Despite again receiving excellent support from local anglers and businesses, this year’s annual Billfish Shootout tag and release fishing tournament was sadly interrupted by the weather.
A great turnout of 44 teams and 152 anglers chasing a prize pool in excess of $30,000 had lined up for the start of 2013 Shootout, run by the Nickol Bay Sportfishing Club with the support of its partner Bradken.
But unfortunately the weather didn’t come to the party.
Indeed, conditions were so rough on the water that the committee was forced to make the decision, shortly after the start of competition, to postpone the competition.
Despite this, two teams somehow manage to tag and release billfish in the appalling conditions before the event was called off.
Chad Killmore from team Trophy Hunter just managed to tag his sailfish minutes before Wayne Brown, aka the Brown from team Reef Dog, to rightfully claim the champion angler and team for day 1 and for the competition overall.
Trophy Hunter was the champion team for a second time much to the delight of skipper George Popa.
The other angler on Trophy Hunter was ex Australian cricket captain, Kim Hughes, who was also a team member during the last victory.
It was a great effort from both teams to capture any fish in those conditions.
Wayne Brown, however, did not go home empty handed as only two fish were caught, the lucky angler prize of a dinghy, motor and trailer package ended up being a 50/50 affair that was decided with a coin toss by none other than Kim Hughes.
Kim has past experience in having big events decided by the toss of a coin.
Luckily for Wayne Brown, the coin toss was favourable and he won the prize.
Normally, the lucky angler prize is decided from a draw of eligible fish tags, however the unique situation this year called for something different.
Although days two and three were called off, good crowds converged at the club during the evening presentations and were entertained by MC and host Scott Coghlan of the Western Angler magazine.
Many door prizes and raffles were given away and a good atmosphere kept spirits high.
The committee afterwards decided to re-run days two and three of the competition on the weekend of June 15-16.
27 teams were able to take part in the rerun with many great daily prizes and overall champions trophies to be won.
Jackson Marriot, in particular, had a great day and tagged three sailfish on board Tourettes skippered by Kevin Deacon to win the champion junior and team for the day.
Tim Perry of Backslappers took out the day two adult champion prize.
On day three, Alyssa Faulkner of Smoke and Mirrors narrowly beat Suzanne Wilson of Pulin Skirt to secure the adult daily prize, a great effort as both managed to tag marlin.
Alyssa went on to also win the champion female category with the black marlin and sailfish captures.
Young Darcy Bryce of team Reckless stole the show on day three with a great capture of a marlin and two sailfish to win the daily junior and overall junior champion prizes, pipping Jackson Marriot in the process,
in addition to being a member of the winning team on day three Reckless.
A great effort from the young angler.
It was great to see so many people and families attend the Billfish Shootout 2013 reloaded weekend and partake in the spirit of the event.
The club wishes to sincerely thank all entrants and sponsors for their support and looks forward to seeing everyone next year for the tenth anniversary Billfish Shootout in 2014.