FISHING: Critakill shows who's the boss

Maryland angler Steven Chrystie, fishing on Critakill, was crowned champion senior angler at last week’s Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament at Port Stephens.

Steve clocked 16 points to register a comprehensive win over runner-up Shane Scott, from Corlette, fishing on The Boss, who scored 10points.

‘‘Steven fished hard and it was a brilliant catch,’’ tournament organiser Tony Poole said yesterday.

‘‘When he came in he was incredibly tired but he got what he deserved.’’

Emily Thomas (Curly) took champion junior honours on countback from Eliza Falko (Willy or Wonty).

Both scored 21points, but countback is decided on who reaches their winning points first. Eliza’s dad Peter opted not to weigh in their fish until late in the tournament and so Emily got home first. ‘‘Not to worry, both went home with enough tackle prizes to last 10years,’’ Tony said yesterday. ‘‘It was still a great effort from these kids.

‘‘They work very hard and are very competitive little anglers’’

Critakill was champion boat with The Boss in second place.

A total of 986anglers competed this year in 429boats, with about 50percent being first-timers.

Tony, who is able to compile very detailed statistics via the online entry format, estimates about 840 of those competitors required accommodation for the three days, underlining how much of an economic stimulus the event is to the area each year.

For the true trainspotters, the average length of boat was 5.29metres, with the majority being alloy.

Local Fisheries officers checked more than 200 boats for fishing licences over the three days.

‘‘Only six anglers didn’t have licences,’’ Tony said.

‘‘With an average of three people per boat, that’s less than 2percent non-compliance, which is pretty good.’’

Tony also observed that since the new government has come in, he’s seen a huge scale back from the marine parks people in terms of intrusion.

This time last year he was contemplating moving the event somewhere else due to the threatened restrictions.

‘‘It was an absolute glorious weekend, everything went so smoothly it wasn’t funny.

‘‘We’re all now looking forward to the 20th anniversary next year.’’

Coco’s festive catch

Six-year-old Coco Velasquez ensured her family had fish for Easter by hooking a 67cm flathead at the Newcastle foreshore last Sunday.

‘‘It was caught on her own rod and reeled in by herself [as every fisherman should], much to the delight of passers-by,’’ Cherie Pepperall reported.

Leaping lizard moment

Troy Irwin caught an 85cm lizard in Bonnells Bay drifting and casting in his trusty Savage Dolphin – an oldie but a goodie, Troy reckons.

‘‘I said to the girlfriend, ‘fish on, it’s a monster, get the net!!’’’ Troy recalled.

‘‘She said, ‘As if, you don’t need the net, I bet it’s tiny.’

‘‘Then she came over and had a look, and then said, ‘OK I’ll get the net!’’’

Troy wasn’t sure if he could land it, knowing the line was light, but after 20minutes of careful playing and what he described as ‘‘many hard runs and just stubborn resistance’’ he finally got it in the net.

‘‘It was the fish of a lifetime, a female, breeder,’’ Troy said. ‘‘We took our photos and let her go. Letting it go was a good feeling, sort of quiet satisfaction after the adrenalin of catching it.’’

Jewie coup for Big Kev

Kevin Oakes hooked his first ever jewie on Stockton Beach using live yellowtail this week.

‘‘I’d been trying to catch one for over 12 months and finally got one,’’ Big Kev said. ‘‘It went off like a shotgun. After a half-hour fight I finally got it in.

‘‘It weighed just under 10kg and was just under a metre long. I was stoked.’’

Rusevs go for glory

Caitlin Rusev kept up the family fishing tradition with a 67cm flathead caught in Lake Macquarie during the week using live poddy mullet.

‘‘I have two daughters,’’ proud dad Danny reported, ‘‘and there is fierce competition now ever since Brianna [sister] made the paper in the last week of 2011 with her salmon.’’

Danny reckons the competition is a good thing because his girls now set the alarm clock eager to wet a line.

‘‘The bad thing is, they out-fish me,’’ Danny laughed.

Something’s in the air

Wayne ‘‘The Train’’ Hodges, from Caves Beach, reckons fishing in Lake Macquarie has been a bit slow this week, and he has a theory why.

‘‘I’ve been out every single day this week and only got a few tailor,’’ Wayne said yesterday. ‘‘I spoke to a bloke who’d been drifting from Murrays Beach to Gwandalan and Pulbah Island and he only got one bream and a flathead.

‘‘And I spoke to another guy at the boat ramp and he said the same.

‘‘I reckon it’s the air pressure – it’s too high. It seems to do something to the fish.

‘‘When it’s stormy and low pressure, I get heaps of fish.

‘‘It’s only my theory and after all my years of fishing, I’ve worked out the only rule in fishing is there is no rule.’’

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