One of the biggest fishing competitions in Australia, the Exmouth Game Fishing Club’s (EGFC) annual GAMEX tournament was held in Exmouth from March 13-18. A total of 226 competitors from all Australian states and as far away as Japan, South Africa and New Zealand fished from 52 boats during the six-day tournament. Unfortunately, the billfishing was unusually tough by Exmouth’s lofty standards throughout the week, but few would complain after last year’s event had to be cancelled at the last moment due to a looming cyclone. The final billfish stats for the tournament were down on average, with 426 billfish raised, 285 hooked and 119 tagged. The total tag and release catch comprised of 69 black marlin, 34 blue marlin, 15 sailfish and one striped marlin.
Notable captures included an estimated 330kg blue on 37kg for Jarrod Wiggers fishing aboard Crakawoody and an estimated 275kg blue also on 37kg for Brad Greere fishing aboard Time Out. All billfish were tagged and released, with none weighed in this year. Exmouth’s hugely diverse fishing means GAMEX is much more than just a billfish tournament. Queenfish, mackerel (spanish, school and shark), tuna (yellowfin, mack, striped and longtail), golden and gold-spot trevally, barracuda, spangled emperor, cobia, dolphin fish, wahoo and more appeared at the weigh station throughout the tournament for the point score and sub-15kg line class sections. There were a couple of line class records broken during GAMEX.
As always, GAMEX was a major community event and there were big crowds at the EGFC each evening. Highlights of the social calendar for the week included The Novotel Ningaloo Long Table Lunch with special guest chef, former Olympian Eamon Sullivan, and the Rockin’ the Boat live music night. IFish’s Paul Worsteling helped MC the presentation night, with EGFC stalwart and club president Jeni Gates. Recfishwest staff were also at the event doing presentations, assisting with research and conducting fishing clinics with over 60 local children, who got amongst longtom, fingermark, queenies and bluebone in the marina. As reported in our last Broadcast, world renowned scientist Dr Julian Pepperell conducted numerous DNA sampling on Billfish and large pelagic fish. Read more about what research was being conducted, click here.
There were 226 fishers in this year’s event demonstrating once again the important contribution the EGFC provides to the Exmouth community.
Check out the Exmouth Game Fishing Club for more on Gamex, click here.