2019 Inaugural Merimbula Big Game & Lakes Angling Club

Billfish Tournament

Game Fish Tournaments have been part of our clubs calendar since the club was formed in 1936. Our Open has been a very popular and well-attended tournament. With the Yellowfin becoming less predictable, the Gamefish Subcommittee decided to try an earlier tournament targeting billfish and retain our Open now set for four days over the Queens Birthday long weekend.

Fourteen Teams registered in the Billfish with a total of 47 competitors competing for the highest tag and release point score boat, with a first prize of $1,500.

Registration Paperwork!!
Team Cassie – Delighted Raffle Winners

Whilst the fishing for marlin was tough, the Mahi Mahi (Dolphin Fish) around the FAD ensured that nine boats amassed tag points during the tournament, and many also took home a nice feed.

No marlin were tagged on the first day, two marlin were tagged on the second day and three marlin tagged on the last day.

We were very privileged to have amongst the fleet, boats that are highly regarded as “the guns” of game fishing on our coast, and non other more so than Shockwave out of Eden, representing the Bermagui Big Game and Angling Club. Skipper Brian Schofield with his daughter 12 year old Kaitlyn Schofield who entered as a senior, fought and tagged three fish ensuring Shockwave took out the first prize for our inaugural tournament.

Brian was very gracious in his thanks to the club, he commended the boat point score format and was also very generous with advice to all who sought it during the course of the tournament. Congratulations to Kaitlyn and Dad Brian.

Runners up were Three Phase, with Stewart Jeffrey proprietor of Eden Outboards and representing the Ballarat Sport and Game Fishing Club. Third place went to Spooky II.

Weather wise all three days were fish-able with only Sunday presenting a somewhat turbulent start but ended a glamour day as wind and sea settled.

Kaitlyn and Brian receive their Winners Prize

The entire Tournament was run out of our magnificent Clubrooms.

Well set out and decorated Club Rooms

Registrations and the briefing were held on the Thursday night, a Tournament BBQ Saturday night and the Presentation Sunday evening.

At all three functions Club Members were beavering away managing the catering, bar and raffle sales, ensuring that the Game Fish Subcommittee could focus on running the tournament.

At all three functions Club Members were beavering away managing the catering, bar and raffle sales, ensuring that the Game Fish Subcommittee could focus on running the tournament.

The support from Lindon and the team was awesome. If I have overlooked you I am so sorry, but I do need to highlight the following

Lindon Thompson
Tim McConnachie
Peter Lawler
Jeff Knox
Merrily Bell
Keryn Wilkins
Dave Sydenham
Dana Smith
Lynette Haar

Happy Helpers – Happy Function!!
Happy Raffle Winners – Team Rathlin

The Clubrooms looked great, and both nibbles and the BBQ’d food, was presented attractively and cooked perfectly.

This year we sought the services of Sandy Livingston to run Tournament Base for us. Sandy did a fabulous job, keeping us all safe and well and logging all captures making it easy for reconciliation later. Huge thanks go to Sandy.

Snappy Tom enjoying the FAD

The Game Fish Subcommittee comprising of Rob Wood, Paul Jones, Dylan Smith, Martin Bartlett and Glenn Pollock spent many hours leading up to this Tournament planning for its success, their efforts have been rewarded.

Special thanks to John Ford, who captured the Tournament in photos, and also provided invaluable support along with Heather in preparing our marketing material.

Tournaments like this could never be as successful without our treasured sponsors. Your support is invaluable and we are so grateful.

Tournaments like this could never be as successful without our treasured sponsors.

Your support is invaluable and we are so grateful.

 

Our major sponsors for this Tournament were:

Bega Cheese
Bottom Pub Pambula
Celebrations Merimbula
Deadly Tide Lures
Direct Appliances
Eden Outboards
Form a Sign
Georgies Fine Jewellers

GJ Gardner
GME
Kane McGill Tree Services
Little Bottle O Pambula
Magic Mountain
Mako Eyeware

Merimbula Warf
Nolans
Rathlin II
Reel Affair
Rankin Builders
Sapphire Coast Funerals
Tackle World Merimbula
Wheelers

Three Phase – Runners Up
A great tournament and we all look forward to 2020.
Peter Haar
Tournament Coordinator
March 2019