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VIRTUAL FLATTY COMP

VIRTUAL FLATTY COMP

GOLD COAST SPORTFISHING CLUB

Things really haven’t been the same this year, we all know that. Holidays have been cancelled, phone usage has gone up, and visits with friends have turned virtual. But with difficult roads come beautiful destinations — this reality can be seen for the Gold Coast Sportfishing Club (GCSC). On the 3rd and 4th of October, the club held their first virtual flathead fishing competition — the Ultimate Flatty Dash. Despite the circumstances, the competition was a hit and exceeded the club’s expectations. Bruce Andersen, president of the club since 2018, said he did not think the competition was going to happen this year — or many events for that matter.

However, five weeks before the usual competition dates, the club decided to go ahead with it. But there was a twist: it was going to all have to be virtual. The club did not expect many entries, maybe 80 or 90 boats; but “beyond their wildest dreams”, a total of 140 boats and 340 fishermen along with several sponsors participated in the event. As part of the lead up to the competition, the club had incentives to get people to sign up. Whether it was the incentives or the fact that sportfishers were ready to get out there after a tiring year, the event was killer.

Rules for the event were announc  ed via video on Thursday before the event. The rules included making sure to photograph all the flathead clearly with the token sent to all entrants. All flathead, no matter the length, were eligible for their length in points.

Another really cool part of this event was the Random Draw. The draw involved two different sections: picking 15 names out of the 340 to put in a pot for the Grand Prize of a trip to two to the Solomon Islands to stay at the Papatura Island Resort, and the other draws happened throughout the event. The latter draws consisted of prizes such as fishing gear, sounders, and vouchers for places such as Surf Coast Marine. Lucky Larissa Thompson won the prize to the Solomon Islands. (Hopefully, restrictions are lifted soon so she can get over there!)

Bruce had a pretty funny story: An entrant who was unable to fish the entire event because his engine blew, actually ended up getting his name drawn and winning a Lowrance HDS Live 12! Lucky him! Without sponsors such as Lowrance and Rapala, the event could have never happened.

Overall, the Flatty Dash was super successful. With an entry fee of $100 per angler and $40 for a junior, the competition is a bargain. The excitement, random drawings, opportunities – it’s exciting for everyone.

Over 1,913 flathead were caught (catch-and-release). Team “Reel Easy” won with a total length of 1,105cm. Josh Johnston won the Biggest Flathead title with 92cm. Pete MacGregor’s 89cm flatty was the best for a club member. Melinda Henderson caught a 73cm flatty to secure her winning position in the Ladies category. There were a good number of juniors there as well. Drayzen Allen backed up his reputation from last year by catching a 66cm flatty, securing his second win for the Junior Male. Junior Jaimee Horner added another win to her resume with a 68cm flatty.

Bruce was over the moon with excitement when talking about the event. His positivity was infectious! Everyone loved the concept. And while they hope next year restrictions will be lifted and things can get back to normal, there is no doubt they would do things the same way they did this year if they had to. “For a committee to do this in just five weeks is amazing. The club members, the public, all of the sponsors — none of it could have happened without them. Overall it was a win-win situation. The money made from the event goes right back into the club and allows us to keep holding exciting events like this one. We are all so very proud of what we’ve done.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To join a fishing competition visit: www.goldcoastsportfishingclub.com.au