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Hailed A Great Success – 2018 Flathead Classic

Hailed A Great Success – 2018 Flathead Classic

Hailed the best fishing competition Australia has to offer, the 2018 Gold Coast Flathead Classic has recently ended for another year, and event organisers have relished in the success of the 25th-anniversary event held on 25-28 September 2018.

The Gold Coast Sportfishing Club committee set the target high for the 2018 event, wanting it to be the biggest and best yet. Travelling from all over Australia, 692 anglers fished at the event, 69 of which were juniors and 37 females, a new record for attendance. Club President Danny Sands said, “It’s fantastic to see so many people entered into our event this year. We set the bar high, and we are delighted to have achieved what we set out to do. We have gone to great efforts trying to make this event something for everyone, especially families. Seeing such a high number of father-son teams, and junior anglers compete in this year’s event just shows that we have found the winning formula”.

The three days of fishing saw teams catch 4,908 flathead, with 2,668 of the flathead caught above 40cm.

Taking out the winning team this year was Team Sands, with team member George Sands also awarded Club Champion and the winning angler. George said, “Well, it’s taken a few days for things to sink in. I still can’t believe we managed to do as well as we did after a very ordinary opening day, only scoring a team total of 727 points. Day 2 started poorly. Danny managed a 62 and a few small scores, and by 9:30am I still never had a legal fish. Then things changed, we fished a shallow flat and was about to give up. Danny got a 59cm using a big hard body lure, so we turned around for a second drift, and this is when my golden run started. I got a 79, 78 and 62cm very quickly! Things got quiet and Danny suggested we fish a small hole in amongst the weed flats. This hole was amazing, smashing another 18 fish 15 of those legal, another 77cm and a number ranging from 47cm to 66cm. Counting our scorecard, we were over the moon to come in with 1913 points, then realising after day two we were in with a shot. Can’t thank Danny enough for Day 3! Our day was ordinary just ticking over fish slowly, but Danny would net my fish, unhook it, do the photos, and write up the scores. A bloody champion! This gave me more time in the water and it paid off scoring a 66cm at 1:50pm, enough to get me over the line.”

With a massive string of prizes awarded, Friday night saw event partner and major prize sponsors, Surf Coast Marine and Quintrex give away four amazing boat packages, worth over $75,000.

The Junior Boat prize and the Australia-wide “Win A Quintrex” raffle were some of the highlights. But nothing could beat the hype of the final draw. The major prize – a brand new Quintrex 420 Renegade Side Console, including trailer and Evinrude motor package – was won by Julie Morrow, a local grandmother with a couple of grandkids who love to fish.

Julie said, “I’m over the moon to have won this fantastic prize. I normally can’t even win the chook raffle and here I am with this amazing new boat! I had no idea – when my name got called out – that I would be the last man standing and walk away with this incredible boat package! My husband and I love to fish, and our grandkids are so excited to get out on the water with us and test the new boat out.”

The prize pool for the event set new records, with a total of $452,486 given away over the four days. Gold Coast Sportfishing Club Vice President and Sponsorship Manager David Whyte said, “We love giving back to the anglers. During team registration on the opening night, we gave away just over $180,000 worth of products in the team bags, with anglers basically receiving their entry fee back in fishing gear and merchandise. This was in addition to just under $30,000 given away over the four nights through general raffles and daily competition prizes.”

Organisers reached a massive audience Australia-wide through social media, with the nightly entertainment uploaded to Facebook and covered across Channels 7 and 9. The event was also lucky enough to have celebrity fishing personalities: Andrew Ettingshausen from Escape with ET, John Coutis an internationally renowned inspiration and motivational speaker, and The Mad Hueys. The event was MC’d by local TV personality Paul Burt, who did a fantastic job onstage each night, receiving excellent reviews for his crowd involvement and interest.

Danny Sands concluded, “The outcome of the 2018 event is a testament to the positive evolution of the club. Past and present committee members and even a handful of club members, who have paved the way to where we stand today, each of whom has left a legacy, contributing to the 25th Gold Coast Flathead Classic taking the medal for the best fishing event Australia has to offer. We are just fishermen and women who want to create an event where other passionate anglers can come and enjoy being on the water with mates, doing something we love.”

For results and to check out the image gallery, visit: www.flatheadclassic.com.au

 

 

 

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