Anglers net big result for team Razorback
GAMEX is over for 2017 after a week of tight lines off the North West Cape. Exmouth locals Pelagic Hooker took home a swag of awards but it was team Razorback from Karratha and Dampier that snared the overall champion boat. Pictured is Matt Arscott with a
Anglers participating in GAMEX have reported the event was fantastic, with valuable information, fun social events and good fishing despite the windy weather.
Three trophies were awarded to anglers, as well as a number of highest points scored and champion individual and team accolades.
Ryan Turner won the Steve Pitman trophy for most skilled angler.
He recorded 7709 points over 11 line classes and 10 species on board with team Razorback.
Exmouth favourite Eddie Lawler won the George King memorial trophy as top tagging captain.
He tagged 18 fish at the helm of Pelagic Hooker.
The Phil Tickle Memorial Trophy for most meritorious capture went to Murray Lewin from Salty Dog for capturing a 7.5kg queenfish on 1kg line.
The positives from GAMEX included some very valuable data collected by the two scientists sent up via Recfishwest to take samples and do research on fish captured.
They were particularly wanting three young billfish weighing about 15kg.
RecFishWest chief executive Andrew Rowland caught a 16kg black marlin on day two of the event, which was his first marlin.
Rowland was pleased to be able to assist with the research and talked at length during the weighin with anglers about the fish captured.
The fish was estimated to be about nine months old and is being sent to Perth to try to determine where the mature marlin spawn in WA. There were 85 sharks tagged and 411 billfish raised, with 133 billfish tagged.
The contentious issue of a shark being weighed during the event has raised interest in the continued shark debate.
More than 10 years ago, the Exmouth Game and Fishing Club with GAMEX promoted the tagand-release of sharks over their capture, and this has resulted in hundreds of sharks being tagged, with very few captured.
EGFC co-operates in other research, such as a study on the sensory organs in the heads of large oceanic sharks being conducted by the University of Queensland.
The two sharks that were captured during GAMEX 2017 were caught within the code of practice of the International Game Fishing Association and the Game Fishing Association Australia.
Game fishing is a sustainable recreation that delivers significant economic and sociological benefits to Exmouth and Western Australia as a whole.
Sadly, social media misinformation has led to inaccurate accusations and threats from people with illegal practices.
GAMEX dates for the next three years are on our website, along with all the results from the 2017 event. A huge thanks to all sponsors, anglers, workers and volunteers who helped with the event.
Shire of Exmouth commissioner Ian Fletcher said GAMEX provided a platform to showcase Exmouth and the Ningaloo Reef.
“GAMEX is one of the highlights of Exmouth’s events calendar and independent research conducted in 2016 showed that it injects about $1 million into the local economy each year,” he said.
“The international competitors and media attention that GAMEX attracts puts Exmouth on the tourism map and helps generate visitation throughout the year.”
The Australian International Billfish Tournament was held the week prior to GAMEX and, despite the windy weather, the teams enjoyed the fishing for tagging and releasing marlin and sailfish.
Team Razorback from Karratha and Dampier won the champion boat overall at GAMEX 2017.
Champion boat from the Australian International Billfish Tournament. Pictures: Tackleworld Exmouth
Scientists take samples from a black marlin caught during GAMEX 2017.