IT’S THE LENGTH THAT MATTERS
Well, after probably generations of debate, we’re delighted to have finally settled the matter… according to the membership of the Tuross Head Fishing Club; it’s all about the length!The dawn of Sunday 9 August signalled the last day of the Tuross Head Fishing Club’s competitive fishing year. Members hit the water in pursuit of the last monthly piece of silverware up for grabs—the Morwong Goblet. But that was only one of the many challenges post by the day, for it was time for the Annual General Meeting… and this one promised to be huge. The back-story is one of innovation, preparation, presentation, consternation and deliberation… not to mention patience, diligence and perseverance, but let’s keep this short and sweet. Some six months ago, our Competition Secretary, John Suthern proposed a new scoring concept that was inspired by the success of our popular Flathead and Bream Tournament. He developed a computer-based system that scored a fish on the merit of its size according to its species. To work, the system measures length as opposed to weight. This shift has one enormous benefit: anglers can now score fish that are released to swim away, encouraging competitors to only take home what they intend to eat. This new scoring concept firmly supports the growing ‘catch & release’ ethos within the recreational fishing public… a long time coming! To begin the scoring process, any legal fish measured achieves an automatic base rate. Then for every millimetre achieved above legal length, it achieves additional points. These points vary from species to species, depending on the length of what the Club membership has deemed as a “trophy” in our region for the species in question. That trophy length achieves a total of 100 points and the points per millimetre formula is determined by the difference between legal length and trophy length. The Long And The Short Of It That probably all sounds complicated, but when it’s automated, it’s all very simple. The long and the short of it is that all species eligible for Tuross Head Fishing Club competitions are now on an equal footing, opening up the opportunities for greater participation, family involvement and—importantly—a sustainable fishing future. This proposal was ground breaking. The Fishing Club immediately recognised its merit and its controversy. However, true to his instinctive leadership nature, John Suthern provided open information and education sessions, fully disclosing the process using examples and demonstrations. The proposed rules went to the Membership for a secret ballot on Sunday and, as a Club, we are proud to announce that they were adopted with an overwhelming majority of in excess of 95 per cent! The Biggest Little Fishing Club On The South Coast With scores now being measured by length, cameras now take the place of scales and photographs of qualified fish can be uploaded directly to the Tuross Head Fishing Clubs new website! Of course, there are strict rules governing eligible photographs and the Club will not hesitate to disqualify any fish if the photograph does not “measure up”. All rules are clearly outlined on the website, so there can be no excuses. There’s another benefit that this high-tech development allows: the Tuross Head Fishing Club’s eligible fishing grounds are noted in the By-Laws as extending from the Victorian border to Ulladulla. The ability to upload electronic images for points in the Club’s monthly and annual competitions now means that residents throughout those grounds can become members of the Club and participate on their home waters. The potential for growth of the Tuross Head Fishing Club is enormous and inspired by the determination of a few very progressive thinkers, lead by John. All Hands On Deck That potential is now in the hands of a reinvigorated committee, duly elected at the AGM, with numbers now full to capacity. Along with a bolstered committee, the Fishing Club has a new Patron. After ten years in the role, Don Burns announced his retirement to move to Merimbula and handed his mantle (and his tongs) over to Mr David Greenhalgh, who has been involved with the Club for more than twenty years. His wife, Jill was also inducted as a Life Member for her decades of service on the Committee. And there were fish! Believe it or not, we did get out for a fish as well! The weather was cold, but fine and saw 13 members (ten men and three ladies) weighed in a total of 52 fish. In total, 11 flathead, 6 salmon, 11 morwong, 2 pigfish, 9 snapper, 4 nannygai, 5 blackfish, 2 whiting, 1 bream and 1 tailor were caught. Once again, no juniors weighed fish in, but the Club is confident that the newly adopted rules will encourage more junior participation.
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="4" gal_title="August 2015 Results"] RESULTS: Goblet: David Greenhalgh – Morwong 1.470kg Ladies Lake and Estuary: Tamara Whitehead – Whiting 0.343kg Ladies Rock and Beach: Tamara Whitehead – Salmon 0.863kg Ladies Outside: Rachael Kennedy – Morwong 1.241kg Men’s Lake and Estuary: Rod Federer – Blackfish 0.474kg Men’s Rock and Beach: Paul Brown – Salmon 1.298kg Men’s Outside: Paul Brown – Snapper 1.845kg Junior: Not awarded Mystery Weight: Trout, not awarded – Jackpotted for next month Turkey of the Month: Janine Campbell for washing David’s hearing aid.
That wraps up our fishing year—and signals the last of our weight-based competitions. All standing records have now been retired and the slate is clean for new length-based Club records. Exciting times ahead.