UPDATE, 8.40PM: Chloe Dance got good some excellent additions to off-shore fishing achievements in Thursday’s instalment of the Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic.
Chloe, 10, caught two school sharks, each weighing about 14 kilograms, beating the other members of the Dance family on her boat.
Her rivals on the boat included her dad, Ashley, and grandfather Neville, both of whom have many years experience in offshore fishing.
Chloe did most of the work hauling in the school sharks and Neville Dance, a life member of the Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game Fishing Club, said Chloe was coming on well as a blue water angler.
Chloe’s catches were part of a haul of three school sharks, some flathead, and a Tasmanian trumpeter that her boat brought in to the classic’s weigh-in tonight.
“It was not a bad day,” Ashley Dance said.
Nathan Couch, of Warrnambool, was pleased with the 17.6 kg gummy shark he took about five kilometres out to sea from Warrnambool on Thursday.
The gummy put him in second place to date in the school shark category of the competition that concludes on Saturday.
His mates on the boat got a few snapper but he said he was “the lucky one” to hook the shark.
Mr Couch said he liked entering the annual Fishing Classic because it was a chance to get competitive with his mates.
Luke Eldred, 13, of Warrnambool, is a “massive keen” angler according to his mother and brought home a good result to Thursday night’s weight-in for the classic that began last Friday.
His 1.2 kg salmon and 760 gram snapper, caught about one kilometre off Warrnambool, topped the catches of his dad Ryan and brother Harry.
Luke said he would fish every day if the ocean was flat.
EARLIER: Grant Bellman is hoping the 80.8 kilogram mako shark he caught will win him the prize for the heaviest game shark in this year’s Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic competition.
Mr Bellman, 36, of Allansford, worked hard for three and a half hours to bring the shark in after hooking it in about 100 metres of water south of Port Fairy on Sunday.
He said the shark was the biggest mako he had caught and was the best result from 10 hours on the water on Sunday with two fishing mates, Gary Kermond and Sam Powell.
Mr Bellman said his work will prevent him from getting out on the water again before the classic’s finish at 5pm on Saturday so he’s hoping no one else will top his mako before then to take out the game shark category.
His mako is one of the big trophy fish caught in this year’s Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic that has got hundreds of anglers trying their luck in the Southern Ocean and the rivers between Peterborough and Yambuk.
Both locals and many of the thousands of holiday makers who come to the south-west during January have been out trying to catch a prize winner.
Classic co-director Anthony Smith said there had also been some impressive yellow-tailed kingfish and mulloway caught since the competition opened last Friday.
Mr Smith said off-shore conditions had not been favourable but that had not deterred many anglers chasing the glory of a category prize.
He said the fishing had been good since the competition’s start with decent catches across the competition’s many categories.
But back to the catch of the big mako, Mr Bellman said one of the pleasing aspect of his haul was getting bragging rights over fishing mate Gary Kermond who caught a smaller but still sizable mako last week.
He said he followed the rules of the boat and divided his 80.8 kg mako between himself, Mr Kermond and Mr Powell.
He joked the rules of equal division were generally followed unless it came to crayfish.