The Exmouth Game Fishing Club (EGFC) will be hoping this year’s edition of the hugely popular gamefishing tournament Gamex goes off without a hitch following last years cancellation due to Cyclone Owen.
Gamex is one of Australia’s biggest fishing competitions and the decision to cancel Gamex in 2015 was a tough one for the club to make, with many people having made long trips to be at the tournament, and thousands of hours of preparation going into the event.
This year’s event will be held from March 11-19 out of the clubhouse at the Exmouth Marina.
It is arguably the biggest community event on the local calendar each year, attracting around 300 keen recreational fishers and generating huge revenue for the Exmouth community.
GAMEX also has a very high social value, with entertainment and activities encompassing the entire community.
EGFC president Jeni Gates was devastated by the cancellation of Gamex 2015, but is looking forward to the 38th running of the event next month.
“We’re very excited about this year’s tournament,” she said.
“The line-up is huge this year, we’ve got Paul Worsteling and his family coming.
“The event starts on the Friday night and we’ve got a great bunch of musicians for that, and we’ve got a heap of things planned for the entire week.”
“In particular though, we are looking forward to the fishing and seeing the stats that come in.”
“There’s even going to be a kayak section this year, so it’s definitely going to be exciting.”
Gates said the EGFC was a major part of the Exmouth community, in which recreational fishing is arguably the most popular pastime.
“There are not many people in Exmouth that don’t ever go fishing,” she said.
“Even though we are a game fishing club, anyone who fishes is welcome to be involved in the club and we cater for anyone.
“The fishing club is a huge part of the fabric of Exmouth.”
In its 38th year, Gamex is expected to have 250-300 anglers with 25 different prize categories. 35 gamefish species can be caught in Exmouth including all six Australian billfish species.
Recfishwest will be attending Gamex along with world leading marine scientist Dr Julian Pepperell who will be collecting fish samples as part of a project funded through recreational licence fees.
Measuring and sampling fish caught in competitions assists in research into gamefish biology, movement patterns, genetics and stock structure.
In the 2014 Gamex, Dr Pepperell and his team weighed, sexed, collected samples and measured over 90 fish over a wide range of species including Spanish mackerel, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dolphin fish and several marlin species. In the same year anglers tagged 600 billfish.
For more information on Gamex visit: http://gamex.net.au/