THE annual Broome Billfish Classic was held again at the end of the last month and saw plenty of good fish caught.
Overall, a total of 22 teams fished, with 78 anglers (nine females) enjoying the competition, which is an International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) sanctioned tournament with anglers needing to comply with the 10kg line class regulations.
Anglers came from Port Hedland, Karratha and Exmouth to compete against the Broome locals. The weather was windy early in the event, but the billfish weren’t deterred although they were hard to pinpoint at times.
Overall, there were 571 sailfish raised, 410 strikes, 303 hooked and 196 tagged. The good numbers of black marlin experienced last year continued, with 63 raised, 33 strikes, 23 hooked, and 12 tagged.
These billfish numbers were slightly higher than those seen last year, and the average size was up.
A feature was one sailfish being tagged and recaptured during the event – believed to be a first for the Billfish Classic.
Dr Julian Pepperell was in Broome for the tournament, and did a presentation on his innovative DNA sampling technique and other billfish research.
The champion team overall was Ora Banda 3, champion team over 7.5m was Makaira and champion team under 7.5m was Sail Raiders.
Steve Ring was the champion angler, while champion female was Tammy Scholte and champion senior was Geoff Ellens.
Fatty’s Day again proved popular as a precursor to the main event, with 52 boats and 146 anglers braving windy conditions.