Angling Competition 17th & 18th February

Rhyll Phillip Island Angling Club Celebrates New Club Record and a Successful Fishing Competition

This past weekend, the Rhyll Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) hosted its eagerly anticipated 9th angling competition, marking another vibrant chapter in the 2023/2024 season. The event, held on the 17th and 18th of February, saw anglers of all ages come together in a spirited display of fishing prowess, under conditions that could only be described as perfect for the sport.

As the competition kicked off at the stroke of midnight on Friday, participants were greeted with ideal weather, featuring low winds and clear skies, setting the stage for a weekend of remarkable catches. The clubrooms buzzed with activity during the weigh-ins, with anglers presenting their prized catches between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

With a total of 48 fish and 3 sharks entered in the competition, there were stories of persistence, success, and failure, giving enthusiasts an idea of where the fish were and weren’t biting.  Locations spanned from around the corner, out the front, to the middle, or over the other side, from Rhyll, Cowes, Newhaven, around Westernport and Bass Strait.  For those on the water, it was a matter of monitoring the whereabouts of boats relative to the time of day, listening to stories of recent success, or following the guidance of those in the know.

Eligible species, encountered over the weekend, included kingfish, tuna, King George whiting, snapper, flathead, pike, salmon, slimeys, yakkas, and gummy sharks.  The RPIAC Extraordinary Catch Incentives for eligible species, caught by members on competition weekends, stay in the bank with 3 more competitions remaining.  None of these $1000 first-to-catch prizes have been claimed this season, although anglers remain 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 welcomes young anglers, offering complementary membership to children aged 16 and under, encouraging them to develop their skills and awareness of sustainable and responsible angling.  The post-competition presentation awards celebrated the outstanding efforts of all angling members.  Anglers aged 9 and under, in the Squidgie Mixed Bag competition, excelled to catch fish and outdo their peers.  Harley Griffin and Byron Griffin continued with their angling enthusiasm and were thrilled when they had tied in first place in the Squidgies’ competition, each catching 2 fish worth 40 points.  The Junior Weight and Junior Points competitions, for anglers aged 10 to 16, also showcased the upcoming talent within the club, with Benji Chihotski taking home the heaviest weight prize for his impressive 2,085-gram salmon.  Manny Fahnle triumphed in the junior points category with a King George whiting, amassing an impressive 1,876 points for a 670-gram fish, demonstrating skill beyond his years.

The Senior Heaviest Weight competitions were no less competitive. Tim Fahnle claimed the male category’s Senior Heaviest Weight prize and set a new club record with a staggering 15250-gram kingfish.  Kate Jinnette won the female Senior Heaviest Weight prize after she caught a salmon weighing 1860 grams.  The Senior Points competitions were won by James Nicolaci and Allie Griffin, catching a salmon, worth 2780 points (2780 grams), and a King George whiting, worth 1554 points (555 grams), respectively.  Despite an abundance of mini-gummies in Westernport, 3 gummies were able to meet the RPIAC criteria of a partial length greater than 60 cm.  The very best of the weekend, with a clean weight of 12200 grams, was caught by Paul Goodwin who won the shark prize.   The Squid/Cuttlefish competition was uncontested.  The Secret Weight Competition added a thrilling twist, with Sam Orr nearly hitting the mark with a King George Whiting that weighed in at a near-perfect 410 grams against the secret weight of 411 grams.

The event concluded on a high note on Sunday, with the club providing a delightful meal of pizzas and salad for its members, celebrating the community spirit and the shared passion for angling.  With thanks to all volunteers, no one left hungry or dehydrated, and the weekend’s supporters certainly made this another successful competition. 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 is scheduled for the weekend of the 2nd / 3rd of March 2024.  There are still many opportunities to participate in the scheduled angling competitions and compete for comp-weekend prizes and enter the club championships. For further information about the club, events, competitions, and rules, please visit the website:

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