Angling Competition 3-4th December, 2022
Summer weather arrived just in time for the 6th Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) angling competition of the 2022/2023 season. With the festive season upon us and glorious conditions on the 3rd and 4th of December, the weekend competition started with the Rhyll boat ramp at capacity before breakfast. It was clear that anglers were all keen to catch big and tasty fish as boats were dotted around Phillip Island.
Indeed, it was a fine weekend to get out on the water and close-out the end of 2022 with some quiet time before Christmas. It is no surprise that the fish were getting nervous, particularly with the pending influx of visitors over the summer holidays. Reports over the weekend were reminiscent of a telephone exchange, some anglers struggled to keep up with fish activity on the line, whilst others waited for hours on hold and were inevitably disappointed.
A total of 39 fish and 3 sharks were weighed-in, with Club Captain, Chris Leonardos, and Weigh-in Master, Russell Gallagher, weighing and tabulating all entries. As expected, the snapper and King George whiting were abundant, however other eligible species, including flathead, trevally, leather jackets, salmon, yellowtail scad and gummy sharks were around.
Now, in its fifth year, the RPIAC’s first to catch, members only, competition weekend Extraordinary Catch incentives for five eligible species remain in the bank. 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).
At the conclusion of weigh in on Sunday, the post-competition presentation celebrated the magnificent sponsorship from Bakers Delight Cowes, who enabled the construction of gourmet burgers for participants and supporters. Of course, the weekend would not have been as successful without the efforts of all RPIAC volunteers, particularly the superhuman feats of Lorraine, Nikky, Jill and Peter.
The Squidgie Mixed Bag competition, for anglers aged 9 or younger, welcomed and celebrated the achievements of Byron Griffin, a new contender in the championship, who weighed-in 2 fish for a total of 40 points. Byron was very aware of the chomping power of his pinky snapper and was thrilled to share his professional dental opinion with everyone. 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, for anglers aged 10 to 16, acknowledged the impressive feats of two super-keen anglers, Lucas Chihotski and Denver Firth, who won the Junior Weight and Junior Points competitions, respectively. Lucas presented his 2490-gram snapper to claim the weight honours, whilst Denver wowed onlookers with a King George whiting worth 1498 points (535 grams) to claim the points prize.
The Senior Heaviest Weight competitions saw Anne-Marie Richards was back on the podium with a snapper weighing 975 grams to claim the ladies’ prize, whilst Michael Stefanakis had the beast of the weekend, weighing-in at 5725 grams to claim the men’s prize. The Senior Points competitions were won by Lauren Wright and Duncan Firth, each presenting King George whiting to the weigh-in master, worth 1428 points (510 grams) and 1666 points (595 grams) for the ladies’ and men’s categories, respectively. The Senior Shark competition was won by Don Rowe, who had the weekend’s biggest gummy shark, weighing 8930 grams. The Secret Weight prize was awarded to Andy Chihotski, who was a whisker off the secret weight with a 450-gram King George whiting (secret weight 453 grams). The next RPIAC angling competition will be held over the weekend of the 14th / 15th of January 2023. 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 club room adjacent to the Rhyll boat ramp (open from 5 pm Fridays).