Final day recap: The earlier start time was also a pretty good test of the ‘gentlemen’s hours’ of fishing for the big blacks on the Great Barrier Reef where the best bite is usually in afternoon and noone really starts fishing until close to 11am. When Capt. Brett Goetze’s Amokura hooked up at 8:14am, the fleet held its collective breath. But it was one of only four fish tagged in the tournament by cease fishing at 2pm (Bite Me tagged a nice one they called 950lbs), although several more fish were lost later in the morning. The best bite wasn’t until 4pm when all of the tournament boats had gone in.
And it was a good one. Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition went 1 from 3 on the right fish, one that he put at 1000lbs+ for his guests on the first day of a new trip. Tim said everyone fishing where he was had some big fish action in the late afternoon.
Likewise, I heard from Capt. Corey Hard on Askari who just finished the first week of his big fish extravaganza with the Keinath brothers and Dreamin’ On and Levante. Corey said that they have caught 10 fish in the last 3 days in which 6 have been between 650 and 850lbs. 3 days ago they had a cracker day and caught 5 and one fish was 800 and another 850! 2 days ago we caught a 650 and 700 in a day which did all the right things for the video and still cameras. And yesterday they caught 3, 1 around 800 and another around 700 with the last being around 250lbs. That’s 15 fish since their last report!
Catch up report from Capt. Darren Biggles Haydon on Bounty Hunter who caught two Friday at 400 and 150.
Back to the tournament, with 126 tags recorded, this has been the best event (number of fish) in years even with a smaller fleet partly due to the relocation. (2011 and 2009 had 125 respectively. 2005 was the best year previous with 194 tags but that was a fleet of 48 boats!) And there were a lot of big fish again too with 30 of the 126 tags recorded, fish over 800lbs!
As we settle back into a less strict time routine I’ll have some photos to share from the week from amongst the boats competing. But in the meantime, he’s another from us on KEKOA – the point of separation, coming unhooked! ;-)
Congratulations to the team on Capt. Ross Finlayson’s Top Shot who could not be beat. I think I heard that this is their third year running as champions with Tominori Omi taking out Champion Angler again with all 15 of their tags. In second place, was the team on Little Audrey who have been hovering in the top few places for the past several years and were the only boat really in range of Top Shot over the final few days (with 13 tags).
Third place went to the team on Althaldo (Lachie and Janice Eggins) with Tiger at the wheel and Wombat on the deck (a tiger, wombat and falcon wasn’t it!?!) with 10 tags from Capt. Brett Goetze’s Amokura also with 10 (and a big thanks to Brett for his assistance with one of the boats yesterday as well!) Rounding out the top five was the ladies on Hellraiser with 9 tags with Sarah Jackson also taking out the Champion Female award with 6 tags.
Full results are on the LIGFC website here.