Saving the best until last

It was High Fives all round for the Angling Section’s final action-filled competition of the season on September 10.

A medley of high expectations, high drama, high points-scoring, high numbers and high spirits at the celebration barbie at Shed 7 following the day’s weigh-in combined to make it a day to remember.

Seven boats and 15 anglers enjoyed a fair day at sea – a day that promised five-star fishing – which featured a 13-knot southerly before it gave way to a light sea breeze.

The day started with Denise Bech a shoo-in for the leading female while hubbie John led Ray Wilson by 44 points, and, given that he completely out-gunned Ray 83 points to 23 in August, nobody was backing the tall skinny guy to take the season honours.

Coupled with that sideshow, there were two carryover monthly target fish – dhufish and tailor – and the nominated fish for September was samson fish. So, three fish were up for grabs for the $100 house support scheme vouchers.

Those HSS prizes toppled like ducks at the Royal Show shooting gallery. Denise, who’s become a tailor specialist here (best tailor this season and last) and on a recent trip to Kalbarri (see picture) took care of business early in the day, Ray caught and released a 77cm samson fish while Roy Martin – who deservedly had the broadest smile at the weigh in – landed a 9kg dhufish.

For reasons explained lower down, the samson prize ended with Chris Walkey.

In a day of firsts, Andrew Engelbrecht and Bert Zuideveld both tallied 85 points, which on any normal day would have won the comp, but the tall skinny guy had a day out.

If Ray were a dog, he’d be named Lucky because everything went his way and on his side of the boat. Two dozen plump sandies, three king george, half a dozen herring, a lone squid, a goatie, and his fish of the day, a thumping 2.52kg skippy all shared the overflowing esky, aside from the sambo which was pictured on a brag mat and released.

John managed 42 points, falling 10 points shy in the overall tally as Ray who racked up 95.69 points claimed not only the field day prize but also the 2021-2022 crown in a season when his previous combined winnings – monthly comps and target fish – amounted to a big fat zero. Nothing. Zilch.

Chris took the $100 sambo prize with his capture at the same reef as Ray’s as no angler can win two prizes at the same comp.

Special mention goes to Roy Martin, fishing with his wife Andree, who by his own admission is still learning the caper (aren’t we all!), but his 9kg dhufish was the star of the weigh-in and before the applause had died, Roy followed up with a nice baldie. Learning indeed.

Denise won the women’s crown for the second successive year with, followed by Sue Keenan-Smith.

The season and the day finished in great fashion as Ian Samson got busy on the barbie – and even donated some of his catch for the hot plate – at Shed 7 in the knees-up suggested and organised by rear-commodore Nev Norkett.