Classic battle looms

FISH OF THE WEEK: Ryan Boyal wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this bull mahi mahi caught fishing on Fear Not with crew Craig Fuller and skipper Grant Warren.A fleet of 70 boats and 300 anglers will vie forover $60,000 in cash and prizesat this year’s East Coast Classic, hosted by Newcastle Game Fishing Club this weekend.

The weather forecast is looking hot and sunny and fishing has picked up.

“There are lots of blues and mahi mahi about out wide, juvenile blacks in closer,and encouraging signs of spearfish, wahu and the odd good-size yellowfin tuna about,” NGFC secretary Scott Morris said.

“That’s sure towhet the appetite of anglers chasing the $5000 cash prizes on offer in each of the the major divisions.”

Penn have put up over $10,000 worth ofof rods, reels and accessories to be won and given away.There will be heaps of $500 cash giveways and lucky door prizes, including a $2500 voucher from Magic Boat Details and much much more, Scott said.

“Great Northern Brewing Co, Strata Worldwide (Australia), Raymarine and JSE Marine Electrical, Triple M Sheetmetal, Marmong Poing and Koolewong Marinas have also lent generous support to the second running of our tournament.”

Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club is showing their support by offering two free nights berthing for competing vessels and the use of facilities over the tournament.“They’ve been excellent,” Scott said.

Anglers will be briefed tonight at the yacht club. Boats hit the water at 7am Saturday and fish through to 5pm.

“Keep an eye on the harbour between 5pm and 7pm Saturday afternoon and you should see some impressive vessels ranging from 18 foot to 80making their way back to berth at the yacht club,” Scott said.

Fishing starts same time Sunday morning and wraps up at 4pm with a presentation to follow at the yacht club.

“We’re looking forward to hosting the event and catering for all the boats coming from up and down the east coast of Australia,” Scott said.

“I was out on the water withMitch Birt, John Balcombe and Daniel Meekaboard the Penn boat, the Play Penn, on Sunday, and got a black and a blue and there was a lot biting.

“Hopefully there’ll be more of that.”

Sydney gloryIt was pretty hard going for the two weekends.

Well over 100 marlin were tagged over the two weekends of Interclub which wrapped up last weekend.

Competition came down to the last day with Southern Zone boats leading on the third day only to be overhauled by the Sydney boats on the last day, who ended up winning by only one fish.

“It was that close,” NSW Game Fishing Association secretary Nigel Rush, said.

Sydney Game Fish Club, made up of Galeforce, Hoodlum and Casey, wonChampion Team tag and release.

Champion team capture went to the Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club combination ofGloriana, Redemption and Offshore.

MP Bob Baldwin’s boat The Omen waschampion boat tag and release and Bob waschampion angler tag and release with eight marlin.

Champion boat capture went to Gloriana, with Paul Hogg skipper, champion angler capture wasLuke Ashman on Gloriana.

“He weighed a 103kg blue on 10kg line and then weighed another 111.5kg blue on 15kg line last Saturday,” Nigel said.

Champion female capture was Kelly Sweetenam with a tiger shark 189.5kg on 15kg line fishing on local boat Public Enemy.

Chloe Laurence, from Ulludulla Game Fishing Club, took out champion female tag and release with five marlin.

The heaviest marlin, a blue weighing 134.5kg, was caught by Tristan Davies from Port Hacking on24kg line.

For full results got to NSWGFA website.

“Condition on weekend two were perfect but the water wasn’t that good,” Nigel said.

“Reports were it was green and it was hard to find bait and when you did there was no fish.

“The blues turned up on the shelf on the second weekend, and there was fair few caught midweek, but the stripes which are traditionally very active this time of year seem to be bypassing us on the current.

“Game fishos love coming to Port Stephens for the marlin, they call it the port of gold, but each year is different as far as the fishing goes.

“Nonetheless, it was one of the most enjoyable tournaments and everyone had fun which is what we’re trying to promote.”

Benefit dayCharlestown Bowling Club is holding abenefit day for little Archie Percival, a two-year-old boy who has a very rare condition called Anterior Horn Cell DiseaseandAcute Flaccid Myelitis.

He has very little movement in his arms and legs, and is in the ICUunit in the John Hunter Hospital on a ventilator unable to eat or breathe by himself.

CBC is holding a massive raffle to help his family with the ongoing costs they are enduring.

The major event will be held on Sunday March 20 with some fantastic prizes to be won.

“He is starting to respond a little bit, but we hope as many people as possible turn up to help him and his family,” a spokesperson said.

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