Construction of the "Mega marquee" and numerous other smaller tents on the Thursday beforehand proved fun as this day was the hottest November day in Victoria for over 100 years. With the mercury passing 46deg c, the dedicated band of workers certainly enjoyed a cool drink after the hard days toil.
Action started first thing Friday morning as in excess of 50 exhibitors set up in readiness for the fishing and outdoors expo that accompanied the Cod Classic. Gates opened at 2pm with a constant stream of eager fisho's passing through for the afternoon. Friday evening saw Rod McKenzie and John Menhennet conduct “Cod Talk”, an informative interactive talk session based around anything that has to do with Cod fishing from catch & release through to lure selection and casting tips. After a comprehensive event briefing, the drawing of the first boating package for all competitors who had registered up until 8.30pm took place. This is where the good luck for the ladies started. Elizabeth Ransom of Goomalibee was the lucky winner and could not believe her fortune.
At the close of registrations Saturday morning, 2848 super keen anglers (2444 Adults, 404 Juniors) had nominated. Overcast conditions with potential for thunder storms brought with it a high barometer and plenty of active fish. None were better than the 117cm monster that took a liking to Helen Pyle's well placed Paul Nicel "Humpty" lure. Helen presented this mighty specimen in great condition and after a quick measure, it was released to fight another day. As a side effect from last year's floods that saw perfect breeding conditions for Carp, these unwanted pests were being brought in at a phenomenal rate.
Saturday night saw approximately 5000 people converge on the Mulwala football ground for the nights activities. “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. Amazingly all 2444 adult competitors received a lucky door prize thanks to our many great sponsors. All major lucky door prizes were then drawn followed by giving away another three boating packages. To close out the evening many “encouraging hecklers” stayed around to witness the final round of the Australian Invitation Pro Casting Championships. Yours truly was lucky enough to hang on and take out the title from previous Australian champion - Adam Royter.
Sunday morning saw many change tact and fish different sections of the lake or river to what they had fished the previous day. Not allot of headway was made at the top of the leaders board but numerous other great fish that were presented made things interesting for the minor placings.
Presentations for all fishing categories got under way Sunday, again with another large crow in attendance. The juniors got onto some nice fish with young local lass Steph Pfeiffer taking out first place with a beauty measuring 74cm. Kade Blow took the coveted junior prize of Swagman Lures Junior Champion of Champions with his two cod that measured 61 & 68cms respectively. In the adults section, Helen Pyle's 117cm beast never looked like being passed and allowed her to take home both the SMAK Lures "Ladies Champion Angler" and the Mulwala Football Netball Club "Champion Angler" title. This gives Helen back to back female champion angler titles as she managed the same feat last year. Two great specimens measuring 90 and 88cms filled the second and third placings. All in all, 384 legal size Murray cod, 431 Golden Perch and an incredible 4700 carp were presented for measuring, far surpassing any fish numbers over recent years and again going to show that Lake Mulwala is the premier cod fishing ground in the country.
Thanks to BLA, the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks “Australian Canoe & Kayak Cod Fishing Championships” entered its second year. Competitor numbers increased over 100% from last year with 58 "Yakkers" taking to the water via paddle or pedal. Ian Kelly was the lucky man to hook a 69cm cod and the title of 2012 Australian Canoe & Kayak Cod Fishing Champion.
To round out the weekend, the 8th “Cod Classic Golf Championships” took place. 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. After being denied the win last year as official rules state " you can’t win in your first year of participation" Gerald “Aqua” Flanagan again proved his prowess with club in hand winning by four shots from Ian "Stanley" Cooper.