History of the Cod Classic Fishing Competition
The idea of running a fishing competition for the club was first conceived by club president Brian McKee in early 2000. This idea was put to the committee and supported by all. Almost overnight the club was up and running with the idea and “The Big Catch” was born. This event was held in late February 2000 attracting only 44 competitors. From that day on the direction of the competition and the date of the event has changed to make it into what it is today, the “Cod Classic”, Australia’s richest freshwater fishing event.
Unofficially, the congregation of trailerable boats at the Cod Classic is a world record of the largest amount of fishing boats ever assembled at the one point at the same time. This is an amazing sight to see but surprisingly there is still plenty of room to fish on the lake and river.
Apart from being a major fundraiser for the club, proceeds from the competition are donated back into the local community. In excess of $150K has been donated back to local community groups / organisations in the Cod Classic's 15 year history. Groups / organisations to have benefited in the past have been all Mulwala & Yarrawonga Schools, Yarrawonga / Mulwala Cricket Club, SES, Scouts, Guides and Rowing Club along with the Mulwala & Yarrawonga Fire Brigades and Fishcare.
In 2001 a massive fish release was instigated by the committee of the MFNC bringing together funds from Mulwala Football Netball Club, NSW Fisheries, Fisheries Victoria and Rex Hunt Futurefish Foundation to see the release of 110000 Golden Perch into Lake Mulwala. This was the first time cross border parties have come together in such a venture.
In 2001 the Mulwala Football Netball Club won the "Peter Tonner" award for excellence in tourism. The criteria for this award is having vision, recognizing potential, building the dream, creating the demand, delivering the service and expanding on the rewards. This award and is decided upon by the Yarrawonga – Mulwala Tourism Association and is held in great esteem throughout the community. 2006 saw the Cod Classic taking home first place in the Yarrawonga - Mulwala Business Excellence Awards for Tourism.
In 2009 the first "Fishing & Outdoor Expo" was held in conjunction with the Cod Classic. With the addition of this feature along with a huge fireworks display to celebrate 10 years of the Cod Classic the largest crowd ever of 3113 competitors assembled.
2013 saw the introduction of a $20K cash "Bounty" for some lucky angler if they manage to catch "Brian", a specially tagged Murray cod. 2014 saw the bounty for the tagged cod "Henry" increase to the choice of either a Ford Ranger or Ford XR6 Ute for the lucky captor. 2015 saw the largest prize ever offered within the Australian fishing tournament scene of a potential One Million $$$ Dollars Ca$h if somebody could catch "Phil" the specially tagged cod.
Interestingly after the 2017 event a staggering total of 103 boating packages will have been given away through the Cod Classic
The Cod Classic committee strives to make this the best fishing event on the calendar and guarantee anybody who makes the effort to attend the Cod Classic will not go home disappointed.