The 2009 Riviera NSW Interclub Tournament was held at Port Stephens on the consecutive weekends of February 21-22 and February 28 – March 1. the largest game fishing tournament of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the event attracted a fleet of close to 190 boats and 850 anglers from around Australia and overseas.
Fishing was slow on the first weekend and improved on the second. A total of 319 game fish were tagged and released (including 149 marlin and 15 shortbill spearfish) and 52 captured. Heaviest marlin was a 273kg blue marlin by Steve Perry on Ted’s Toy, heaviest shark, a 398 kg tiger shark to Mitchell Hogg aboard Boss Hogg and heaviest other game fish was a 41kg yellowfin tuna by Karen Wright on Tantrum. Champion Boat tag and release was ‘Born Free’ (Newcastle & Port Stephens GFC) with seven tagged marlin and Champion Boat Capture was Offshore (Lake Macquarie GFC).
Marine biologist Dr Julian Pepperell and a team of scientists from the NSW Department of Primary Industries were at the weigh station conducting important Australian and international research programs including biological studies of sharks and billfish, continued sampling of striped marlin for an age and growth study and mako sharks for a worldwide genetics project.
The tournament was supported by mid week activities including a junior angler fishing clinic, sponsors trade day, ladies day tournament, party in the park and successful auction in support of the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. These activities combined with the interest from members of the public attending the afternoon weigh-in created a week-long festival atmosphere and contributed strongly to the Port Stephens economy.
NSWGFA President Otto Volz described the tournament as a resounding success and is looking forward to bigger and better things next year. For information on next year’s NSW Interclub Tournament, contact Pat Jones 0417 770 900. More at: www.nswgfa.com.au