Angling Competition 23-24 September 2023
The Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) opened its 2023/2024 angling competition with the first weekend-long angling competition on the 23rd and 24th of September 2023. The season’s opening enjoyed some magnificent weather, and some great fish were caught all around Phillip Island.
There are 12 weekend competitions this season and all RPIAC members are eligible to participate. All junior anglers that participate, receive complementary membership to RPIAC to compete for prizes and the club championships in the Squidgie (anglers aged 9 or younger) and Junior (anglers aged 10 to 16) categories.
Anglers were certainly motivated by the thought of early Spring catches, and the lure of snapper season. A total of 69 fish made it to the RPIAC weigh-in room and the Weigh-in Master, Alex Bowden, and Club Captain, Chris Leonardos, had a steady stream of anglers at the 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm weigh-in on Saturday and Sunday. The eligible species caught over the two days included snapper, King George whiting, stranger whiting, barracouta, salmon, flathead, southern calamari and 3 gummy sharks.
None of the RPIAC Extraordinary Catch Incentives were claimed and the members-only, competition weekend, $1000 first-to-catch prizes for senior competitors stay banked. The incentives up for grabs are for eligible species that equal or exceed the nominated weight and include King George Whiting (1000 grams), Snapper (10.0 kilograms), Gummy Shark (20.0 kilograms), Mulloway (25.0 kilograms) and Kingfish (25.0 kilograms).
The Squidgie Mixed Bag Points competition, for participants aged 9 and under, celebrated a 3-way tie for second place. The tremendous trio, comprising, Oliver Barratt, Harley Griffin, and Byron Griffin, each weighed in 1 fish worth 20 points. Madeline McGinness finished the weekend with 2 fish, for a total of 35 points, to claim the first prize. The Junior category, for anglers aged 10 to 16, saw Isabella Bland win the Junior Weight competition with a very impressive snapper, which tipped the scales at 4400 grams. The Junior Points competition was won by Benji Chihotski, who weighed in a quality King George whiting worth 1386 points (495 grams).
The Senior Heaviest Weight competitions were won by Chris Leonardos and Leah Valente, who caught some sizable spring snapper. The biggest for the weekend was caught by Chris and was 91 cm long and just shy of 9 kilograms, weighing 8985 grams. Leah’s was 60 cm long and weighed 2565 grams. The Senior Points competitions were won by Sam Linklater and Leah Valente. Sam weighed in a stranger whiting worth 1420 points (355 grams) and Leah weighed-in a King George whiting worth 1218 points (435 grams). The Shark competition was won by Chris Leonardos, who weighed-in a 2665-gram gummy shark. The Squid/Cuttlefish competition was won with a monster southern calamari, weighing 2140 grams, caught by Mark Griffin. Finally, the Secret Weight prize went to Brett Slade, who was closest to weekend’s secret weight of 541 grams with a salmon.
With the first competition completed, there are still 11 competitions remaining in the season, and the Club Champion titles are a long way from being decided. Participants, volunteers, and supporters gathered at the RPIAC clubroom to have a laugh and discuss strategies for the next angling competition. The post-competition prize presentation was followed by a pizza night, thanks to the team at Bazarre Pizza Café in Cowes, which was enjoyed by all. RPIAC’s 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 competition is scheduled for the weekend of 14th / 15th of October 2023. For further information about the club, events, competitions, and rules, please visit the clubrooms or check the website: www.rpiac.com