Samson fish tipping the scales at more than 20kg, eye-catching harlequin fish, snapper and breaksea cod — who wouldn’t want to make the most of the excellent fishing Esperance has to offer?
Last Sunday, more than 300 competing anglers in 101 boats did exactly that and took part in Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club’s (EDSAC) 28th Esperance Archipelago Offshore Angling Classic.
Big payday for sizzling Sambo
Skipper Shane Pelly’s boat won $1,000 for weighing-in the biggest Sambo at 20.34kg (gilled and gutted), with the vessel also netting the Calcutta top-prize of $19,300 to secure a cool $20,300 total.
“The one-day competition draws fishers from across the State to Esperance,” Recfishwest Operations Manager Leyland Campbell, who was at the portside town for the event, said.
“Once again, there were many great species caught and the massive turn-out certainly underpins the Offshore Angling Classic as one of the State’s leading recfishing comps.
“Congratulations to Shane Pelly and his team for winning the major prize and, of course, the Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club for hosting another great Offshore Angling Classic.”
Classic fishing for all
There was plenty of buzz among Esperance’s recfishers ahead of the Classic, which got underway in earnest at EDSAC’s ever-popular fish and chip social night on Friday before a briefing on Saturday.
“At the Saturday night briefing, Brett Thorpe did a beaut job to auction more than 100 boats at the Calcutta — it was a great effort and really set the scene for the following day’s fishing,” Leyland said.
“Then, to watch the 100-or-so vessels set-off was really a sight to behold — it really showed how important recfishing is to those based on the south coast.”
Boats set out at 6.30am on Sunday morning to get the Classic underway and returned to the EDSAC clubrooms for the weigh-in and presentation at 4pm.
There was $1,000 on offer for the heaviest Sambo, won by Skipper Pelly’s vessel, and $1,000 for the heaviest red snapper, which was claimed by Bruce King’s boat with a 3.15kg fish.
For the top-weight winners of the competition’s other specie categories, $500 was up for grabs.
Other captures included a 2.74kg harlequin fish, a 1.01kg King George whiting, a 2.84kg breaksea cod and a 2.5kg snook.
Fabric of the community
“Fishing tournaments play a major role in the recfishing community calendar, providing a great social and economic benefit to regional towns across WA,” Leyland said.
“Esperance’s Offshore Angling Classic proves this, with many smiling faces taking a range of species back to the weigh-in.
“Once more, congratulations to all involved — we can’t wait for next year’s Classic.”