The 2009 Forster Fishing Carnival culminated last weekend with the week long event again claimed a success by entrants and organisers alike. After the inaugural event in 2008, which attracted around 150 competitors and raised money for a number of charities, the 2009 FFC comprised 100 senior and 30 junior entrants and a two-day Hobie sponsored kayak fishing tournament attracted a lot of interest from competitors and the public.
One competitor of this year’s FFC told Fishing World the event had a “really good vibe” with competitors of all events reportedly getting along very well. Kayaking competitors were seen readily sharing information with powerboat competitors involved in the Squidgy Flathead Classic and vice versa.
One competitor of the flathead event, Brett Wilson of fourth placed team Squidgy (paired with Scott Wilson), told Fishing World the pairing found the flathead largely cooperative in the four sessions the pairing contended with an average of half a dozen flathead taken – teams had to account for two flathead each session to stay in prize contention. The largest flathead taken during the flathead tournament was an 860mm fish by the Manning River Marine team of J Hickson and “Kiwi”. The same team went on to win the event against stiff competion from the 25 team strong field.
Forster’s prolific offshore waters proved more difficult to fish this year due to strong north-east winds which greatly affected sea conditions. As a result the Carnival’s snapper event reported only a single snapper caught. One offshore highlight was a two metre wahoo taken during the week. Another standout catch was a 12kg jewfish.
The popularity of kayak fishing came to the fore at this year’s FFC with the ABT Hobie Kayak Fishing tournament attracting a field of 45 to battle it out for grand final contention. Competitors fished Forster’s Wallis Lake in the C & R, artificials only (lures, flies) bream event. Victorian Hobie representative Scott Lovig ultimately came out on top after the two-day competition, with a 2.19kg limit taken over the two sessions. Kayak manufacturer Hobie supplied 26 ready-to-fish Mirage Outbacks, complete with live wells, for use of all grand final qualifiers – competitors of the grand final only had to supply their own tackle to compete.
Kayak competitors prepare for Day one.
The 2009 Forster Fishing Carnival featured nightly lucky draws for charity organisations, the McGrath Foundation and Ronald McDonald House and local region schools. The main prize was a Quintrex 395 Explorer with a 30hp Evinrude E-TEC outboard.
The week-long event culminated with a juniors’ fishing day on the final Saturday and the $30,000 Bream Megabucks event – results of which are still to be confirmed.
One of the event’s organisers Max Frost said one of the popular attractions was again the giant stocked fish tank situated along Forster’s southern breakwall, which attracted a lot of attention especially from local school childeren. “It’s a good biology lesson for them.” Said Frost.
Weigh-in during Hobie kayak fishing event.
For more information on the Forster Fishing Carnival go to www.forsterfishingcarnival.com.au