Game fishing will be a highlight in Port Macquarie from 5-15 January 2011, with the blue water legal Golden Lure tournament set to provide plenty of action for both anglers and spectators. Nick Brunyee, President of the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club, fills us in on the tournament details, while long-time fisherman and Club member Charlie Fancett tells us about his talented family’s fishing exploits in the area …
Nick, what’s your position with the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club, and how long have you been involved?
I am the current President, and this is my second year in this position. I have been involved with the Club for 8 years.
What exactly is the ‘Golden Lure’?
The Golden Lure is our annual Game Fishing Tournament held in January each year. It specifically involves fishing for large game fish, including Marlin, sharks, Dolphin Fish, Wahoo, Tuna. We generally have around 35 boats and over 200 anglers.
What’s the association between the Golden Lure and the Club?
The Golden Lure has been running for 26 years, and January will be our 27th. It is one of the oldest annual sporting events in Port Macquarie. It was started by our founding members as a way to promote the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club, game fishing and the town of Port Macquarie.
What is the aim of the event?
The aim of the event is to foster good sportsman / person ship between all anglers. To have a social and interactive time with sponsors and to promote sustainable fishing and the Hastings area.
What have been some of the highlights from previous year’s events – have many fishing records been broken?
In previous years there have been a number of state and national records broken during the Golden Lure. Last year one of our junior girls, Kasie Fancett, took out a NSW and Australian record with a Dolphin Fish.
Last year the fishing was excellent; the fishing and weather gods got together to create a great Tournament, with plenty of Marlin and other fish being caught. One of our longest current member boats, Renegade II, took out the Tag and Release section.
When and where is it planned the next Golden Lure will be held?
The 2011 Bluewater Legal Golden Lure will be held from Friday 5 January, with a briefing at the Port Macquarie Marina, the sail past of the fleet on Saturday 8 January at the Town Green and break walls, through until our presentation lunch at Westport Club on Saturday 15 January.
What are some of the prizes on offer?
Every year there is an ounce of gold incorporated into the winner’s trophy, which makes winning the major prize more and more valuable each year. There will be about $35,000 in cash and prizes available across Tag and Release and Capture categories, for male, female and junior anglers.
Are entries to the Golden Lure open to members of the public, and if so, how do they enter?
Entries are open to anyone who is affiliated with a game fishing club in NSW, and anyone interested in fishing the Bluewater Legal Golden Lure can find entry forms and information on our website: pmgfc.com.au. This will also give you information regarding the club, history of the club and Golden Lure, committee contact details and plenty more information.
Thank you Nick.
How many years have you and your family lived in the Port Macquarie area?
I moved to Port Macquarie 14 years ago with my family. I previously lived in Kangaroo Valley on the NSW South Coast. I was a member of the Kangaroo Valley Fishing Club, fished out of Greenwell Point, Ulladulla and Bermagui. I often fished for Bass on the Shoalhaven River downstream of Talllowa Dam.
When and how did you first become interested in fishing?
The first time I become interested in fishing was in England, when I was 5 years old. My father and grandfather took me fishing in the old Sandpit Quarry Ponds and small creek using bamboo rods with steel reels, line and floats.
Dad and Grandfather showed me all the tricks they had learned in their lifetime fishing. I fished with them for years – learning from them, enjoying fishing and growing up with their skills.
I immigrated to Australia in 1960 on the ships as a ‘10 Pound Kid’. I settled on the Hawkesbury River at Brooklyn and started learning different styles of fishing and eventually became an oyster farmer. I married, had two children, and as soon as they could hold a line they started fishing in the old tinny boat.
Over the years, the family has done all types of recreational fishing under NSW D.P.I. Fisheries Angling Rules. These rules are good; we need to look after fish stocks for future generations.
What’s your association with the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club, and how long have you been involved?
I first joined the Port Macquarie Blue Water Fishing Club and then the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club in 2006. I fish in both Clubs and enjoy the different styles of fishing.
What’s the best fishing yarn you can spin about your family’s exploits in the area?
Our best catch while fishing with the Blue Water Fishing Club was when we were fishing in 250 m and caught a colour TV! I still don’t know why the Weigh Master disqualified it from being weighed in!
Where are your favourite spots to fish locally?
I fish in areas ranging from South West Rocks to Laurieton, out along the continental shelf in depths up to 5,000 m.
What sort of fish are your favourite to catch, and without giving too many trade secrets away, what’s the best bait to lure them?
The adrenaline rushes when the crew hook onto a Marlin, bringing it along the side of the boat to tag and release! We also catch Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Kingfish, Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, and Tuna – Yellowfin. We use live bait and lures to catch our fish, along with some dead bait.
What’s been your family and crews’ involvement with the Golden Lure and other tournaments in the past?
My son Bradley, his son Jarred, and I joined a Game Fishing Club so we could fish in tournaments. These tournaments are sanctioned by the NSWGFA. This was the start of a new way of fishing under New South Wales Game Fishing Association By-Laws and Regulations for use.
Our first Tournament was in November 2006. My boat’s name is ‘Chicka’. The crew and I fished in the Coffs Harbour Game Fishing Club’s Hot Current Game Fishing Tournament for 4 days. Our catch was 2 Mahi Mahi tagged and released.
Two days later, we fished in the Australian International Bill fish Tournament. Jarred won the Australian International Bill Fish Junior Champions Tag and Release, with a Stripe Marlin at a weight of approximately 130 kg; he was aged 10.
In the January 2007 Golden Lure Tournament, ‘Chicka’s’ crew won with Champion Small Fry Angler, Jarred Fancett, Tag and Release. Champion Lady Angler runner up for Tag and Release was Michelle Evans.
In the November 2007 Coffs Harbour Tournament, Heaviest Other Game Fish Capture was won by Michelle Evans, and Jarred Fancett was Junior Champion angler and won the Tag and Release.
In the January 2008 Golden Lure, Jarred Fancett won the Champion Junior Tag and Release and Michelle Evans won the Ladies’ Tag and Release.
In May 2008, our crew won the Blue Marlin Classic Champion Boat, and Bradley Fancett won Male Champion Tag and Release.
January 2009 was the Golden Lure 25th Anniversary. ‘Chicka’s’ crew won Champion Boat Capture, and Bradley Fancett won the Champion Angler Capture.
The Golden Lure 2010: on the first day of the tournament, my grand-daughter Kaysie won the NSW and Australian Record Junior Capture for a Mahi Mahi of 16.4kg on 10kg line class at the age of 10 years. She grinned from ear to ear!
I am now the Vice President of the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club and am on the Golden Lure Committee. With the 2011 Golden Lure from the 5 January – 15 January, the committee members are busy and looking forward to yet another successful tournament.
What do you personally get out of being a member of the Club, and why would you encourage other people to join?
The grandchildren are extremely competitive and are anxiously waiting the 2011 Golden Lure Tournament.
I encourage other adults and children to become members of a fishing club; you don’t necessarily have to own a boat, as new members are accommodated where possible.
Fishing Clubs give you companionship, and it is much safer when going out to sea to be in a group.
Thank you Charlie.
Interviews by Jo Atkins.