Mangrove Jack end billfish drought

Alicia PereraPilbara News

The 2016 Argonaut Billfish Shootout saw a team involved for years and a long-term fixture of the top five finally break through to claim top honours.

Mangrove Jack were announced overall champion team of the fishing tournament at the final presentation on Monday, after snagging marlin and sailfish to the sum of 5250 points.

Crew member Trent Stanley, who has been fishing as part of the team for six years, also won champion male angler.

He said after being the runner-up team for several years, “finally to come through with the goods is really good”.

“Our stats for the weekend were very good. We didn’t drop too many fish,” he said.

“This year our tactics were different. We used deadbaits with circle hooks all weekend, trawling with deadbaits, and hookup rates were 100 per cent, so circle hooks are the way to go. That was the big key for us this year.

“The boys did some research into how to rig up baits, and how to change the ways to rig baits more successfully.”

The team won a $3000 cheque along with their name on the trophy and bragging rights for the year.

The Wench and Tourettes rounded out the top three teams of the competition.

Other winners were Party of Five’s Kate McLeod, who won top female angler for the fourth year running, and Ben Thompson, 10, for champion junior male.

About 40 billfish were caught over the three-day event, down on last year.

Favourable weather conditions held out over the weekend and anglers made it into safe harbour on Monday afternoon before a storm hit in the evening.

Only the final presentation was affected, with participants forced into the top room of the Hampton Harbour Boat and Sailing Club to hear the winners announced.

The speeches included celebrity guest Glen Jakovich confessing the weekend had gotten him “hooked” on billfishing, and Argonaut Marine Group managing director Kim Lyons making a surprise announcement they would continue as the competition’s major sponsor in 2017.

Competition committee chairman Andrew Carpenter said the 2016 Shootout had been a success and thanked its sponsors for the support.

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