The day started before first light with the organisers setting up a gazebo next to the main jetty in Lancelin. Rain and grey skies from an early morning storm greeted competitors but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the 20th annual Glynn Dromey, Western Australia’s biggest spearfishing competition. The rain continued during sign on but as the sun rose it eased and we were presented with flat seas, variable wind and low swell.
Thirty two (32) pairs signed on and at the diver’s briefing the competitors received their competition tokens, safety information, rules and new sign off procedures. The horn sounded at 7:00am and a sea of nervous competitors gunned their engines and the fleet of boats scattered to all points of the compass. 3/4 of the fleet headed north whilst the remainder headed south to the Bomba reefs.
Lancelin is a challenging place to reliably find and spear good fish, this really adds to the challenge of the event.
The West Australian Undersea Club Inc would like to thank the sponsors for generously donating over $8K of prizes
Andre Spearguns AU
Lancelin Angling and Aquatic Club.
We started the morning as part of the fleet that headed south. We quickly shot down and hit one of the shallow bays picking up Salmon, Sweep and Tarwhine. A quick look at some of the usual reefs showed that the current was mild and opposite to the standard Lano current. Although we managed to pick up Harlequin and a nice Goatfish we didn’t see any Baldchin or Pelagics. We made the call to head north and on the way saw birds working, jumping in on one of my favourite reefs I saw Spanish, Sharks and Broadbar, unfortunately they proved very flighty. The reef showed great life, I passed a couple of nice Blue groper and a heap of bait as I swam to a section I knew had a big cave network. First dive on the cave produced a nice Dhu, I quickly started to burley as I saw some decent Blackass, a solid Baldie came in and I managed to get a stone shot into it, another fish in the boat. 12pm and we had a solid bag of 9 species; Dhufish, Pink Snapper, Baldchin, Harlequin, Skippy, Salmon, Tarwhine, Goatfish, Sweep. Deciding we needed Pelagics we ran back central and set a nice chum line, plenty of bait was around but the fish were flighty and the sharks plentiful, we made the decision to head in early..
There is a certain element urgency that comes with diving competitions which I enjoy as a contrast to my normally very relaxed style. When the first hour or so passes and you still haven’t landed or even seen a fish on the competition list, you challenge yourself to think about where will be the best spot to go next. Added is the extra buzz you feel when you finally spot a fish that will score good points (and taste great), then you draw on all your skills as a spearfisher to make sure you successfully land the fish.
The final run back to the beach is full of a mental replay of the day’s encounters, if fish were lost, what could have been done differently, wondering how the other guys went and what other fish have been speared, all of which will be revealed at the weigh in.
The day had started poorly with no fish on the boat by 10am. Phil had a reef some way south which he promised would give us 4 species. Phil’s special spot was anything but, Graham spotted a Dhuie through the panel and it seemed my worries about Phil talking it up would prove unfounded. Leaving Graham to his fish I started following the edge in 14 meters of water as Phil had described looking for a large Baldchin groper or a random Mackerel. The viz was clear and current mild. Diving to the bottom, I waited… and waited… annnd waited…. nothing. The next few dives produced a coterie of small baldies, wrasse and sweep which were following from the bottom as I finned over the surface. This was turning into a good swim.
The ‘edge’ Phil had given me was proving anything but, the broken weedy limestone crumbling onto clean white sand without a ledge or cave was uninspiring so I shot one of the sweep. Finning along I slowly eviscerated the fish to set up a long curtain of finely shredded burley over 200 metres long. The last time I used this technique, two tiger sharks circled Heidi and me for 15 minutes until she tickled the 11 footer with her spear and they left us alone.
About 50 metres after the last of the sweep a blue missile glides under me at 5 metres and I dive down to its’ level and glance away. I look back, and see the mackerel’s head turn but not enough, with gun out front I kick hard and shoot from 5 metres away. The spear goes in near the left shoulder and as I find a little while later, exits at the right gill slit. It weighed 15.50 kgs and helped our points tally as we ended up with 5 species and seventh spot.
Weigh-in and presentations
This year we were very lucky to be able to hold the weigh in at the Lancelin Angling and Aquatic Club facilities. The vene was ideal not just because of the poor weather conditions but also as its a perfect location with a nice grassy area next to the outdoor undercover area and a massive indoor area for presentations with a bar and kitchen serving refreshments.
The weigh in always brings out the club spirit, everyone exchanging stories from the day and the past plus banter and fooling around with a certain level of concentration and eagerness as each pair’s catch is examined and weighed by the weighmaster.
