Angling Competition 18-19th February, 2023

The 9th Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) angling competition of the 2022/2023 season enjoyed light to gentle winds, periods of sunshine, and comfortable temperatures, which were perfect for fishing.  Of course, catching was a different story.  The weekend-long competition, on the 18th and 19th of February, celebrated the efforts of angling members, who gathered with supporters at the clubrooms for weigh-in, concluding at 5:30 pm on Sunday.

With a total of 38 fish, 2 sharks and 1 cephalopod 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.  The consensus was that the fish were around, although many hours passed while anglers reels remained idle.   Locations spanned from around the corner, out the front, to the middle, or over the other side, from Rhyll and around Westernport.  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 King George whiting, snapper, flathead, trevally, pike, couta, and yakkas.  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 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 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 received a participation award for his King George whiting worth 20 points.  Byron Griffin and Saige Nicolaci went bigger with their King George whiting and were tied in second place.  Micah Goodwin went 1 better, weighing in 2 fish for a total of 40 points and was the thrilled to be awarded first place in the Squidgies’ competition.  The Junior Weight and Junior Points competitions, for anglers aged 10 to 16, were a clean sweep for Denver Firth.  Denver claimed the Junior Weight prize with a flathead weighing 215 grams and supporters did a double take when he returned for the Junior Points prize, awarded for his King George whiting worth 1120 points (400 grams).

The Senior Heaviest Weight competitions were won by Peter Cubeta and Kate Jinnette, each performing above average.  Peter caught a couta weighing 1895 grams and Kate caught a pinkie snapper weighing 965 grams.  The Senior Points competitions were won by Chris Leonardos and Tenille Preddice, each catching a good meal of King George whiting, worth 2296 points (820 grams) and 1330 points (475 grams), respectively.  Despite an abundance of mini-gummies in Westernport, 2 gummies were able to meet the RPIAC criteria of a partial length greater than 60 cm.  The best of the weekend, with a clean weight of 3845 grams, was caught by Peter Cubeta to win the shark prize.   With 2 prizes already in hand, Peter Cubeta was back on the podium to complete the weekend trifecta to also win the Squid/Cuttlefish Competition.  Peter set a new club record with his cuttlefish, weighing-in at 1575 grams.  The Secret Weight prize was awarded to Anne-Marie Richards, who was only 4 grams off the secret weight (326 grams)  with her 330-gram King George whiting.

The roast chicken dinner was served-up after the presentation, which was expertly prepared by Kristos, delivering satisfaction to all anglers and supporters.  With thanks to Nikky, Alex and Michael, no one left hungry or dehydrated, and the weekend’s volunteers 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 4th / 5th of March 2023.  There are still many opportunities to take part in the scheduled angling competitions and compete for comp-weekend prizes and the club championships.

Micah Goodwin
Byron Griffin
Saige Nicolaci

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