The Garmin Billfish Shootout, held this weekend at Port Stephens, is a major attraction for anglers in the lead-up to Interclub.
Hosted by Newcastle and Port Stephens Game Fish Club (NPSGFC), the Shootout boasts over $250,000 in prizes and is a magnet for anglers.
Big money prizes on offer include:
- $100,000 – Pacific Blue Marlin (over 236kg)
- $12,500 – Heaviest Marlin (over 150kg)
- $12,500 – Heaviest Shark (over 250kg)
- $12,500 – Champion Boat (tag and release)
- $5000 – Tag and Release Boat (under 8 metres)
Last year the Shootout attracted a record 166 boats and 762 anglers, with angler Adam Hoey going agaonisingly close to claiming the $100,000 prize for the largest Pacific Blue Marlin caught weighing over 236 kilograms.
Fishing on ‘Calypso’ skippered by Tim Dean, Hoey caught a 231.4 kilogram marlin, a mere couple of kilograms from claiming the big prize.
“So close, but yet so far,” Shoutout tournament director Peter Simpson from the NPSGFC said.
“But there is a strong chance the $100,000 will be claimed this year. Conditions are good and there have been reports of some big fish out there.”
Peter said the tournament focus on tag and release was important for the club
“The Shootout has a 97% tag and release rate which is great for the club and also for the local fish stocks,” he said.
A lot of boats use the Shootout as a warm-up for Interclub, which is held the following weekend.
NSWGFA President Garry Chenoweth said that the Billfish Shootout and Interclub State Championships make for an exciting couple of weeks.
“There is massive interest in the event with boats coming from as far away as Eden,” Gary said.
“It’s great to see the popularity of fishing, especially with the smaller boats which make it less expensive and easier to be involved”.
The weather forecast this weekend is looking perfect for fishing. For more information about the Garmin Billfish Shootout, visit www.npsgfc.com.