Angling Competition 5-6th March, 2022

Hakuna matata for anglers participating in the 8th Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) angling competition for the 2021/2022 season.  With the Rhyll boat ramp closed for a major upgrade, over 35 millimetres of rain falling since Friday evening, and winds from all directions, it was still possible to participate in the scheduled competition.  Anglers launched boats from Newhaven, Cowes, and Corinella, or tried land-based options, including surf beaches and jetties, to participate in the competition held on the 5th and 6th of March.

Eerily, there were periods of calm and conducive conditions that enticed enthusiasts outdoors.  Unfortunately, if the timing was wrong the going got tough, particularly with the wind whipping-up white-caps, threatening to develop sea legs and compromise stability.  Despite the challenges, many shrugged it off as an excuse to go fishing, try something new, and develop additional skills.

As the conclusion of the competition approached, anglers and supporters enjoyed the barbecue mastery of Len Petch, who tamed the flames to sizzle sausages on Sunday afternoon.  Again, with the support of volunteers and sponsors the event was a success.  Bakers Delight Cowes ensured that the sausages were blanketed in lovely white slices, and optional condiments were on hand for additional satisfaction.

A total of 25 fish and 1 shark were presented to the Weigh-in Master, Russ Gallagher, after angling members had another chance to claim a RPIAC Extraordinary Catch Incentive.  The cash incentives for eligible species, caught by members during competition weekends, remain banked with only 2 more competitions remaining.  None of these $1000 first-to-catch prizes have been claimed this season despite many of the club’s anglers trying to 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).

The attendees at the post-competition presentation congratulated Denver Firth after another tremendous effort in the Squidgie Mixed Bag Points competition, for participants aged 9 and under.  Denver, the reigning Squidgie Club Champion, embraced the challenging conditions over the weekend and caught 3 fish worth 55 points to win one of the Phillip Island Marine vouchers for finishing in first place.

The Junior competition, for anglers aged 10 to 16, was again dominated by Isabella Bland, who started early on Saturday and enjoyed some of the best weather of the weekend.  Determined to perform in lacklustre conditions, Isabella weighed in a 660-gram snapper and a King George whiting worth 1092 points (390 grams) to win the Junior Weight and Junior Points competitions, respectively.

The Senior Heaviest Weight competitions were won by Steve Bland and Kate Jinette, who were very pleased after working hard all weekend, triumphant with a snapper each, weighing 1075 grams and 660 grams, respectively. The Senior Points competitions were won by Duncan Firth and Carrianne Peatey, who had the best King George whiting of the weekend.  Duncan’s whiting was worth an impressive 1862 points (665 grams), whilst Carrianne’s scored 1162 points (415 grams), which was a very reasonable catch.  With the first shark to be weighed in on a competition weekend in 2022, Pat Gleeson delivered a gummy shark, weighing 3970 grams, to win the Senior Shark competition.  The Secret Weight prize was netted by Tenille Preddice, who weighed in a 345-gram King George whiting (secret weight 323 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 19th / 20th of March 2022.  For further information about the club, events, competitions, and rules, please visit the website:  www.rpiac.com

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