Angling Competition 21st & 22nd January 2024
The Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) resumed their 2023/2024 angling competition, with the 7th competition for the season held over the weekend of the 20th and 21st of January. With a forecast promising stable weather, Saturday proved to be the best day for anglers. Indeed, many enjoyed the summer weather, and the Rhyll boat ramp’s carpark was at capacity before breakfast. Considering the warm water temperature, anglers were poised for an abundance of fish activity and some extraordinary catches.
A total of 40 fish and 2 calamari were weighed-in at the RPIAC clubrooms during the designated timeslot of 4:30 to 5:30 pm Saturday and Sunday. Alex Bowden, the RPIAC weigh-in master, and Chris Leonardos, RPIAC Club Captain, were swift and focussed, ensuring that each fish was weighed, and the data was collected. The range of eligible species included snapper, King George whiting, flathead, trevally, pike, and southern calamari. As Sunday’s weigh-in concluded, the results were tabulated, 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, and slices. Again, a great deal of effort from volunteers, particularly Lorraine and Nikky, and the great team who made the whole weekend another 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 the holiday season offering an abundance of summer recreation, the Squidgie competition, for anglers aged nine and under, celebrated the wonderful achievements of angling-brothers Harley and Byron Griffin. Harley and Byron each presented 4 fish, worth 65 points, for weigh-in and were tied in first place. The Junior’s competition, for anglers aged 10 to 16, saw Jacob Magro return to win the Junior Points prize with a King George whiting worth 896 points (320 grams), whilst the Weight competition was uncontested.
With an abundance of fish in Westernport and the ocean-side of Phillip Island, the challenge was to find the biggest. The Senior Heaviest Weight competitions were won by Clem Mifsud, with an impressive 13985-gram tuna from the sea, and Leah Valente, with a 2185-gram snapper from the bay. James Nicolaci and Debra Orr dominated in the Senior Points competitions. James’s fish was a pike, reminiscent of an anaconda, worth 3345 points (3345 grams), and Debra had a sleek King George whiting, worth 1288 points (460 grams). Despite reports of massive gummy sharks in Westernport, only the smaller specimens were being caught, and nothing close to RPIAC’s 60 cm minimum partial-length made it to weigh-in. Peter Hall triumphed in the squid/cuttlefish competition, weighing-in a chunky 1270-gram southern calamari. The Secret Weight prize was awarded to Kate Jinnette, closest to the secret weight with a 305-gram King George whiting (secret weight 261 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 3rd / 4th of February 2024. There are still many opportunities to take part in the scheduled angling competitions and compete for comp-weekend prizes and the club championships. For further information about the club, events, competitions, and rules, please visit the website: www.rpiac.com