Fisher takes title with 20kg catch
The Nickol Bay Sportfishing Club’s annual family day centring on mackerel proved a hit with local anglers of all ages last Saturday.
About 35 teams, many including families, took part in the Mackerel Family Fishing Day.
With about 30 catches brought in for weigh-in at Hampton Harbour Boat and Sailing Club, there was no doubt the fish had been biting all day, despite some wind and competition from sharks to contend with.
In the end, competition was tight but Luke Leech came out on top to take home the main prize of a $500 voucher donated by HHBSC.
Stuart Thorne and Cody Carpenter were second and third overall.
Thorne also won the male heaviest mackerel division with his fish weighing 20.43kg, followed closely by Carpenter and Mitch Deacon.
Keni Burford won the female angler heaviest mackerel prize for her fish weighing 13.7kg, while young fisher Brock Crowhurst was awarded both the junior heaviest and heaviest mackerel other than narrow-barred categories.
Event founder and organiser Ken McFarlane said he had created the Mackerel Family Fishing Day as president years ago to offer an easy one-day competition to promote family involvement in local fishing.
“I thought, well, we don’t have a one-day easy competition to try and encourage families to be a part of this club or just part of the fishing community and see what the place has to offer,” he said.
“People start to get a bit apprehensive if you talk about line classes and all this sort of thing, and think ‘oh, that’s for experts’.
“(This) is easy. And obviously good fishermen or good fisherwomen can probably catch more, but it’s not rocket science. You go out there with a lure or some baits where the mackerel are and you’ve got as good a chance as any.”
McFarlane welcomed the high turnout of families and juniors, some of whom were as young as three, saying mackerel were a good type of fish for beginner and junior anglers to go after.
“It does teach kids how to fish properly,” he said.
“Because they’re not a lazy fish ... they fight hard, they go hard, and they’re good to eat as well. (Kids) love it.”
Overall winner Luke Leech with his catch.
Female angler winner Keni Burford.