Saturday, 2 July 2011

Gan Craft on Water Clinics

Today was the first day of our on water egi clinics, in the past we have recognized that conducting in store only clinics/seminars that people get all the technical side of things sorted but still struggle with some of the practical application. It was decided that we take people through the tech stuff in the tackle store and then get them on the water to get the practical side of things sorted with some separate one on one tuition if required. The guys at Fishing fever were great and kept the shop open for a while afterwards to make sure that every one was able to grab what they needed after learning a thing or 2 about a thing or 2 and I hope every one went away happy

Things kicked off last night at Fishing Fever Tackle store in Mordialloc where we went through the basics about egi and some of the technical stuff,we kept the group to a 12 maximum for a couple of reasons, first it would be a real task to get a boat flexible enough to go to where the squid are and fit massive amounts of keen fisho's on board. For this on water component we used Big Time Charters with Gawaine Blake, although the boat is licensed for 10 we kept the numbers to 6 as you can all well imagine what it would be like with 10 people who have just discovered an aggressive egi technique all casting and swinging rods around................................ hence why we kept the groups small. Second is because I wanted to make sure that every one got some one on one time if required, it is a task to get to every one to make sure we got every one sorted and thirdly, fishing of all sorts is supposed to be fun so keeping it small with lots of room means less grumpyness.

With a massive wind forecast for the weekend we were a little apprehensive on taking a group out on both days but were sure we could get the group out on the Saturday and get out we did. We were met with mild winds of about 10 knots from the north east, conditions were not far from perfect, we got to our location on Tyabb bank and started a drift with every one keen to put some new technique into practice. Did not take long to get the first few into the boat and they kept coming, ended up with close to 50 squid landed for the 4 or so hours we spent on the water before the wind built up and blew us all away.

It was a great day for me I only hope that every one else had a good one also and took something away from the instore and on water clinic.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Yamashita Squid Series, Fishing Fever round wrap up

Yamashita Squid Series 2011, Fishing Fever Round 1, Victoria Wrap Up.
Australian Egi Tournaments held the first ever live weigh and release competition for squid anywhere in the world on the weekend of 25th and 26th of June in 2011, after much planning the event was finally ready to be tested by a field of 8 teams from Victoria in the Western Port town of Hastings in Victoria.

Team briefing took place in the club rooms of the Western Port Angling club with all teams present and accounted for, as most of the competitors had not fished in this style of event before many questions were asked and rules were clarified for the following day’s competition. The weekend weather forecast was looking like it might take a turn for the worst so all eyes were kept on the weather charts over night in the hope that the big spell of wind Melbourne had been receiving for the past few weeks would ease for 2 full days of competition.

Day 1 of competition saw all teams swanning around the Port of Hastings awaiting the start call, an unusual sight for many of the interested locals as they had not seen this style of tournament before as most of these events are based around Bream and Bass and not open salt water locations for squid, another interesting observation was the style of boats that had entered, every thing from small open tournament fishing boats with electric motor and casting platforms to 6 meter plus boats with twin motors allowing for a diverse range of anglers. Weather almost perfect for the start of the series with light sea breezes to 15 knots giving teams a nice drift to cover plenty of ground. The days first starter was team Yamashita followed by Fishing Fever,, Peninsula Total Tackle, Xtreme, Gladiator Gan Craft, Little Hooker and last but not least saw Shimano Barcrusher leave the Port. Tactics must have been a big discussion point before the start of competition as some took a risky short cut across the mud to overtake many teams following the channel and then all teams parted heading in different directions looking for squid. Close to midday a call came from Team Yamashita with one of the worst possible scenarios for a tournament angler, mechanical failure a long way from the weigh in location. A call was put out to all teams asking if assistance could be rendered. Massive call from who said they were close to weighing in so they came in weighed their bag and did the quick mercy dash out to a fellow angler in strife, in the meantime a stiff northerly was building and with team Yamashita who was a long way south was in doubt of returning for the weigh in deadline. Team Xtreme also offered assistance but as the cavalry was already on its way the offer was declined. Great sportsmanship by both teams and a credit to both of them for helping at the risk of their own day 1 weight.

