Armageddon is coming, baton down the hatches, prepare for the worst rains seen in 50 years, all predictions in the days leading up to the Cod Classic that ultimately proved so wrong it was a case of "the boy who cried wolf". With the weather bureau in melt down over the "potential" of what was coming, they forgot about being semi location specific and threw a disaster blanket over the whole state. Ultimately through the competition hours of the Cod Classic itself, we had a mere 7mm of rain!
In the days before, the phone rang off the hook with 100's of calls wanting to know what was going on with the Cod Classic? With all infrastructure already in place, consultation with Maritime and insurance agents, it was decided the show must go on and what a great call it was. 2pm Friday saw the gates open under grey skies with an air of "when is the rain coming"? A steady crowd flocked in to enjoy the exhibitors who had set up for the fishing and outdoors expo. It was great to see the huge effort major sponsor Yamaha in conjunction with Quintrex and Solar City Marine had put into the Cod Classic with at least a dozen boats on display along with various other promo's.
With great pre-registration numbers and the brave "walk up's" who hadn't been scarred away, competitor numbers reached near on 2300 by the close of registrations. An estimated 300 - 500 "walk up's" didn't show due to the weekends weather predictions. When briefings got under way around 8pm Friday evening around 2500 people were sitting on the oval without a hint of rain in sight, far from the predicted! After an informative event briefing, the drawing of the first boating package took place. Warren Black of Ballarat was the lucky winner and his weekend was off to a great start. Between midnight Friday and 8am Saturday morning was when the bulk of the rain hit with Yarrawonga / Mulwala receiving around 2 1/2 inches - 63mm.
Fishing got underway with the lake being rough but certainly not un-fishable. Constant reports suggested the Cod were on the chew with some quality amongst them. Saturday evening saw strong numbers converged on the verification tables, cameras in hand, all wanting to show and recount their day’s capturers. The amount of "metery's" was unbelievable with 8 in total being caught for the day. Best of a great bunch came from Shaun Day measuring 114.5cms. Incredibly this Cod wad caught on a lure Shaun had earlier found floating down the river. For the juniors, young Marcus Hope had snagged a beauty any grown man would be proud of. This fine specimen measured 100.5cms. Both these boys were to have a nervous 12hr wait if they were to retain their leads.
Sunday morning conditions rated from fair to tricky. Rumours were about of a monster caught but that was yet to be seen. Like spaceships and Martians, proof is in the pudding until you see the photo's! Ultimately this proved to be true as Kyle Stevenson strode proudly to the verification table surrounded by mates and a camera proving his capture of a mighty 122cm Mulwala Monster. A few juniors lined up for verification but none came close to Marcus Hope's 103.5cm. The winners in the "Yella" sections were 56.5 & 55cm respectively whilst a monster Carp of 83cm took out the longest Carp prize.
Thanks to Capacity Sports, the Native Watercraft “Australian Canoe & Kayak Cod Fishing Championships” entered its seventh year with 55 "Yakkers" taking to the water via paddle or pedal. Daniel Green had a good day on the water landing a 88cm Cod, long enough to help him claim the title of 2017 Australian Canoe & Kayak Cod Fishing Champion. The lucky winner of the major boat raffle was Robert Nimmo of Cobram.
Again the commendation from fisheries on the compliance and behaviour of all involved was something to be proud of.
To round out the weekend, the 13th “Cod Classic Golf Championships” took place at the magnificent Black Bull course. 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 day. Dave Silva became a "back to back" winner with a 98-28-70.
Thanks to the support from the many sponsors, donors and volunteers. Your assistance is appreciated and we could not do without it. We look forward to another successful event in 2018.
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