Celebrating the "20th Anniversary Cod Classic" was always going to be special and the Mulwala Football Netball Club pulled out all stops to make it so. A far-reaching radio advertising campaign, appearances at fishing and outdoor shows in Melbourne and Shepparton along with a massive social media push guaranteed numbers would be strong. Aided by a wonderful weather forecast for the weekend, thing were looking great.
As usual, a large crowd had gathered by 2pm Friday when the gates opened for registrations. A continual flow of participant flocked in enjoying the atmosphere whilst having a chance to look around at the fishing and boating expo. Once again, an impressive display of bating packages had been put together between Yamaha, Quintrex and Solar City Marine. A sales tent with numerous lure makes in attendance along with some other fishing-based sites had something for everybody to look at.
Briefings got under at 8pm Friday evening with a massive crowd in attendance enjoying many laughs, great company and a few cool drinks. After briefings the drawing of the first boating package took place. Tim Weathers of Lake Fyans was the lucky winner.
Saturday morning saw anglers in with a last chance to register before heading out for a fish. At the close of rego’s, a very healthy total of 2449 adults and 392 juniors had signed up making for a grand total of 2841 competitors, the 4th largest crowd in the events 20yr history.
Saturday morning fishing conditions were a bit breezy with many hitting the river up towards Bundalong and downstream below the Yarrawonga weir. Saturday evening saw large numbers converged on the verification tables to have their captures recorded and entered into the many prize draws that were on offer. Sitting at the top of the leader board after day 1 was Jack McLeod with a very health Cod that stretched the tape out to 109.5cms. For the juniors Harley Manley was in pole position with a nice 74cm specimen.
Saturday night saw an amazing tally of 6 boating packages up for grabs and the crowd was abuzz. It was estimated that 4000+ were in attendance on a perfect summers evening. The night went off without a hitch as many revelled in the festival atmosphere.
Sunday saw perfect fishing conditions for those wise enough not to wound themselves the previous evening! It was going to be interesting to see what the morning produced as many had changed their plans from the previous day. Final weigh inns closed at 11.30am and results were interesting. One "team" who had an amazing weekend was local father / son combo of Mick & Hudson Crothers. Mick had landed a 106cm Cod on Saturday that saw him take out 3rd place overall and backed it up with a 103.5cm model on Sunday. Not quite reaching the length of Mick's fish but being a great capture also, Hudson managed a 93cm Cod to take out the "Junior Champion Angler" title. The title of "Adult Champion Angler" for the 2019 Yamaha Cod Classic went to Greg Armstrong from Echuca. Greg's well placed Bardi Grub came up trumps when a 117cm monster Cod took a liking to it and ended up in Greg's net (before it was released). 56.5cm and 56cms were the winning lengths for the adult and junior Golden Perch sections whilst a rather large Carp of 83cm took out the longest Carp prize. In total there were 793 legal sized Cod, 79 Golden Perch measuring in excess of 45cm and 455 Carp recorded. Incredibly, after all bating packages had been given away this year a total of 120 packages have been given away throughout the Cod Classic's 20year history
Thanks to Capacity Sports, the Capacity Sports “Australian Canoe & Kayak Cod Fishing Championships” entered its ninth year with many "Yakkers" taking to the water via paddle or pedal. John Thierauf had a good day on water landing a 68.5cm Cod to claim title of 2019 Australian Canoe & Kayak Cod Fishing Champion. The lucky winner of the major boat raffle was Kobi Foxwell of Hillside.
To traditional “Cod Classic Golf Championships” took place for 15th time at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club. "Ambrose" was the chose format to make it a bit easier on those who lacked golfing ability and that was most! Ultimately Captain Dean "Seven Species" Turner carried his team of Steve Hogan, Tony & Cooper Bennett to a long overdue victory!
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 2020 where we will celebrate our 21st.
Cheers, Tony Bennett, 2019 Cod Classic Event Director, Mulwala Football Netball Club.