Classic finish overcomes weather
DIFFICULT weather meant the annual Hervey Bay Game Fishing Classic, held at the top end of Fraser Island, wasn’t quite as big as organisers had hoped.
But plenty of excitement still surrounded the Classic, with two boats finishing on equal points when the overall championship was decided.
A countback was necessary to separate the two boats.
Fish Whisperer, skippered by Matt Wallace, was the champion in the vessels under seven-and-a-half metres division while White Horse II, skippered by Kevin Charteris, finished first in the seven-and-a-half metres and over division.
The two boats finished on the same points overall but on count-back White Horse II was declared the winner, having achieved the highest amount of points in the shortest time.
The tag-and-release competition attracted 18 boats and 65 anglers and while they didn’t get the numbers they would have liked, organiser Paul Rosman said the group still enjoyed the four days of competition off the coast of Fraser Island.
The Classic is unique. Rather than returning to port every night, the vessels remain around the top of Fraser Island for the duration of the competition, supported by a fuel barge and mother ship.
“The poor weather meant we couldn’t fish in the most productive areas,” Rosman said. “We did get a reduced number of catches.”
The anglers did catch a good number of wahoo and dolphinfish but numbers of other varieties were significantly down.
While it is a tag-and-release competition, the wahoo that was caught was given to PhD student Mitch Ziscke, who is currently researching the fish.