Weigh in and recording fish captures: Is it strictly weigh only with estuary species? My mates and I regularly catch pretty large female flatties which I am pretty sure wouldn’t fit into the majority of estuary boat live wells (including mine!) I have fished a lot of flatty specific comps and generally it is a measure on a brag mat with angler ID. Is this at all possible with flatties in particular for the TBFT this year?
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 http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/recreational/regulations/sw/sw-bag-and-size). 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.