Angling Competition 4-5th February,2023
The Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) held their 8th angling competition for 2022/2023 season over the weekend of the 4th and 5th of February. Anglers were doubtful of an early start on Saturday after the weather forecast promised strong winds and periods of rain. At the conclusion of Saturday’s weigh-in the tally of entries was zero fish, no sharks, and no cephalopods.
Thankfully, Sunday’s weather was better, and the fishing tales were polarising. In some instances, anglers struggled to lose a bait, whilst others had fish eager to introduce themselves. Reading the tealeaves or consulting a Solunar Calendar made no real difference, it was clearly the fishing location that mattered.
Sunday’s weigh-in window, between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm kept the club captain, Chris Leonardos, and weigh-in master, Russ Gallagher, busy as a total of 35 fish and 2 sharks were recorded. The eligible species included pinkie snapper, King George whiting, salmon, and gummy sharks. Of course, the weather improved as club members gathered for the post-competition awards presentation to acknowledge extraordinary feats. An equally extraordinary feast followed, made possible by the exceptional generosity of Bakers Delight Cowes and the awesome volunteer catering team and supporters to close-out another magic weekend.
Whilst the Solunar Calendar predicted 100% fishing efficiency, and a major “bite window” between midday and 2 pm on Sunday, the elusive RPIAC’s Extraordinary Catch Incentives remain banked. None of the members-only, competition weekend $1000 first-to-catch prizes, have been claimed this season. Anglers remain optimistic that they will catch 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 holidays over, RPIAC celebrated some great achievements in the Squidgie category, for anglers aged nine and under. With many anglers returning empty-handed, Saige Nicolaci impressed all when she weighed-in 1 fish worth 20 points, finishing with second place in Squidgie Mixed Bag competition. Micah Goodwin had a great day on the water and finished with 3 fish for a total of 60 points to win the Squidgie’s weekend competition. The Junior Weight competition was uncontested, whilst the Junior Points competition turned into a contest of King George whiting. Lucas Chihotski claimed the Junior Points prize with a King George whiting worth 868 points (310 grams).
The Senior Heaviest Weight competitions had the scales bouncing around a kilogram, and were won by Paul Goodwin and Helen Ismail, weighing in a salmon of 1140 grams and a snapper of 955 grams, respectively. Again, King George whiting were the species responsible for victories in the Senior Points competitions. Duncan Firth had the best of the weekend, worth 1876 points (670 grams), and Kate Jinnette also caught a winner, scoring 798 points (285 grams). With squid all around Phillip Island, none greater than the 1-kilo minimum weight made it to the weigh-in room, leaving the squid/cuttlefish competition uncontested. The Shark competition was a tale of two gummy sharks, the biggest weighed 6325 grams, and was brought in by Duncan Firth. The Secret Weight prize was awarded to Mick Smart, for an enviable 575-gram King George whiting (secret weight 564 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 18th / 19th of February 2023. There are still many opportunities to take part in the scheduled angling competitions and compete for comp-weekend prizes and the club championships.