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.



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