Angling Competition 14-15th January, 2023

The Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) resumed their 2022/2023 angling competition, with the 7th competition for the season held over the weekend of the 14th and 15th of January.  A preliminary forecast promised scorching heat and sunshine for Saturday with cooler and windier weather for Sunday.  Indeed, the forecast delivered great summer weather.  Considering a water temperature around 22 degrees and reports of monstrous King George whiting and ravenous snapper, anglers were poised for extraordinary feats.

The Rhyll boat ramp webcam confirmed that an early start meant a short stroll to the pontoons, whilst late-sleepers walked slightly further from the foreshore.  A few large vessels used the recently upgraded facility as a private marina and recreational boaters struggled to find space and temporarily moor for launch and retrieval.  Thankfully the large vessels were gone by midday, and Rhyll’s harmony was restored.

A total of 36 fish and 4 sharks were weighed-in at the RPIAC clubrooms within the designated 4:30 to 5:30 pm weigh-in window for each day.  Russell Gallagher, the RPIAC weigh-in master, and Chris Leonardos, RPIAC Club Captain, were swift and focussed, ensuring all data was collected.  The range of eligible species included pinkie snapper, King George whiting, flathead, salmon, and gummy sharks.  At the 5:30 pm Sunday conclusion of weigh-in, the results were finalised and the pace slowed to Island-time.  Anglers and supporters gathered at the RPIAC clubrooms for the post-competition presentation and enjoyed a meal of Cafe Bazarre pizzas, complemented by salads, ice creams and slices.  A great deal of effort by volunteers, particularly Lorraine, Nikky, Jill, and Peter, who made the whole weekend a great success.

The RPIAC’s Extraordinary Catch Incentives for eligible species, caught by members on competition weekends, remain banked.  None of these $1000 first-to-catch prizes have been claimed this season, although many are optimistic about catching an eligible species that equals or exceeds the nominated weight: King George Whiting (1000 grams), Snapper (10.0 kilograms), Gummy Shark (20.0 kilograms), Mulloway (25.0 kilograms) and Kingfish (25.0 kilograms).

RPIAC encourages participation in recreational angling and welcomes newcomers to learn more about participation in the club’s activities.  RPIAC offers complimentary membership to children, aged 16 and under, so they can develop skills and an awareness of sustainable and responsible angling. 

With holidays coming to a close for many, the Squidgie category, for anglers aged nine and under, was uncontested this weekend.  The Junior Weight competition was won by Lucas Chihotski who steered a salmon, weighing 535 grams, out of the water and into the weigh-in room.  The Junior competition welcomed Mitchell Smith, who reeled-in a King George whiting worth 1400 points (500 grams) to win the Junior Points prize.

With an abundance of pinkie snapper in Westernport the challenge was to find the biggest.  The Senior Heaviest Weight competitions were won by Helen Ismail and Peter Cubeta, weighing in a pair of snapper of 1035 grams and 930 grams, respectively.  King George whiting were the species that dominated in the Senior Points competitions.  Paul Goodwin conjured the best King George whiting of the weekend, worth 1708 points (610 grams), to win the Senior Male Points competition.   Female Club Champion Carrianne Peatey took the Senior Female Points prize for a King George whiting worth 1218 points (435 grams).  Despite reports of squid all around Phillip Island, none greater than the 1-kilo minimum weight made it to the weigh-in room, leaving the squid/cuttlefish competition uncontested.  Anglers were keen to bring their gummy sharks to weigh-in and the most impressive, caught by Mark Griffin, tipped the scales at 6280 grams to win the shark competition.  The Secret Weight prize was awarded to Tenille Preddice, closest to the secret weight with a 335-gram King George whiting (secret weight 346 grams). The RPIAC clubroom is located adjacent to the Rhyll boat ramp and is open to members and visitors on Fridays (from 5 pm) and competition weekends coinciding with weigh in.  The next angling competition will be held over the weekend of the 4th / 5th of February 2023.  There are still many opportunities to take part in the scheduled angling competitions and compete for comp-weekend prizes and the club championships.

Helen Ismail
Paul Goodwin
Lucas Chihotski

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