SUNSHINE COAST GAME FISHING CLUB COMPETITION WRAP UP
The Annual Sunshine Coast Game Fishing Classic was held early this month from the 4th to 7th of February. The competition was fierce this year with over 41 boats and 154 anglers turning up to compete in the Telstra Shop Kawana Waters Classic. It has been designed to test anglers' skills in the light and heavy tackle arena, the coast is the perfect playground for such an event!
After three days of fishing which culminated with a Champagne Breakfast & Presentation on the Sunday - the results were impressive. Overall 76 black marlin, 3 blue marlin and 1 striped marlin were tagged as well as many mahi mahi, wahoo and barracuda. Also pending are two new Queensland records for mahi mahi and barracuda.
Interestingly there were 246 strikes, 196 hookups and 102 tags or captures exceeding line class comprising. The winning boat overall was Shamwari with 9 tagged and released black marlin with 6 of them caught on the first day. Runner up Reel Capture had 8 Tag and Release black marlin and a wahoo was landed weighing in at 8kg. An interesting catch was a barracuda which equalled the current record which was then smashed shortly afterwards by the crew on Double Trouble a 6.5m Kevlacat who presented a 26.7kg barracuda to the scales!
The range of fish was caught in an area spanning from Chardons reef at Noosa to The Hards and Noosa Canyons to as far south as the Gold Coast. Some boats landed fish as close inside as the 8 Mile (50m line) to as far out as Cape Moreton canyons.
These results were fantastic and with a club that is currently has 188 members strong it provided some records for breaking in the coming years. It was nice to see many of the junior members out and about with their parents during the competition. The Club prides itself on being very family orientated. "We have had kids as young as 8 years old catching marlin and sailfish twice their size. Most recently 11 year old Dan Brooks tagged his first blue marlin weighing 200kg, which was a fantastic effort for a kid who only weighs 45kg himself" boasts Club Secretary Megan Withers.
With the only cost to join the club being $90 a year for an individual or $150 for a family of up to two adults and two children, what better way to become involved in a rewarding community-minded organisation whose aim is to promote game fishing on the Sunshine Coast. But also to demonstrate that game fishing is not about a bunch of blokes killing everything that comes to the surface, but is a family activity that helps scientists research these magnificent fish so we can protect them for future generations.
The yearly membership starts at the beginning of the financial year and there is no need to own a boat to become a member. There are often members with boats who are looking for people to go fishing. The boats in the club range from tinnies to a 56' Riviera and everything in between. The common misconception that you need a big boat to go gamefishing has been disproven time and time again within the club. Many of the fish tagged during the year have been done so in small tinny boats.
The SCGFC strongly promotes tag and release. The information gathered has been sent to NSW fisheries where it is stored and used if the fish is recaught. Recently SCGFC was contacted by NSW fisheries to inform us that a black marlin that a member caught off Noosa in March 2009 was recaptured off Bougainville PNG in December 2009.
With their passionate efforts in tag and release the SCGFC has now won "Champion Tag and Release Club" in Australia an impressive eight times, Champion Club in Queensland 12 times, as well as several champion tag and release boats in Australia. Many people don't realise that we have fantastic game fishing off the Sunshine Coast, and in fact that is it some of the best in Australia.
Anyone interested in becoming a member or seeing what sort of steps are involved in Tag and Release of Game Fish should come along to a club meeting. They are usually held at the Kawana Waters Hotel at 7.30pm on the first Tuesday of the month - everyone is welcome