Shootout organisers to keep eyes on weather forecasts

Alicia PereraPilbara News
The 2016 Argonaut Billfish Shootout winning team, Mangrove Jack.
Camera IconThe 2016 Argonaut Billfish Shootout winning team, Mangrove Jack. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Anglers keen to chase some of the fastest fish in the sea are in for a treat with the Nickol Bay Sportfishing Club’s premier annual event, the Billfish Shootout, on this weekend, despite the possibility of some rough weather.

More than 30 teams have registered for the competition, now in its 13th year, which challenges fishers to catch, tag and release as many of the speedy fish as possible off the Dampier coast from Friday to Sunday.

NBSFC committee member Jacob Crowhurst said while weather conditions were not looking ideal, especially for Sunday and Monday, the club was monitoring the forecast and would keep people informed online.

“Pack your wet weather gear and keep up-to-date on the Facebook event page,” he said. “We’ll be putting out updates ... because we’ve got a rough weather policy which we’ll be putting into place.”

Speaking at a pre-Shootout rigging night at the Hampton Harbour Boat and Sailing Club earlier this month, competition organiser Ken MacFarlane said billfishing was all about good preparation, exciting fishing and strong teamwork among boat crews.

“Billfishing traditionally is the most exciting type of fishing — for most people it’s the pinnacle of fishing,” he said. “It’s fast, it’s visual, it’s exciting, it’s quick.

“The fish are the fastest fish in the sea. Sailfish do probably 90 kilometres per hour.”

About $30,000 worth of prizes are up for grabs for winners, including custom-made Hedley fishing rods and Shimano equipment.

The competition will also have more of a family focus this year, with an inaugural luncheon and fashion show behind held at the Hampton Harbour Boat and Sailing Club on Saturday for anglers’ partners and family members spending the day on dry land.

Data collected from the tagged and released catches will be used to contribute to Australian fisheries research.

For more information, go to the 2017 Argonaut BillFish Shootout — Dampier WA Facebook page.

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