Cemetery Beach fished best on Friday afternoon. Afterwards, the fish got smaller and smaller each day. But it still produced Convention winning fish over the weekend.
The Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club hosted the 51st annual ANSA Narooma Convention on 8 – 10 March 2019. This year, the Convention was well attended, with eleven ANSA Clubs from all over New South Wales, including Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Canberra, and the South Coast. Glen and Karen Malam, Kevin Spriggs, Steve Bailey, Noel Dix, Chris Head, Wendie McDonald, Brian Stacy and I travelled to Narooma to represent the Canberra Fisherman's Club.
Kevin, Noel and I checked in at Island View Beach Resort on Thursday evening for registration and dinner at the Narooma clubhouse. This allowed us to hit the water first thing on Friday morning to get a head start on everyone else. We were greeted with blue skies and calm seas.
Noel and Kevin launched separate search and rescue missions for Flathead and Snapper in Wagonga Inlet and Wallaga Lake. Noel had some mixed success, and even picked up some tips from the locals when he returned to the boat ramp.
Meanwhile, I launched my campaign to win the Beach Division of the Narooma Convention at Cemetery Beach. I got off to a good start landing four Salmon ranging from 0.87 kg to 1.46 kg. Not the biggest Salmon but enough to put me in the top four spots in the Beach Division.
Anthony Heiser, Canberra Fisherman's Club, claimed the Beach Division with this 1.46 kg Australian Salmon off Cemetery Beach.
Unfortunately, the weather gods were not as kind on Saturday when a southerly change blew in.
The BOM recorded maximum wind gusts of up to 30 knots off Montague Island. The Gods showed some mercy by sparing the estuaries and some of the beaches from the worst of the wind.
However, the beaches turned into a nursery ground of baby Australian Salmon, some small enough to keep as pets in a Gold Fish bowls.
Glen and Karen caught some sub kilo Salmon off 1080 Beach while I fished Cemetery Beach for a mix of kilo and sub kilo Salmon, giving me a couple of extra Salmon to weigh in for the Convention. Kevin and Brian fished Handkerchief Beach, but only found baby Salmon.
Meanwhile, Noel, Chris and Wendie, and Steve stepped up the search and rescue effort for Flathead in Wagonga Inlet. A few Flathead and Snapper were caught, and Steve landed a 1.22 kg Frigate Mackerel, which he weighed in under the Estuary Division for the Convention.
On the final morning of the Convention, God released the eleventh plague: millions of undersized Salmon. Glen, Steve, Noel and I fished Cemetery Beach from dawn to late morning and caught enough baby salmon to fill the Nile.
We all caught a few sub kilo Salmon between us, but all fell short of the minimum 30 ANSA points required for weigh in at the Convention. Thanks to a joint effort by Glen and myself, we finished the morning with a rescue of a seagull with fishing line wrapped round its leg.
Fishing for the Convention concluded at midday on Sunday and we headed over to the Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club House to see the last of the fish getting weighed in.
I noticed lots of Salmon getting weighed in and assumed I was outfished in the Beach Division. However, Gordon Jobson from Wollongong Sportsfishing Club assured me that all the Salmon being weighed in were caught in bluewater. Sure enough, the majority of captures in the Bluewater were either Australian Salmon or Mahi Mahi.
I ended up winning the Beach Division Trophy after my fish claimed the top five spots. Also doing well on the beach was former member Chris Clark, who won the All Tackle Length Trophy for Australian Salmon.
Unfortunately for Steve, his Frigate Mackerel was outclassed by Jordy Lloyd Haynes of Sands Hotel Fishing Club, who weighed in a magnificent 4.13 kg Flathead on 2 kg claiming 206.5 points.
Jordy released the fish after the weigh in, to the delight of onlookers at the boat ramp. Jordy's Flathead earned him the Estuary Men's Trophy (Go the Sands!), leaving Steve with the 'Silver Medal'. Jordy's capture also earned him the Robb Kerr Trophy for Most Meritorious Capture.
However, the main event was a battle of biblical proportions between Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club and Team OTY Fishing Club.
