.

On the matter of prize distribution I agree with you 100%. I think some kids (or is it their parents?) can totally forget what the spirit of the competition is all about. We don’t seem to have the same issue with Seniors.

Working hard to build up the numbers of people, particularly families attending so action on this may help. Will forward to the Shoal Bay Fishing Club guys & see if we can come up with a workable solution that doesn’t complicate the rules. We’ve managed to work with the virtually the same rules for over 20 years now.

Cheers, Tony.


Hi Tony,

You normally have a boat giveaway as part of the prizes but no boat this year.  Will there be one next year? N.B. really enjoyed ourselves anyway but found that unusual. Ian.

Hi Ian,

We can only give away the prizes that sponsors provide us & those we have the budget to buy. On the income side, many sponsors have cut back on their involvement and all have cut back any cash contributions. On the expense side, there are ever increasing amounts paid to Port Stephens Council for the park hire and insurance costs to name a couple of the major fixed costs. All in all, it’s quite a budget squeeze. For the Tournament to survive, it needs to be financially viable, and this year it wasn’t. The poor weather and subsequent big drop in competitor numbers plus sponsor cut backs really hurt.

In the case of the boat, motor, trailer packages, for the past number of years BRP (Evinrude) has assisted us and we’ve had to buy the boats & trailers from Savage. This year, BRP changed its distribution network and Telwater (owners of Savage) are now the Evinrude motor & parts distributors in Australia. Unfortunately, we could not come to an agreement with them in time for this years event.

On the positive side, we welcomed a number of new sponsors this year including c4 Industries / Rock Oil, Hope Wine Group, Life Cell Marine and Thou Walla Sunset Retreat so the news is not all bad.

We’re already addressing these factors to build competitor numbers and sponsors for 2018 as we’d all like the Tournament’s 25th Birthday to be a huge success and a pointer to the event thriving towards its 50th birthday party.    

Cheers, Tony.


d’Albora Marina Nelson Bay is very close and handy to Tournament Base so it’s a perfect spot if you don’t want to go through the hassle of taking your boat in and out of the water each day. The facilities are top class and there are a range of eateries and marine services on-site.   d’Albora Marina Nelson Bay website

d’Albora Marinas usually have TBFT packages available and most years offer fuel discounts to Competitors. Phone: 02 4984 1333 to book.


You pick them up when you register at the tournament.

You can change crew names when you register at the tournament to pick up your Boat Bags & Angler ID cards. Please remember that for all lucky draws the registered angler must be the one who comes up to collect the prize. Prof of ID may be requested and presenting someone elses ticket means disqualifiction from the tournament.

When entering online the process is:

  1. Have a valid credit card, boat details, and crew details all handy.
  2. Select the number of senior & junior anglers on your boat.
  3. Select the t-shirt sizes, caps, and any other merchandise available.
  4. Input the credit card holders details & a password
  5. Pay for your entry.
  6. After payment a receipt will be emailed to you (make sure your email address is a valid one for this to work)
  7. There will be an “Order Number” on the receipt. Please quote this “Order Number” in all correspondance.
  8. You will then be transferred to a page that allows you to input all your boat and crew details.
  9. Entry complete.

The easiest way at this stage is to fax or email me the details of the extra entries on your boat with clear reference to the Boat Name, Skippers Name, and Order Number on your receipt for the initial online payment. The entries are coming through thick and fast and we’re busily in-putting them into our database.

The way the site is made you do need a boat name for us to process the order. It is one of the ways that makes it easy for us to identify you & your crew.

Only one angler from each boat needs to be present and that angler can sign for the boats anglers ID Cards and any clothing that has been ordered. .
There will be three registration lines, based on alphabetical order of boat names (eg A-K, L-S,T-Z) with clothing available after you’ve picked up your ID Cards.
Shoal Bay Fishing Club will also have clothing on sale at the tournament but please remember that sizes and quantities will be limited.

Rules & Points

The mackerel tuna (Euthynnus affinis), also known as the little tuna, belongs to the family Scombridae which includes the mackerels, tunas and bonitos. It is a widespread pelagic species found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.
Therefore, it is included.

Most tagged gets 5 points, 2nd most gets 3 points, and 3rd most 1 point. In the event of a tie, it is broken by the time the first tag card gets presented at the weigh station (Note: not time of tagging).

Bream are the only compulsory live-weigh species in the Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament. All others are optional at the anglers choice. Having said that, we weigh in many live fish including flathead during the Tournament. After weighing these are released into the big-tank and after the tournament back into the estuary. The possession limits are a natural barrier to larger fish being taken in large quantities (visit We’ve never had a problem handling larger flathead (they are a naturally hardy species).

