With the 2020 Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic now wrapped up for another year, I thought I would do a summary of who caught what where.
It was the most successful year yet, with 620 entries taken across the eight days of competition and a heap of fish caught from both offshore and inland.
It seems as though every year this competition is held the weather gods frown on us.
A limited week of opportunities saw captures down on previous years but there were some serious fish caught throughout this time.
Tony McIlroy once again took out the heaviest kingfish. His 12kg+ fish also won the Garmin heaviest scale fish.
The kingfish have been great lately for size, if not for anything else, because multiple fish have now been taken around the 15kg mark on both live baits and surface lures.
Many anglers have targeted these fish on Sluggos and stick baits cast into the wandering schools along our coastline.
For those that want the more productive technique, live baiting these beasts is the way to go.
Salmon, yakkas and slimy mackerel are all a great option to hang in front of a hungry king.
Unfortunately, there were no tuna weighed in which is pretty surprising, but don't worry as the school fish are on the chew at North Shore over at Portland.
It should only be a matter of time before we too have some school fish playing havoc with anglers.
There were some great gummy shark and school shark weighed in, with winners Jackson Gatt in the small fry, Nate Monaghan in the junior category, with a 3.04kg gummy and senior female awarded to Alison Hirst.
In the senior open sections, Peter Goode took out the school shark and Max Knights caught the heaviest gummy shark.
A couple of great captures that also took out prizes were Maisey Murphy, with a 1.52kg snapper, in the small fry snapper section; Joe Gilbert's great 4.18kg snapper in the open section; Clayton Smith took out the biggest salmon with a 2.8kg belter and Oscar Adorno with the biggest game shark weighing 27.8kg of mako.
Did the Hopkins River turn it on or what this past week?
In my opinion, it's the best it has fished for quite some years with many anglers measuring bream over 40cm to the fork.
In the small fry section, it was Indigo Treloar with her huge 42cm to the fork bream, which she caught while fishing with her dad Tim who, at the same time, had a 40cm fish hooked up on the front deck.
In the junior section, it was Bilal Khanger who caught a 39.2cm-fork length fish.
And, in the Senior Female and Open sections it was a love affair where Fiona Steenhuis caught a 40.5cm and her partner Stephen Andrews landed one 43cm-fork length - both caught on the same day.
I have heard and seen pics of two fish that would have smashed the comp out of the ball park but they were not entered. One was 50cm to the tip and the other 49cm to the tip.
The mulloway were very quiet during the competition with only two fish weighed in from the Hopkins.
Amanda Richards landed the winning fish in the female section, which pulled the scales down to 2.2kg.
Mulloway addict Barry Starling caught a great fish that weighed 6.7kg which is a great effort in tough conditions.
In the Estuary Perch Junior section it was Xavier Gercovich for a 29cm; Female Senior was awarded to Fiona Lam with a 35cm and in the open section it was Jackson Lesko (43.5cm) who took home prizes.
With all the prizes and raffles done and dusted, it was all eyes on the barrel which contained all entries that paid the $30 entry fee for the chance to win an Anglapro 434 Chaser, Suzuki Marine 30hp 4 stroke engine, Easytow trailer and Garmin fish finder.
You could cut the tension with a knife as everyone waited eagerly for their name to be read out.
Round and round the barrel went and when Ed called out the winner Shane Lamb was pumped to say the least. It is always great to see how much it means to someone.
Shane later revealed that he has been too unwell the past week to fish and only chose to enter on the presentation day down at the Civic Green.
Turns out it was a great choice and one we are sure he won't forget for a long time.
The club would like to thank every angler who entered this year, making it a new record for entries.
Also, the committee would like to thank all sponsors who supported the competition with either products or a cash donation. Without your support this competition would simply not happen.
A huge thank you to all the volunteers who put in endless amounts of hours especially in a busy time of year for all.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Sam Powell on his efforts also. I think everyone would agree that you smashed it out of the ball park this year mate.
The Auxiliary for St John of God Hospital will hold a Giant Book, DVD and CD sale at the Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game clubrooms 10am-5pm both Saturday and Sunday.
There will be some hand-knitted fisherman beanies, free books and countless other bargains so head on down and support a great local group.