Magic day in the Bay of Isles at Esperance’s premier fishing comp

Ever heard of a fisher reeling in $16,000 in cold, hard cash? Well, it’s exactly what Brett Thorpe did at this year’s Esperance Archipelago Offshore Angling Classic.

Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club’s (EDSAC) 29th edition of the premier south coast fishing comp saw 80 boats and 230 fishers take part on Sunday, March 13.

Brett’s 24.35kg mako shark landed himself a cool $15,000 — 60 per cent of the comp’s Calcutta pool — and another $1,000 for the heaviest fish category.

The tournament once again highlighted the sensational fishing on offer across the south coast, and just why fishing is such an important part of the south coast lifestyle.

A range of species were weighed-in including Samson fish, skippy, harlequin fish, breaksea cod, pink snapper and nannygai.

And, they’re off! Eighty vessels competed in this year’s comp.

Recfishwest Operations Lead Matt Gillett, who was in Esperance for the comp and to also talk to fishers about the State Government’s proposed south coast marine park, said it was a great event.

And following this year’s Classic and with fishers preparing for the 2022 GAMEX at Exmouth, which gets underway this Friday, the State’s regional recreational fishing communities are buzzing!

“Fishing competitions like these shows how fishing clubs and comps are the fabric of coastal communities.

“For many fishers, their local competition is an annual must-attend even offering a great social and economic benefits,” Matt said.

“Esperance’s Offshore Angling Classic proves this and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event.”

“Well done to the fishers who took part and made this year’s event another ripper edition of the Offshore Angling Classic.

“And, of course, congratulations to EDSAC president Corrina Worth and her team for hosting another a great competition — and a firm fixture of the Esperance community calendar.”

Nannygai, like this one Jesse Smithson landed, were caught off Esperance during the comp.

What a catch!

Boats launched 6.30am on Sunday morning to kick-start the Classic, before returning to the EDSAC clubrooms for the weigh-in and presentation at 4pm.

Paul Burgess took out a minor Calcutta stake for his 2.44kg breaksea cod, as did Michael Loffler for a 3.11kg harlequin fish, Kevin Neale for a 320g herring and Tyson Tate for a 18kg Sambo.

Check out some of the notable catches from this year’s Classic below:

Winners table including catch categories and weights

FishWeightWinning fisher
Mako shark24.35kgBrett Thorpe
Breaksea cod2.44kgPaul Burgess
Bluespotted flathead1.23kgNathan Earl
Harlequin fish3.11kgMichael Loffler
Herring320gKevin Neale
King George whiting600gTyson Tate
Pink snapper7.5kgNick Connell
Queen snapper6.37kgGraeme Bowden
Nannygai3.08kgBrett Thorpe
Samson fish18kgTyson Tate
Skippy4.13kgPaul Burgess
Fishing comps are the fabric of many regional fishing communities across WA.