The Newport Game Fish Club ran its inaugural fishing tournament, the ‘Brisbane Marine Tag & Brag Marlin Extravaganza’ on the weekend of 17-18 March. The weather was a bit ordinary on the back of a cyclone that appeared – and disappeared just as quickly – and this ultimately hindered entrants for the tournament. None-the-less, the new club still managed to field 22 boats with 98 anglers on a hunt for the great cash prizes and bronze trophies that were on offer.
Conditions on the Saturday were below par, with the weather bureau not getting it right entirely and fishing was not so fast. However by the end of the day the fleet had scratched up a good tally with fourteen marlin tagged, consisting of Black Marlin, Blue Marlin and Sailfish.
Over the course of two days there were a total of 46 fish tagged, with Blacks, Blues, Stripes and Sailfish all hitting the score board in multiple numbers.
Probably the highlight of the fishing weekend was hearing the boat ‘Incognito’ over the radio on a quadruple sailfish hook-up…nothing out of the ordinary for a tournament, except for the fact that it was Bevan Barnes, and he and his 8 year old son were the only crew on board. Despite the fact they were two up, and with extremely sloppy weather, they managed to tag the first two fish. Young Tyler got his Sailfish first, and then drove the boat, videoed and tagged his father’s fish. Way to go – and certainly a deserving win – with Tyler ending up Champion Junior for the weekend.
The Newport format proved exciting for all involved, as it was mandatory for all tagged fish to be videoed for the tag and the release, so the club now has a wealth of video that it will release in edited video as promotions for its next event.
One patch of water at Never Fail held plenty of Blue Marlin, with team Seahawk picking up two at this spot. The area was full of flying fish and dolphins, and they were surprised to find an entire family of dolphins stop and watch the safe release of one of the Blues – something they were lucky enough to catch on video.
There were plenty of other gamefish around too, with Wahoo in particular distracting teams from the real prize.
The champion team enjoyed success up north around the Barwon Banks area.
Final winners for the tournament were.
Champion team / boat overall – Chaos
Champion boat over 8 metres – Chaos
Champion boat 8 metres and under – R U WET YET
First billfish day 1 – Tango / Lloyd Armasin
Last billfish tagged day 1 – R U Wet Yet / Stephen Murphy
First billfish tagged day 2 – Chaos / Tim Graham
Last billfish tagged day 2 – Tango / Zac Lambert
Light Tackle Champion Male Angler – Bevan Barnes / 1 Sailfish – Incognito
Heavy Tackle Champion Male Angler – Tim Graham / 3 Black Marlin – Chaos
Light Tackle Champion Female Angler – Emily Scores / 1 Black Marlin
Heavy Tackle Champion Female Angler – Dee Cox / Chaos / 2 Black Marlin
Champion Junior – Tyler Barnes / Incognito / 1 Sailfish
22 boats and 98 anglers …. congratulations to all the winners, and a huge thank you to everyone for a great weekend.
82 hook ups
3 blacks and 2 sails light tackle
23 blacks, 5 blues, 3 stripes and 1 sail heavy
The committee have already been overwhelmed with support to run this event again next year. With sponsors impressed with the professionalism displayed by the fledgling club, they have again committed to help Newport produce an even bigger and better event next time around.