2017 Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament
If resilience is the current buzz word, the over 500 anglers of all ages who endured the conditions to enjoy the 2017 Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament fit the definition perfectly. In the 24 year history of the event, there has never been such bad wind & rain over the three days. Many people could not make it purely because they were in flood conditions and unable to reach Port Stephens. Cyclone Debbie certainly shared her love down the coast.
The gun anglers were out in force however and put long hours on the water hunting for the elusive trophy fish to earn them the 2017 Champion Angler Award. This year, Mathew Godfrey convincingly won the prestigious Senior crown on 23 points from 2x past winner Paul Lennon on 14 points. Displaying skill across a variety of species, Mathew won points for Cobia, Mulloway, Snapper, Teraglin, and Tuna.
Amongst the Seniors some standouts include Mathew Godfrey’s 17.723 Kg Cobia & 8.288 Kg Snapper, Rowan Thursby’s 2.275 Kg drummer, Garrie Harris’ 4.148Kg flathead, Ben Doolan’s 11.302 Kg kingfish, James McKinnnon’s 0.692 Kg luderick, Paul Lennon’s 30.778 Kg Mulloway (also a Shoal Bay Fishing Club record), and Shane Scott’s 22.603 Kg tuna. Senior species prizes included 3M Marine boat care packs, Mako sunglasses, Shimano tackle, Club Marine Insurance vouchers, and Rock Oil.
Displaying obvious exhaustion from long hours on the water, the Junior Champion Anglers exuded obvious pride and joy at getting some top fish over the weekend. The 2017 Champion Junior Angler award went to Amy Falko with 38 points from Luke Arthur who amassed 12 points. Amy’s family support group helped her win points for Kingfish, Mulloway, Snapper, Tailor, Teraglin, and Tuna.
Some meritorious Junior catches include Amy Falko’s 1.019 Kg bream & 13.404 Kg Mulloway, Cohen Brakell’s 2.628 Kg flathead, Luke Arthur’s 0.641 Kg flounder, Xavier Smith’s 8.019 Kg snapper, and Dustin Mrcela’s 6.63 Kg Tuna. There are plenty of adult anglers who’d like to be catching fish like this. Junior species prizes included 3M Marine boat care packs, Alvey Tackle, Shimano tackle, Rock Oil, & Club Marine Insurance vouchers.
With very little offshore fishing this year, the inshore or near inshore species dominated the results. The point system is such that very few fish are weighed in over the course of the Tournament, with bream a live only species and also many other fish released back into the water alive. For example, the 3x heaviest Flathead weighed were all released. Only the top 3 fish in each species count for points and regular broadcasts on Bay FM 88 mean that unless a fish has a good chance of getting on the board it is not bought in.
Safety is a TBFT priority and entrusting the competitors with responsibility for deciding whether to fish or not, it is heartening to report that the dedicated team at Marine Rescue had a very quiet weekend. At Port Stephens, anglers can fish inshore in most conditions for some top species so there is no excuse to risk venturing offshore in poor weather. The Good Samaritan award this year went to father & son team Darren & Tyson Yule, who interrupted their fishing to tow in a boat experiencing engine troubles. On the topic of safety, we welcome Life Cell Marine onboard. This Australian designed product is now being sold around the world and is an ideal way to keep your onboard safety and emergency gear together. A number of lucky anglers won the Trailer Boat model in the many lucky draws over the weekend.
Hope Estate helped make Saturdays “Hope Brewhouse” BBQ a great success. Because of the poor weather conditions this was held at the local PCYC. As Murphy dictates, the best weather of the weekend coincided with the BBQ. Many anglers chose to forgo the BBQ and lucky draws to stay out fishing. This meant that those who attended had greatly increased chances of winning some wonderful prizes from the likes of 3M Marine, Alistain quality s/s gaffs, Bay Boat Sales, Black Pete Marine, Blue Bottle Fishing (with the ever popular Chiller Bags), BOAB Boat Hire, Frogley’s Offshore, Hope Estate concert tickets, Mako sunglasses, and including accommodation packages from Port Stephens Beachside Holiday Parks, Thou Walla Sunset Resort, and Winning Holidays.
Major lucky draw prizes this year included many $500 gift vouchers from Frogley’s Offshore and many quality Simrad sounder/plotter units including a huge 16” screen S2106 from long time Tournament supporter Navico. Any species prizes not won are lucky drawn so the many not-so lucky anglers had increased chances of winning some top product from our sponsors. A bonus reward for braving the atrocious conditions.
Most winning anglers also won bottles of Rock Oil from new sponsor C4 Industries. The many Speedway tragics at the Tournament all perked up when it was mentioned that multiple times World Champion Jason Crump was the man responsible for bringing Rock Oil to Australia. Those of a certain age also recognised the Crump name from Jason’s father Phil, another extremely successful speedway rider internationally.
Heartfelt thanks to the many volunteers from Shoal Bay Fishing Club, local businesses and organisations (including the PCYC, Marine Rescue & Tackle World Port Stephens) for helping make the best of a bad lot over the week. Most thanks must go to the competitors though. Showing a high degree of stoicism, there was barely a complaint about the poor conditions over the weekend. They certainly didn’t let a wee bit of rain & wind get in the way of enjoying themselves.
For full results, details and entries for upcoming tournaments please visit www.tbft.net.au .