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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Euro Fishing Association’s monthly bulletin – January 2019

To all the fishos on the south coast I hope you had a great Xmas and for 2019 to be the year where you nail several of your bucket list species.

As promised this month’s bulletin will be more uplifting but that’s not to say there won’t be some grenades been thrown….ehhhh…..scratch that, I mean ballistic missiles launched at those who dare to undermine our beloved activity in the near future. You can bet on it.

The bulletin is in two sections, the monthly report and the month’s unique article.

Tom Dawson with his pending Junior National and State Record Sand Whiting 437mm

You know fishing is great when our club competition mobile device is receiving hundreds of entries from the past few weeks. I spent most of my New Year’s Day processing the computations of over 300 fish and updating the scores for our members.

Some exceptional fish were sent in to us such as Tom Dawson’s pending national and state junior record Sand Whiting, measuring 437mm. Then there was Jorge Richardson’s donkey sized Sea Mullet on very light line measuring over 45cm. Also, Dusty Fisher’s spectacular 55cm Blue Morwong which would have been another junior national record if dad had of thought to send in an official picture on the brag mat!

Did someone say Mulloway? There was no shortage of them the past few weeks, I recall Prue McMahon being elated over her recent metre plus Jew and many other members and friends of the EFA nailing the elusive silver ghosts.

Seb Bruu had several cracking sessions on the T Wharf with one day walking away with 27 captures for his efforts in a very short amount of time

An elated Prue McMahon with her metre plus Mulloway.

Dusty Fisher holding his potential junior National and State record breaking Blue Morwong 55cm

The fishing continued to fire well through December right up till our January 48 Hour Fishing Frenzy Club Competition. The competition starts on a Friday noon and finishes Sunday noon with our social meet and small presentation held at Smokey Dan’s 1pm on that Sunday.

Friday and Saturday morning seen many captures being submitted but most of which was not what many would consider trophy sizes. But we do have those days, right?

Sunday the southerly change had taken full affect with the multiple storm cells from Saturday afternoon unleashing copious amounts of rain, wind, lighting and thunder. The barometer dropped, and the fishing did too.

But that didn’t stop our valiant members catching fish for the family or releasing into the drink.

Our 48 Hour Fishing Frenzy Club winners for January 2019 were:

Sub Junior, Andy Frawley – Maori Wrasse 35.4cm

Junior, Cooper Frawley – Gummy Shark 95cm (SCREAMING on a 2500 size reel!!!)

Estuary, Layton Brant – Dusky Flathead 58.4cm (scrapping through as the winner by 0.4 points to three other members!)

Rock and Beach, Chris Applebee – Australian Salmon 45.3cm

Ocean, Dennis Beissner – Blue Morwong 39.2cm

January 2019 48 Hour Fishing Frenzy Winners

Well done to all who supported the January 2019 48 Hour Competition. Many competed but couldn’t make the social meet. However, this is one of the beauties of our competitions. We try to make the club events flexible as possible for our members in their time taxed lives. If they have other commitments and they can’t make the social meet, then that’s just how it is and does not impact on their right to win a category.

Again, I must thank all our sponsors that support us. Speaking of which expect a tap on the shoulder soon as we finalise preparations for the SOUTH COAST MIGHTY BONANZA FISHING COMPETITION.

Thanks to one of our executives and sponsor Anthony Stokman of Compleat Angler Batemans Bay for ensuring we have our tackle sponsorship needs always met every month and year.

I must not forget our numerous other local sponsors. We have a great relationship with these businesses or rather the people that run them. They are some of the pillars that hold the community’s not for profit groups, clubs and events up. Without their continued generous and loyal sponsorship clubs and groups simply could not deliver great events like the SCMB to the public and in turn draw people to the area that spend those valuable tourism dollars.

Take a moment and consider our local sponsors below and try always to shop with them first, remember keeping it local ensures a stronger community.

The Euro Fishing Association’s length only competitions – same but different

Remote locations can equal big fish but not necessarily convenient for the angler or fish to be weighed or kept alive. Jem Abbott with a 132cm Mulloway

“The more things change, the more they stay the same” or another way to look at it “Turbulent changes do not affect reality on a deeper level other than to cement the status quo.”

