Challenge champs show how it’s done

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Champion Angler and Barra (bait) Champion, Luke Stedman.
Camera IconChampion Angler and Barra (bait) Champion, Luke Stedman. Credit: Pictures: KBGFC

Strong winds couldn’t keep keen anglers away from the creeks near Karratha as the King Bay Game Fishing Club’s annual Joyce Krane Estuary Challenge took to the water.

Eighteen teams hit the creeks in Nickol Bay, with the tournament resulting in 32 barra-mundi, 48 salmon, 115 mangrove Jack, four fingermark and seven queenfish caught and released.

KBGFC weighmaster Mick Grasso said there were four main creeks which people fished for the competition.

“All the fish are measured, photographed and released, with points accumulated per centimetre for each fish,” he said.

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While there are categories for the longest fish of a few different specials, the overall winner is judged on the total length of all the fish combined.

Overall champion angler was Luke Stedman with 759 points. He also claimed champion barramundi (bait) with three fish for 179cm.

Grasso said the predominant fish people chased was barramundi, but some years they were not as prevalent as others.

“Using the points system gives people the opportunity to chase other species and still be competitive,” he said.

“Because the comp goes over a couple of days, it allows people to chase things over different stages of the tide, so there’s always something to target.”

The top team of the tournament was the Broome Boys on 1066 points, with Ben Gillon claiming junior champion with 168 points.

Grasso said creek fishing was popular as it was not so weather dependant. “In the creek, it was quite windy both afternoons, but that helps to keep the flies and the heat down,” he said.

“It was very successful for everyone who fished; they all had a great time and we got some great feedback at the presentation night.”

The Estuary Challenge will be back in 2020 and while a date has not been set, it will likely be in November-December.

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