Fishing Competitions - How they have changed over the past decade.

A 29.5cm to the fork bream caught during the Tenno Classic 2012
Gary Brown
As a teenager I use to fish a monthly competition (Gerroa Boat Fisherman’s Club) with my dad down at a place called Gerroa, which is nestled between Gerringong and Shoalhaven Heads on the south coast of NSW. After dad passed away and my son Chris was old enough we continued on the tradition of competing in these monthly competitions. The comp would start at 6am with a 12 noon finish. The main focus back then was to catch as many fish (to bag limits set by the club) as you could, and the team that caught the most would win for the day. These fish had to be gilled and guttered for the weigh-in. Back then our family and friends ate many a fish meal.

Even as I put this article together there are still many of fishing competitions like the ones of old that my dad and son use to fish in. Now don’t get me wrong I am not degrading these types of competitions, but what I am saying is that I have moved on to now fish in catch and release competitions.

This 1.195kg bream was part of our 3.835kg winning bag in the 2008 Bream Scramble
Gary Brown
Ones like the Betts Teams events www.betsbream.com.au , the Gamakatsu Teams series www.fishingcomps.com.au/gts/, the Gold Coast Flathead classic www.goldcoastsportfishingclub.com.au and the Tenno Classic www.tennoclassic.com.au now called the Summerland Sporties Bream and Flathead Classic.

I have been told that I am very competitive, and believe me it does come out, But what I do like about these teams events is that you get to fish with someone you know, you can learn from each other, you are doing something you love to do with someone else who loves to do it and there are times when you need a partner to catch the fish.

I can remember a time when Carl and I were competing in our first WSBB Bream Scramble on Sydney Harbour back in 2008 and we both caught bream throughout the day and to our delight we just took out the competition with a bag of five bream for 3.835 kg for five bream. The team that came second weigh-in with their bag of 3.780kg. Just 55 grams less.

Carl may not have caught any bream during the 2012 bream scramble, but he did get this trevally
Gary Brown

It was a bit different when it came to our fourth Bream Scramble on Sydney Harbour and no matter how hard Carl tried he could not add a legal bream to our bag.

Carl and I waiting for out 4th place prize cheque in the Bream Scramble 2012
Gary Brown

At the weigh-in we came forth and managed a bag of 3.185kg for five bream and the winning bag was 3.696 for five bream. If only Carl managed to stay hooked up we might have taken this one out as well.

Carl now mainly competes in the Kayak bream tournaments. For the last three years I have teamed up with Dave from Tosland Building and even though we haven’t won any comps yet, we have come close and enjoyed every moment. On the 10/02/13 Dave and I fished in round three of the BETTS Teams Event. We managed to come 10th with a bag of five bream for 3.11 kg. If you get a chance go to www.betsbream.com.au/news/mako-rd-3-video-wrap/ for the update, results and video wrap.

On the weekend from fifth to the seventh of April 2013 Dave and I will be competing in the Sporties Bream and Flathead Classic on Lake Macquarie. We did fish this one last year and it was called the Tenno Bream and Flathead Classic.

This is an catch and release event for anglers of all ages and it doesn’t matter whether you use bait or artificals, as long as the fish measured alive and released in a healthy state to swim away. It will be based at Summerland Point which is about 15 minutes drive north of the Swansea Bridge and 25 minutes drive south of Charlestown.

The Classic is designed to be a fun event for the whole family with sections for juniors (male and female), seniors (male and female), boat and kayak. There will be prizes for first, second and third for the biggest bream bag of six and the longest bream. The same goes for the flathead. There is also a prize for the best decked out boat.

An 84cm beast just prior to release
Gary Brown

Last year Shane Holmes caught a total length of 207cm for his bag of six possible bream and Steve Norris took out the flathead section of six flathead for a total length of 315.5cm. The largest bream was caught by Jaden Bradhurst (42.5) and Matt Wilding caught the longest flathead (84cm).

While there are prizes for these categories the biggest prizes will go to random entrant giveaways and as they say you have to be there to win them. Therefore everyone who enters the Summerland Classic, even if they don’t catch a fish you could win a major prize. The Summerland Sporties Club would like to give thanks to the generosity of sponsors who have once again donated over $12,000 in cash, prizes and giveaways.

Just like the last two years the NSW Fisheries research team will be on hand to tag as many bream as they can so that they can release them back into Lake Macquarie, where hopefully someone will catch a few and return the tags to the Fisheries for their ongoing research.

There are three fishing sessions – Saturday morning (6am to 11.30am) and afternoon (12.30 to 4pm), plus Sunday morning 6am to 11.30am). Each competitor is cooked a BBQ breakfast on Saturday and Sunday as part of the entry fee.
Each session of the competition will start and finish at Sandy Beach, Summerland Point and there is plenty of boat parking at the beach.

The Official Award Ceremony will be held back at the Summerland Sporties Club and will start at approximately 2.30pm.
So if you get a chance go and have a look at the 2011 and 2012 results at www.tennoclassic.com.au web site and follow the prompts to download the entry form for the 2013 Summerland Sporties Bream and Flathead Classic or you can just turn up on Friday night the fifth of April between 5pm to 7pm and register for the comp.

There is nothing wrong with taking home a feed from a non cacth and release comp
Gary Brown

In a bream tournament flathead are classed as a by-catch and they don't count. In the Summerland classic they do count
Gary Brown

Dave is into a solid bream
Gary Brown
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