The past three years I have been confronted predominately by older fisherman set in their ways about how fishing club competitions should be run, that is a weight-based competition system and only weight. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy loading the Shimano Sustain reel with 2 kilo pre-test or the Saragossa loaded with 4 kilo pre-test chasing Salmon off the beach or big Snapper on the inshore reefs, but times are a changing.

I am sure many of you have heard it all before about length-based fishing club competitions, but I believe as do many of my members a length-based fishing club competition is the way of the future.

What would you consider is the most important core value for a fishing club competition to have? The prizes, the points accrued, the glory of a trophy fish or perhaps the challenge of competing against your mates? In today’s extremely time taxing society I believe the most important core value is the simple act of actually getting out and go fishing.

When the time came to invent the EFA’s length-based competitions I found myself using the information found in the Australian National Sportsfishing Association’s (ANSA) Rulebook pages 4 – 7 many times. Some of the sage material was penned by the late Vic McCristal and is still very relevant today. I encourage any rec fisher to visit the ANSA Rulebook foreword, ethics and code of practice at least once a year.

Both weight and length competitions require the act of getting out and hitting the water in search of that great fish. With a length-based system it allows our members to fish anytime anywhere without the need to go to a weigh station and the added benefit of releasing a fish if it is not wanted. Therefore, the length format allows greater flexibility of one’s use of time.

A length-based fishing competition has other added benefits over a weight system

  • Greater flexibility of time use.

  • Greater flexibility of where in Australia one can fish.

  • Releasing of unwanted fish, remember we don’t need to exceed our need.

  • Releasing fish for multiple reasons displays a conscience effort on our part as recreational fishers that we are conservationists at heart to the greater community, recall sportfishing continues to come under attack on the score of cruelty.

  • Photographs of fish on a length measuring device offers definitive proof of the capture accompanied with proof of date and helps to curtail cheating, remember cheating is a direct attack on all the principles we live by in ANSA.

  • Photographs of the captures also help with promoting the club’s competitions and its social gatherings in advertisements.

  • Disputes and discrepancies are easier to resolve with photographic evidence too.

  • The digital age is here and not going anywhere, digital pictures will play a key role in the viability of fishing club futures.

It’s not always about the biggest fish. Getting out and enjoying your downtime is important, catching a fish no matter how big or small is the cream on the cake.

Kylie-Anne Fish with a 42.5cm Dusky Flathead.

The EFA’s length-based fishing competition system is like many other length systems out there but we wanted a system that reflected ANSA values, offered a level of sportsmanship and fairness.

Introducing the Burke/Moran/Lewis formula (BML) point score system. To be honest, I wish I came up with this simple formula but alas I did not. The simple scoring formula was developed by three ANSA members living in the Eurobodalla on the South Coast NSW and was designed with length measuring, sportsmanship and fairness in mind.

The formula uses the Trophy Lengths found in ANSA’s List of Eligible Species as a benchmark and also delivers a system that promotes fairness where the longest fish does not always win - i.e. a 39cm Yellowfin Bream will beat a 65cm Snapper.

The BML formula is the following: points per fish = Actual Length / Trophy Length x 100.

Example: 58cm Actual Snapper length ÷ 70cm Trophy Snapper length x 100.

58 ÷ 70 x 100 = 82.85 BML points.

Neat right?

Brent Smith with a sunrise 58cm Snapper

The past six months since the competition’s beginning, over 900 fish have been entered by dozens of members and the membership continues to grow. Using this competition method in connection with social media we have gained traction very quickly in the region as a fishing club.

Where to from here? In the not too distant future the EFA will shift the competition using the BML formula to a mobile phone app and online live scoreboard removing the need for our members to send multimedia messages (pictures) to the EFA’s mobile device and significantly reduce the recorder’s work load.

This change is part of a bigger plan where our club will introduce a new platform of how fishing clubs will operate in the future but that is a story for another time.

In the end from where I stand, fishing clubs have been operating in Australia for over 100 years and ANSA for 50 years, but they are in decline across all states. I want to see ANSA clubs to continue for another 50 years and same goes for all fishing clubs. If we don’t act now and develop methods that encourage the next generations to be part of fishing clubs they will become history just like the dinosaurs. As you can see even though the more things change the core values stay the same.

Remember “when you're finished changing, you're finished.” -Benjamin Franklin

Adam Martin

Euro Fishing Association | President

ANSA NSW | 12-month competition recorder

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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