Big numbers all-round for Flathead Classic

The 2009 Flathead Classic was run last week on the Queensland’s Gold Coast and despite testing weather conditions the event has once again been heralded a success. The popular social tournament notably only features “lucky draw” prizes and attracts sportfishers from around the country, in turn providing valuable flathead catch and growth rate data used for long term management of the species in Queensland.

The Flathead Classic seems to go from strength to strength each year with the latest no exception with entrant numbers swelling to 140 teams and 340 individual competing anglers. The Gold Coast’s broadwater was undoubtedly a very busy waterway as the competing anglers jockeyed for water space over popular flathead locations.

This year’s competitors unfortunately had to combat strong north-westerly winds for the three days of competition, but nonetheless some outstanding flathead were caught, measured, tagged and released. While official catch numbers hadn’t been tallied at the time of writing it is believed that total numbers of flathead caught would exceed 3000.

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Doug Whalley from the winning Bush ‘n Beach team with a monster 94cm lizard.

Brad Job, in company with son Ben and Ross McCubbin again formed Team Atomic for this year’s Classic. The trio enjoyed a very good first day of competition culminating with a 90cm lizard caught by Job senior on an Atomic 6″ Jerkshad. Team Atomic finished the first day to lead the event by 200 points from the Dead Fishy team of Fishing World’s David Green, son Michael Green and Kelvin Williams.

The Green team have placed highly in Flathead Classic standings since the inaugural event and typically they have been one of the event’s benchmark teams, which has provided much friendly cross team rivalry.
Brad Job told Fisho, “Greenie’s team were about 180 points ahead of us, but they had a shocker on the last day and we managed to edge in front of them mainly due to Ben [Job] catching a 90cm flattie in the last half hour on a Micro Mullet, which also gave him biggest flattie on a hard body lure.”

Typical of some heavily backed NRL and AFL teams this season, Dead Fishy may have hit form too early.

“We had a cracker day last Tuesday before the comp – 38 [flathead] from 60 to 90cm – peaked too early.” Greenie told Fisho.

The champion team and popular winners were the Bush ‘n Beach trio of Keith Stratford, Chris Stratford and Doug Whalley. Typical of the event, noteworthy more for its social aspect than hard-nosed competition, the successful team fished out of a little 4.1m Polycraft. The winners reportedly enjoyed their most success fishing deep water with large soft plastic shads and heavy jigheads. A 7″ Tropic Angler shad in chartreuse livebait colour accounted for a monster 94cm lizard to Doug Whalley – see accompanying photo above.

inline_590_ squid ms.jpg Squid by-catch.

In the wash up Team Atomic were the runners up with Dead Fishy finishing third. Champion Angler was Keith Stratford with Ross McCubbin of Team Atomic, runner up Champion Angler.

Stay tuned for a full report on the Flathead Classic from David Green in Fishing World magazine. 

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Doug Whalley and another point scorer for the Bush ‘n Beach team. 





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