Angling Competition 9-10th January 2021

The weather was marvellous for the 6th Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) angling competition of the 2020/2021 season, held over the 9th and 10th of January.  Boating and fishing proved to be extremely popular activities and timing was key to avoid delays at the Rhyll boat ramp.  The new webcams streamed images of the boat ramp traffic and carpark from the RPIAC clubroom, providing regular updates to those using the Boating Vic app.  Each day the carpark was at capacity by 7 am and water views were obscured by cars and trailers using the foreshore and surrounding streets for overflow parking.

Conversely, from the water, it was difficult to look towards land without a boat in sight.  Usually, the serenity of angling is enhanced by gentle lapping of water against the boat’s hull, an idyllic breeze passing by and the occasional cheer of a triumphant and exited angler.  This weekend was somewhat different, with some recreational boaters choosing to use anchored vessels as slalom cones whilst generating maximum noise.  Perhaps this was a quest to break a water-speed record, create surf-worthy bow waves, or merely release some post-lockdown freedom anxiety.  Certainly, the fishing improved with less on-water activity and this was a consistent report from the anglers.  Complying with the new normal of Covid Safe requirements, including contact tracing, a total of 43 fish were weighed in over the weekend’s competition, concluding at the close of weigh-in at 5:30 pm on Sunday.

Chris Leonardos earned the $1,000 prize for his 33.8 kilogram mulloway (exceeding 25.0 kilograms) in the last competition and Brad Martindale produced a record-breaking King George whiting (1,110 grams) last week, setting expectations for massive fish at an all-time high.  That said, the remaining cash incentives for extraordinary catches, caught by members on a competition weekend, remain banked.  The first-to-catch prizes of $1,000 remain for the following eligible species equal to or exceeding the nominated weight:  King George Whiting (1,000 grams), Snapper (10.0 kilograms), Gummy Shark (20.0 kilograms) and Kingfish (25.0 kilograms).

The post-competition presentation started with celebration of Micha and Riley Goodwin, who were awarded with Squidgie participation medals from the previous season.  The Squidgie Mixed Bag Points competition, for anglers aged nine and under, saw Zachary Gomm rewarded with second place for his King George whiting, totalling 20 points.  First place was awarded to the reigning Squidgie Club Champion, Denver Firth, who was unstoppable and incredibly pleased with his bag of 4 fish, totalling 75 points.  The Junior Weight and Junior Points competitions were a clean sweep for our inspiring and reigning Junior Club Champion, Heath Womersley, who was a model of consistency presenting a Mackerel of 555 grams and a King George whiting worth 1,456 points (520 grams), respectively.

The Senior Heaviest Weight competitions were won by Pat Gleeson and Carrianne Peatey, weighing in a pair of elusive Snapper of 1,570 grams and 385 grams, respectively.  James Nicolaci wrestled with a salmon, worth 2,125 points (2,125 grams), and Carrianne Peatey coaxed a King George whiting, worth 1,008 points (360 grams), for victory in the Senior Points competitions.  The Senior Shark competition was uncontested, whilst the Secret Weigh prize was awarded to Gary Whybrow, who reluctantly weighed in a 175-gram flathead (secret weight 163 grams) to confirm a life lesson, participation will always lead to success!

RPIAC has been working with Maritime Safety Victoria (MSV), as part of the Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) FloatSafe program.  The pilot life-jacket self-inspection clinic, starting on 17 January, will be held next to the RPIAC clubroom, where attendees will learn how to service and maintain their lifejacket.  Pre-registration (via: transportsafety.vic.gov.au/maritime-safety) is required for the free clinic and attendees will receive a $30 voucher from a local retailer to go towards a new lifejacket, lifejacket service kit, or other safety equipment.  The next competition will be held over the weekend of the 6th / 7th of February 2021.  For further information about the club, events, competitions, and rules, please visit the website:  www.rpiac.com

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