Angling Competition 19-20th November, 2022

The Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) held the 5th angling competition for the 2022 / 2023 season over the weekend of the 19th and 20th of November.  In addition to the weekend’s prizes, angling members tried hard to make a lasting impression, competing to have their name etched onto the Bill Wallis Trophy.

Despite Friday’s fine weather, the stroke of midnight saw strong easterly winds persist until dawn on Saturday and only optimistic anglers made their way to the boat ramp.  A dozen-or-so boats launched from Rhyll to welcome a falling barometer and the promise of good fishing.  The window of bite-opportunities aligned with Saturday morning and continued until the afternoon as the wind speed increased, and the rain started to fall.  Few braved the weather on Sunday as wind gusts and showers offered little confidence for comfortable boating or angling.

A good variety of eligible species were presented during the weigh-in-windows, between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday, and included snapper, King George whiting, flathead, trevally, and gummy sharks.  A total of 33 fish and 2 sharks made it to weigh-in, and Russ Gallagher, the RPIAC Weigh-in Master, was in high spirits as he tabulated the weekend’s results and sorted through the contenders for the Bill Wallis Trophy.

Whilst the season’s first to catch, members only, competition weekend incentives for extraordinary catches provided additional motivation for members to participate in this weekend’s competition, the cash incentives for the five eligible species remain unclaimed.  The nominated species for a first-to-catch $1,000 prize, for fish equal to or exceeding the nominated weight, are: King George Whiting (1,000 grams), Snapper (10.0 kilograms), Gummy Shark (20.0 kilograms), Mulloway (25.0 kilograms) and Kingfish (25.0 kilograms).

After enduring the sub-optimal conditions, angling members were relieved when the competition concluded at 5:30 pm on Sunday.  Participants and supporters gathered at the clubroom for the presentation of awards, a warming pizza dinner, and the informal debrief of the weekend’s activities.

The Squidgie Mixed Bag competition, for anglers aged 9 or younger, was uncontested and many opportunities for prizes in this competition remain. 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. 

The Junior competition was dominated by Denver Firth, who embraced the lunar phase and opened the bite-window, catching a snapper weighing 2445 grams to win the Junior Weight prize.  There are still many opportunities for Squidgies and Juniors to take part in the scheduled angling competitions and compete for comp-weekend prizes and the club championships.

Consistent with everyone’s expectations for big snapper, the Senior Heaviest Weight contests were dominated by some worthy beasts (Chrysophrys auratus).  The Senior Male and Senior Female Heaviest Weight competitions could barely separate the achievements of two anglers, James Nicolaci and Carrianne Peatey, each presenting a chunky snapper, weighing 4590 grams and 4535 grams, respectively.  The Senior Female Points competition saw Anne-Marie Richards catch the weekend’s biggest King George whiting worth 1792 points (640 grams).  Chris Leonardos won the Senior Male Points competition, catching a similar-sized King George whiting worth 1778 points (635 grams).

Sid Davidson, won the flake battle, taking the honours in the Shark competition with a gummy shark weighing 2985 grams.  Paul Goodwin was closest to the mark in the Secret Weight competition, taking the prize with a 565-gram flathead (secret weight 596 grams).

The winner of the 2022 RPIAC Bill Wallis Trophy, for the highest aggregate score from Weight and Points categories, was Carrianne Peatey.  Carrianne had an aggregate score of 5949 Bill Wallis units, for a King George whiting worth 1414 points (505 grams) and a snapper weighing 4535 grams, ensuring her name is added to the trophy. The Women In Recreational Fishing (WIRF) Network will be at the RPIAC clubrooms on the 2nd of December to provide some insights about WIRF and opportunities to get connected.  The next RPIAC angling competition will be held over the weekend of the 3rd / 4th of December 2022. 

Carrieanne Peaty accepting Bill Wallis Trophy

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