Fishing contest a weekend winner
Horsham Fishing Competition appears set to maintain its place on a major-events calendar after continuing to capture the imagination of western Victoria’s angling fraternity.
As Colac district angler Catherine Gordon was coming to grips with winning a car in the annual charity money-raiser, organisers were working to consolidate the event’s future.
Contest spokeswoman Adele Rohde said a desire to create a template to make the event relatively immune from future personnel changes on the event’s organising committee was making progress.
“Our focus during the past couple of years has been working on the longterm, which has meant a lot of work in the background,” she said.
“There is so much information in the heads of committee members and we’ve been working on getting that on paper. Processes are being documented so that eventually we have an event manual so anyone could pick up and run the event, and we’re confident we’re getting to that stage. It’s all about succession planning.”
Mrs Rohde said this year’s contest attracted 1731 entries, about 60 percent from outside Horsham district, and the number proved comfortable and manageable.
“What we’ve noticed is that although we want as many people as possible to take part, we don’t necessarily need a minimum of 2500 entrants to have a successful competition,” she said.
“The amount we had at the weekend was perfect for the amount of work that needed to be done. It was highly manageable and meant everything was relatively seamless.
“It was a really great day and we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.”
Mrs Gordon won The Weekly Advertiser Horsham Fishing Competition by landing a 2.458-kilogram yellowbelly on the south side of the Wimmera River between Bennett Road and Horsham Riverside Caravan Park.
She weighed in the fish, which she caught on yabby bait, before 10am, snatching top spot on the leaderboard from early pacesetter Laura Beer who caught a 1.4kg yellowbelly.
Mrs Gordon and her husband Leigh have been fishing in the competition for more than a decade and have been enthusiastic advocates for the event.
As winner, Mrs Gordon had a choice of a Kia Cerato sports hatch car, Jayco Campervan or Savage 435 Scorpion boat package. She chose the car.
Hunter Vonja, with a 1.142kg yellowbelly, won a junior section and a boating and fishing package.
During the competition officials weighed in 123 native fish, including yellowbelly, silver perch and catfish that measured more than 30 centimetres. They returned the majority to the river as part of a dedicated catch-andrelease program.
Officials also weighed and removed 298 kilograms of carp from the river. Ray Fedley caught the largest carp, which weighed in at 3.99 kilograms.
Mrs Rohde said the riverbank crowd was well behaved and structured collaboration with Victoria Police members worked well.
She said the committee was still going through the process of tallying up final figures that would either go back into the event or be distributed to community groups.
“We always have a really good debrief and talk over how well things have worked and if we have to change aspects of the competition. But it doesn’t appear that there will be anything dramatic,” she said.
“The key for us is to make sure that people who come have a great experience and come back next year.”
Seniors – Native fish, Catherine Gordon 2458g, Laura Beer 1400, Margaret Ellis 1282, Christine Powell 1271, Scott Jervies, Justin Launder 1208, Cooper Price 1152, Doug King 1083, Brent Walker 1018, Cam Langley 988, Robert Halmai 984, Martin Jonas 980, all yellowbelly, Michael Seeary 898 catfish, Matthew Ellis 868, Ben Osbourne 862, Paul King 856 yellowbelly, Zach Lyons 856 silver perch, Jarred Morris 840, Lisa Stotten 839, yellowbelly. Juniors – Native fish, Hunter Vonja 1142, Evie Koros 991, Eliza Williams 861, Aria Coustley 760, Annabelle Walker 722, Blake Turner 628, Isaac Rawlings 608, Isaac Rawlings 597, yellowbelly, Jack Hopper 515, Tom Hallam 501, silver perch. Tiddlers – Native fish, Edith Brennan 664, Amelia Williams 577, Tanner Stasinowsky 497, yellowbelly. Heaviest carp: Seniors, Ray Fedley 3990, Hong Tao Yu 3743, Ian Keith 3675, Terry Chalmers 3663, Chris Denton 3589; juniors, D. Leersen 2900; tiddlers, Isla Connell 574. Heaviest bag of carp: Chris Denton 58,726g made up of 41 fish.
WINNING FORM: Catherine Gordon is pictured with grandson Boyd Hutchins while fishing in Horsham Fishing Competition. For more pictures from the event, visit www.theweeklyadvertiser. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER