Angling Competition 4-5th March, 2023

The weather forecast leading up to the 10th Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) angling competition, held on the 4th and 5th of March, left anglers sceptical about possibilities for conducive conditions.   Indeed, those who were on the water before sunrise on Saturday were shaken as the waves stirred.  Thankfully the conditions improved as the sun shone and periods of calm were abundant throughout the weekend.

Whist the weather was magnificent, fishing did not necessarily translate to catching.  The early starters appeared to be rewarded whilst the less-energetic worked harder to turn a reel.  There was an abundance of jelly fish in the water and a delightful range of eligible species about, including King George whiting, snapper, flathead, trevally, leather jackets, mackerel, salmon, tuna, kingfish, tuna and sharks.  A total of 31 fish and 1 shark were weighed-in over the weekend and the Weigh-in Master, Russ Gallagher, and the Club Captain, Chris Leonardos, were entertained by the variety.

None of these $1000 first-to-catch prizes offered in the season’s RPIAC Extraordinary Catch Incentives were claimed this weekend.  With 2 more competitions remaining in the 2022/2023 season, the members only incentives, for eligible species caught on competition weekends, stay banked.  Angling members remain optimistic about the possibilities for 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 all anglers to develop skills and awareness of sustainable and responsible angling and welcomes young anglers to engage in their angling competitions, offering complementary membership to children aged 16 and under.  Participation involves bringing eligible species, caught during the competition weekend, to weigh-in at the RPIAC clubroom between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm on Saturday and/or Sunday. At Sunday’s competition conclusion a post-competition presentation celebrates the outstanding efforts of all angling members.  Pizzas from Bazarre Pizza Cafe and salads  fed this weekend’s supporters and anglers, and were followed by Lorraine’s and Nikky’s delicious slice delights.

The Squidgie competition, for anglers aged 9 and under, was uncontested this weekend and opportunities to participate in the last few competitions are still available.   The Junior competition, for anglers aged 10 to 16, was dominated by Lucas Chihotski, Pheonix Firth and Denver Firth.  Lucas weighed in the biggest fish of the weekend, an 11600-gram Tuna, to claim the Junior Weight competition.  Pheonix and Denver were tied in the Junior Points competition after each weighed in a King George whiting worth 1302 points (465 grams).

The Senior Heaviest Weight competitions were won by James Nicolaci and Margaret Bowers, both excelling with some impressive fish.  James took the crown with his 2390-gram Kingfish and Margaret celebrated victory with a 940-gram snapper. The Senior Points competitions were won by Vinco Anticevic and Lauren Wright.  Vinco had the best King George whiting of the weekend, worth an impressive 2058 points (735 grams), whilst Lauren’s scored 798 points (285 grams), which was a very reasonable catch.  With no entries in the squid/cuttlefish competition only 2 possibilities for a prize remained:  In the Shark competition, Chris Leonardos, won with a cleaned gummy shark, weighing 3305 grams, and Brett Slade was awarded the Secret Weight prize for a 790-gram snapper which was closest to the secret weight (780 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 is scheduled for the weekend of the 18th / 19th of March 2023.  There are still many opportunities to take part in the scheduled angling competitions and compete for comp-weekend prizes and the club championships.

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