The two clubs were neck and neck with eight trophies each but the balance of points for captures in the ANSA divisions fell in Team OTY Fishing Club's favour, with a total of 77.5 points.
Emily Spooner, Team OTY Fishing Club, weighing in an Australian Salmon on Sunday.
Well done OTY for putting in such a solid performance to claim the Champion Club Trophy. Narooma claimed the 'Silver Medal' with 46.5 points, and the Canberra Fisherman's Club claimed the 'Bronze Medal' with a respectable 19 points.
Thank you to Glen and Mel for organising the outing accommodation at Narooma, and to Kevin for organising the Saturday Night BBQ. And thank you to Les and Sue Waldock and the members of the Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club for hosting a fantastic convention. We hope to see you all again next year.
- Outcasts Fishing Club: 77.5 points
- Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club: 46.5 points
- Canberra Fisherman's Club: 19 points
- Nowra Sportsfishing Club: 9 points
Trophy winners – ANSA Categories
- Gamefishing: Not awarded
- Bluewater Men's: James Payne, Team OTY Fishing Club (2.75 kg Australian Salmon on 2 kg – 165 points)
- Bluewater Ladies: Annie Ovington, Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club (1.14 kg Australian Salmon on 2 kg – 68.4 points)
- Bluewater Junior: Sam Matters, Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club (1.63 kg Australian Salmon on 2 kg – 97.8 points)
- Rocks: Tom Franzen, Team OTY Fishing Club (1.03 kg Australian Salmon on 2 kg – 61.8 points)
- Estuary Men's: Jordy Lloyd Haynes, Sands Hotel Fishing Club (4.13 kg Flathead on 2 kg – 206.5 points)
- Estuary Ladies: Karen Maltby, Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club (0.95 kg Tailor on 2 kg – 47.5 points)
- Estuary Junior: Logan Williams, Team OTY Fishing Club (0.55 kg Bream on 2 kg – 33 points)
- Fly Fishing: Tom Franzen, Team OTY Fishing Club (1.10 kg Australian Salmon on 2 kg – 66.6 points)
- Tag and Release: David Morgan, Team OTY Fishing Club (Mahi Mahi – 10 points) & Russell Deighton, South Sydney Amateur Fishing Association (Mahi Mahi – 10 points)
- Beach: Anthony Heiser, Canberra Fisherman's Club (1.46 kg Australian Salmon on 2 kg – 88 points)
Trophy winners – Non-ANSA categories
- All Tackle Length Only – Kingfish: Peter Higgs, Malabar Boat Owners and Sea Rescue Club (66 cm)
- All Tackle Length Only – Morwong: Michelle Baillie, Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club (46 cm)
- All Tackle Length Only – Australian Salmon: Chris Clark, (51 cm)
- All Tackle Length Only – Snapper: Michelle Baillie, Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club (42.5 cm)
- All Tackle Length Only – Bonito: Bill Alves, Team OTY Fishing Club (38 cm)
- All Tackle Length Only – Bream: Emma Williams, Team OTY Fishing Club (40 cm)
- All Tackle Length Only – Trevally: Paul Wright, Tomakin Fishing Club (38 cm)
- All Tackle Length Only – Tailor: Peter Higgs, Malabar Boat Owners and Sea Rescue Club (57 cm)
- All Tackle Length Only – Flathead: Brayden Micallef, Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club (63 cm)
- All Tackle Length Only – Tuna: Russell Deighton, South Sydney Amateur Fishing Association (31 cm)
- Robb Kerr Trophy (for most meritorious capture): Jordy Lloyd Haynes, Sands Hotel Fishing Club, 4.13 kg Flathead on 2 kg – 206.5 points)
- Junior Catch and Release: Stephie Ovington, Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club (17 fish – 1503 points)
- Senior Catch and Release: Ian Phillips, Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club (28 fish – 2318 points)
- Junior Encouragement Award: Emily Spooner, Team OTY Fishing Club
Everyone enjoying Sunday lunch at the Narooma Sport and Game Fishing Club.