Teams began arriving to weigh at around 1330 with some nice looking squid hitting the scales and leaving the results almost a reverse order of the start. The best bag came from Team little hooker, the smallest boat in the field and proving valuable with out a cab thus giving the team a slower drift advantage, following them close with a 100g smaller bag was Team Shimano/Barcrusher that also had the smallest and youngest competitor at 5 years old.
See Chart below

Day 2 Started with big concerns from event organiser with winds peaking above 20 knots and gusts to above 30 knots. Rather than throw the teams into the wind it was decided that a pre fish meeting would be held, with one team already being on the water as they travelled down the port from Yaringa Boat Harbor and with all weather charts on the computer teams were given the option of a cancelation with day one results being the final results or fish in the conditions for a full 2 day weigh in.  The end result was the day’s fishing would go ahead at the choice of the teams and not the tournament director, was great to see all team members discussing safety and competition in the same sentence, again a credit to the guys who were fishing this event.

As predicted the winds kept blowing and got a little worse but the teams fished through and truly amazed me with their persistence including the 5 year old competitor Fin Wing who fished all the way to the end. Teams started to dribble in at about midday as some were concerned about losing their catch on the trip back to the ramp through some very ordinary conditions. All teams back safe and accounted for the weigh in for the win began. The final results can be found below.

Team little hooker had the advantage on both days with a smaller craft that created less drift, while they were left a little damp and less comfortable they were rewarded with a well earned win,  Mrfisho/Pelagic Xtreme came away with second by bringing ion 2 consistent bags over the 2 days, this tactic payed off as other teams were away looking for the money squid big enough to take the competition. Was a great couple of days of competition and at all times all competitors displayed a picture perfect group that fished in the spirit of competition, I look forward to having any of the teams in this list as part of any event I ever run again.

Big Thanks to a few people:

Yamashita, was great having Steve Mills from EJ Todd to help promote Yamashita and set up and pack up. Getting Support from sponsors is one thing but having them there during the event helping as you go is another, Fishing Fever, Lee and Morne really helped the event get along with some advertising and also ran as couriers to get some gear to us by the event start time, Pure Fishing (Berkley) for prize packs, Alsta Angling (ecogear)for prize packs and to all for supporting the events and helping them get off the grounds.

Westernport Angling Club for allowing us to use their clubrooms for a briefing area and other meetings.

Westernport Mower Power. These guys saved our squid, after the purchase of a brand spanking pump we struggled to get the salt water up to the tanks and to circulate, at the cost of 2 large flat whites from Coffee King in Hasting our pump was running at 0830 on a Saturday Morning, cheers Ray and Gary.

Youfish TV and Thats Fishing TV for getting some footage of the event, really appreciate your time and camera skills.

Dale, Andy, Shane (pakey), Brian, Brent (Jabba) and Paul for helping with the pack up and pull down even though it was not required of them, they helped us get out of the rain as it approached.

Most of all to Dan, Pete and Kim for being there to do what was required and when required to keep things moving along even, the event could not have been run without them period.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Day 2 of the Yamashita Squid series was in doubt for a start.

The Yamashita Squid Series Fishing Fever Round 1 at Hastings in Victoria day 2 was in doubt of a start this morning with winds gusting well above 30knots as a straight North, the decision was left to the field and the overwhelming majority was a start so a start it was, the Gan Craft flag was horizontal the whole time and is still lashing with the wind. We wish all teams a safe return for weigh in, squid fishing in wind this hard is a tough game so the results will be very interesting at the 1430 weigh in this afternoon, was a hairy night sitting with the equipment during some of the squalls that came through during the night. As some would know from our last event the Australian Egi Tournaments Invitational, we lost 2 big marquees to the wind and I ended up swimming in my underwear at 0500 in the morning in the middle of the Queenscliff Harbor, I was not letting this happen again nor would I subject my teams to seeing me in my underwear ever again. For
those who were unable to get to yesterdays weigh in this is our little setup without the computers, scales, electronics and audio equipment. For those considering coming to the weigh in today there has been a time change to 1445 due to the late start because of competitor conference about winds.