2008 Cod Classic Report

Well you wouldn’t believe it, 2 years in a row now we have had to battle negative press about the Cod Classic only days before the event. Last year it was “No Water”, this year it was reported on the ABC news and local WIN news that the “Cod Classic has been cancelled” due to lack of numbers and majors sponsors pulling out! What they forgot to tell people was that this was the Goulburn Cod Classic, not our event. Hundreds of phone calls were taken reassuring people that it was all go and all go it was. When junior competitor number 371 registered around 9.30am Saturday morning we surpassed our record number of entries from the 2006 event. When registrations closed at 10am we had reached a staggering 2673 competitors made up of 2296 adults and 377 juniors.

he big fella upstairs looked after the club by dumping half an inch of rain on the oval a couple of days before tent construction took place. This had the ground looking a picture and saved a lot of wear and tear. This year we constructed the 90 meters X 15 meters marquee across the ground witch opened things up greatly allowing for more trade sites to be set up in a market style setting, something we will be pushing in a big way next year. Lake Mulwala Fish Camp & Ski will be taking over the organising of the trade displays so talk to the crew there if you are interested in getting involved.

Friday turned out to be a very humid and muggy day with a constant flow of people registering for the Cod Classic. Catch & release clinics, “Cod Talk” by David Hodge and Rod McKenzie, casting competitions and briefing sessions kept competitors informed and entertained for the afternoon.

Saturday morning, anglers were greeted with a fine day with wind being the only drama. By the end of the day the majority of anglers had a case of “Panda Eyes”, a lovely looking set of white eyes with a red wind / sun burnt face! Some great fish were reported with local character Greg Panter leading the way with a beautiful 98cm Cod being measured and released.

Saturday night saw approximately 5000 people converge on the Mulwala football ground for the night’s activities. Early in the evening “Flathead Fred” kept the children entertained for an hour with his energy filled kids fun fishing show. Following this, lucky door prizes were given out. A staggering 1500 minor prizes saw more than 2/3 of competitors go home with a prize. To finish the night, the finals of the adult and junior amateur casting shootouts were held. Hundreds of onlookers had stayed around to watch this event with the Australian pro casting shootout closing out the night.

Sunday morning, competitors were greeted with more wind but still the clear skies hung around. Only the fair dinkum made it onto the water as there were many wounded participants from the night before. No body was able to get past the over night leader but one lucky angler managed a 97cm model green fish.

Presentations for all fishing categories got under way noon Sunday with the massive tent being jam-packed. The juniors got onto some nice fish with Patrick O’Brien taking out 1st place with a beauty measuring 75cm. He also took the coveted junior prize of Swagman Lures Junior Champion of Champions In the adults section, Greg Panter was the lucky angler taking home the Oar-Gee Lures Champion Angler title with a great fish measuring 98cms. Michael Miller finished in second place on count back with another great 98cm cod. The SMAK Lures Female Champion was taken out by Lois Heaney with a 75cm model. 3 more boats were given away with the highlight being a junior competitor, 15yo Benalla girl Julia Davey taking home the Charlie Carp boat.

Again a great band of supporters got together to assist with the pull down of the tent and it had vanished within 2 hours. The ground was cleaned up and then it was time to sit down, share a cool drink and dissect the event thinking of ways to make it bigger and better once again in 2009. Being our 10th anniversary, we have decided to offer an amazing 8 boating packages with some other surprises in store???

To round out Sunday evening’s fun and games, special guest Merv Hughes had a game of cricket with about 20 local kids. All kids got to face a few balls each from the big fella and send a few down to him in return. I’m sure they all had something for show & tell at school come Monday morning!

 All in all, the event was a massive success. An estimated 1300 boats took part making it a site to be seen once again. With the new NSW fishing regulation lifting the minimum size limit to 60cm, total fish numbers were down but compared to last year for fish of the same size, numbers were up.

To round out the weekend, 10 golfing tragic’s took to the royal and ancient Yarrawonga & Border golf course to contest the 4th “Cod Classic Golf Championships”. Rules such as if you do not hit it you don’t count it, if you can retrieve it within 10 seconds from the tee you can have it again, you could choose to have 1 kick and 1 throw somewhere within your round and all sledging is fair whist having your shot made for an interesting and very funny morning. Russ Wright didn’t let the demons get into his head and took home the crown for a second year in a row with a fine 95 off the stick.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all competitors and sponsors involved who made this event a massive success.

The committee of the Cod Classic wishes you a very merry X-Mass and all the best for the New Year.

Cheers

Tony Bennett
Tournament Director
2008 Yamaha “Cod Classic”