Competition 8-9th February, 2020
Anticipation of an idyllic island paradise welcoming anglers with calm seas, ample sunshine and moderate temperatures set the mood for the 7th Rhyll-Phillip Island Angling Club (RPIAC) angling competition for the 2019/2020 season. This event, held over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of February, promised dreams of boats dotted across the water rocking in harmony accompanied by a gentle breeze and the occasional burst of “woo-hoo!” to acknowledge another hook-up.
The reality, however, was unusually consistent with the weather forecast. Wind came from the east blowing at 40 km/h, with occasional gusts exceeding 60 km/h. Waves with white caps created sub-optimal conditions for boating and the launch/retrieval process was unsurprisingly difficult. On the plus side it was otherwise comfortable with high humidity, a temperature around the mid-twenties and an absence of rain showers. Water or land based, there were stories of both triumph and disappointment. Of course, those who stayed indoors were left wondering if success could have been their fate.
There was an abundance of fish and multiple reports of bait thieves throughout Western Port. Again, juvenile snapper were the primary culprits and, depending on the landscape, were assisted by wrasse, toad fish and other bottom-dwellers. Clearly, the weather affected participation and a total of 25 eligible species were presented to the weigh-in masters, Sam Orr and Norman Trickey.
The competition concluded at the close of weigh-in at 5:30 pm on Sunday and the post-competition presentation provided an excellent opportunity to celebrate the efforts of anglers and to thank all the volunteers who assisted over the weekend. In particular, Maree, Laurie, Debra, Peter and Michael excelled with catering to the delight of the children and adults.
The cash bounties for extraordinary catches are still unclaimed in the members only, competition weekend incentives. The five species eligible for a first-to-catch prize of $1,000, where fish must be equal to or exceed 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).
With the conclusion of summer holidays and the unfriendly weather conditions the Squidgie Mixed Bag Points competition, for participants aged nine and under, was uncontested. The Junior competition was dominated by land-based angling, however there was limited success. A keen junior, Daisy Fusinato, ventured to Bass River for an angling opportunity. Luckily, a mullet accepted the opportunity to participate and a battle ensued. Daisy triumphed, presenting a stunned mullet worth 756 points (270 grams) to the weigh-in masters, winning the Junior Points Competition.
The Senior Heaviest Weight competitions were won by Anthony Koumis and Debra Orr, weighing in a sassy salmon of 745 grams and a faraway flathead of 305 grams, respectively. King George whiting were the fish of choice in the Senior Points competitions, which were won by Chris Leonardos and Debra Orr for respectable catches worth 1,400 points (500 grams) and 1,204 points (430 grams), respectively. Norman Trickey received two rewards for participating in the weekend competition, firstly, a fresh and tasty King George whiting weighing 310 grams, and secondly, the prize for the Secret Weight competition (secret weight 316 grams) awarded for his 310-gram catch.
The angling club, in collaboration with Fishcare Victoria, will be hosting a “Come ‘n’ try fishing” event between 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday March 14th. The event is FREE to participating families (all children are to be accompanied by a parent) and experienced anglers and volunteers will be on hand to assist. The next angling competition coincides with this event and will be held over the weekend of the 14th / 15th of March 2020. For further information about the club, events, competitions and rules, please visit the website: www.rpiac.com