On an average year we only weigh in a total of around 160 fish including many that are live and then released. Therefore there is no real issue given the angler numbers (usually around 1,000), days fished (3), and species spread (14) on angler effort / catch basis.

Please see the rules page. These have evolved over the 22 years of the Tournament and seem to work very well for all stakeholders.

No worries with the jet ski (or kayak or canoe) as long as it meets the rules. See ‘Boat Eligibility’ on the Tournament Rules page.

Yes, as long as his bag limit is within the Fisheries bag limit regulations. That’s where care needs to be taken. We’ve discussed this a number of times over the years and can’t see any reason to change it.

You are most definitely welcome to enter. The key word is capable.
Under these rules, even roof-topper Kayaks or boats kept in the water are eligible to enter.

Bream are considered a premium fish in the tournament and we’ve always found that the biggest bream tend to come from ‘gun anglers’ who tend to have good facilities to keep live fish in good condition onboard. Bream are also a hardy fish and relatively easy to keep alive in a tank with an aerator and occasional fresh water. There is plenty of information available on making or buying a simple tank to keep fish alive for long periods. I’m sure your local tackle dealer would be happy to help you with a suitable kit.
Please refer to the Tournament Rules for the correct weigh station opening times.
For over 15 years we have run a 3 day fishing tournament for over 1,000 competitors while weighing in less than 200 fish per year on average. This is actually one of the most ‘fish friendly’ tournaments in Australia and often used as a model.

The tournament has the necessary Marine Parks permits. You still need to have fishing license, etc and abide by the marine park boundaries as gazette. Marine Parks will be supplying guides that will be put into each boat bag and it is up to individuals to comply.

When we chose the species, we needed to be mindful of the anglers who fish in the tournament (many families with children & non tournament scene regulars) plus which species are most likely to be caught in the area during the tournament. Tailor, Luderick, and Black Drummer fit the profile and are all readily caught from trailerboats. We also need to balance the range of species with estuary angling and offshore angling in mind to allow the smaller inshore boats an equal chance of winning against the larger offshore capable boats.
If things change in the future and these species become more readily available then they may be introduced. Nothing is written in concrete.

Hopefully I can answer your questions regarding the Port Stephen’s – Great Lakes Marine Park, in particular the Habitat Protection Zones.

As a recreational fisher you can fish in all of the Habitat Protection Zones (some have restrictions but are clearly marked differently on the maps). Commercial fishing activities such as netting and trawling are not permitted in these areas to ensure the habitat is protected.

Any of the habitat protection zones in plain yellow are ok to fish in, as a recreational fisher by any legal method.

The Habitat Protection Zones that have lines/hatched areas etc marked over them have restrictions. An example of such a zone is the Broughton Island Restricted Habitat Protection Zone. You will see on the map a yellow section off Broughton Island that is cross hatched. If you look at the key it explains this area is open for fishing by the method of trolling only from Dec 1 – march 31. Outside of these dates no fishing is permitted.

All of the Habitat Protection areas that are marked by way of lines/crosses are referred to as Restricted Habitat Protection Zones and as this name suggests, there are restrictions on the type of fishing allowed in that particular zone. The restrictions are outlined both in the Zoning Plan (key on the side of the map) and in the Recreational Fishing Guide.

T-shirt size

There will be a limited number of t-shirts & bucket hats available over the weekend. They can be exchanged for an appropriate size if the wrong size is ordered provided we have one in stock. They’re a generous mens size.

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Anglers of all ages and skill levels welcome

February 8, 2016
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These days, you can expect to join around 1,000 competitors and 450 boats to compete for over $80,000 in species and lucky draw prizes. The rules are very simple to understand and there are a lot of Juniors each year. This is the first ever fishing tournament for around 50% of competitors each year, and people travel from all over Australia for the weekend. The format remains deliberately aimed at family groups.

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  • Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament

    In 1994, a small group of 26 trailerboats and 68 enthusiastic anglers got together at Nelson Bay on beautiful Port Stephens for an enjoyable weekend of fishing and camraderie.

    The Tournament Base is located near the ferry terminal at Nelson Bay. It offers good level access, plenty of room for competitors and sponsor displays, easy parking, a dedicated floating pontoon for easy drop off and pick up and plenty of beach area for boats to pull in for Saturdays BBQ.

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  • Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament 2018 – March 23, 24, 25.

    2018 online entries open now PLEASE ENTER EARLY TO ASSISIT with catering and planning.

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