Weigh in was a big affair with 23 pairs entering fish. Some of highlights include Cameron Bates’s Spangled Emperor, Mael Corret’s 20kg YTK, Joe Petrovich’s Spanish mackerel and a number of great size prized Baldies and Dhufish.
Competition was tight with only 30 points separating first and second place, last year’s runners up outscoring the 2015 champions. There was as little as 4 points between some places through the rest of the field.
1st Troy Eggins and Mael Coret 1720.8
2nd Chris Barnes and Darren Atiken 1694.6
3rd Caleb and Riley Moore 1361.5
4th Ben and Graham Carlisle 1227.1
5th Tim Schiffermuller and David Ingham 1224.8
6th Gary Gilgallon and Ross Bullock 1014.8
7th Graham Gould and Joe Petrovich 930.4
8th Jason Shaw and Kris Dawe 748.8
9th David Greirson and James Luchetta 679.2
10th Brendon Moelart and Jonathan 677.3
A special thanks to those who helped out with the running of the competition Chris Barnes, Graham Gould, Joe Petrovich, Ben Coy, Graham Carlisle, Tim Meir, Jason Mellor and Caleb Moore.
The West Australian Undersea Club proudly presents the Mackerel 1000 competition for 2016.
There are prizes for heaviest speared and best photographed Narrow Barred Spanish Mackerel.
Cost: $30 for WAUC members
$60 for non-members
When: 1 January 2016 to 30 June , 2016 inclusive
Firstly, the WAUC committee would like to wish all our members and friends a happy 2016 – may this be the year of more epic adventures on the water and we hope you land that dream fish!
Secondly, we invite you to attend the first meeting of 2016!
We have loads of exciting items to discuss, combined with an ultra cool art demo from club sponsor, Kraken Ocean Art on the Japanese fish print technique called Gyotaku. This is an beautifully artistic way to remember a memorable catch and have it hang proudly on your wall – NOT TO BE MISSED!
Time: Tuesday, 19th January 2016
6pm – 9pm approx.
Food provided by host – gold coin donation accepted
Tania Douthwaite and Adam Coy’s
25 Jeffery Street
– Fish Print aka Gyotaku demo by Kraken Ocean Art- if you want to bring along your own fish to have a fish print done, text Tania – 0439 770 038
– Mackerel1000 for 2016 – New year – New format – Competition is now open! entery forms available at the meeting.
– New WAUC Merchandise NOW available – new vinyl boat and car stickers v3.0 are on their way from the printers – pay on the night to ensure you dont miss out and you get a couple for your rig!
– Meet and greet new financial WAUC members
– FREE WAUC TEE-SHIRT for new members – there has never been a better time to join the WAUC, for $55 small ones you become a member of the biggest and most proactive club in Australia AND you get a free WAUC tee!
As always, visitors are welcome to come along and see what the club meetings are about!
See you all there – this will be an informative and fun meeting not to be missed!
Spanish mackerel numbers this year were thin and scattered with few divers reporting regular sightings. Nonetheless some good fish were landed and entered into the MACKEREL1000.
This year’s event, which started in February and ended in October, attracted a field of over 50 entrants. Next year’s will run from January 1st to June 30th. The first mackerel entered was shot by Ryan Power at Yallingup in early February and the last in October by Caleb Moore at the Monte Bellos Islands. In between those two points in time and space there were many fish shot and entered
The largest mackerel shot and winner of the main prize of $1000 was shot by Joe Petrovich in August up at Carnarvon. There is also the trophy. Mael Coret came second with a mackerel shot in late May at Rottnest.
Other people to share in the prize pool of $2,600 included Caleb More, Riley Moore and Julian Boland.
Heaviest- 1st Place Joseph Petrovich 27.70kgs
2nd Place Mael Coret 24.75kgs
3rd Place Caleb Moore 22.70kgs
4th Place Troy Eggins 19.95kgs
5th Place Joseph Petrovich 18.56kgs (donated to WAUC)
Mystery Prize winners – Julian Boland and Riley Moore
We are waiting on the final results for the photography part of the MACKEREL1000 which are expected in the next week.
The Dampier spearfishing classic was organised by the WA Undersea club and sponsored by GT Diving, Our Exmouth House and Rob Torelli Down Under. We aim to foster a competitive spirit between spearos and promote the virtues of selective hunting. The competition lasted 11 hours but there was months of work for the organisers. The process of putting together a competition isn’t easy, it takes a committed team with large amounts of energy to do all the background tasks required to put on such an event.
Our day started by waking up before dawn, the excitement built as we spoke of plans and tactics for the day, we loaded gear, prizes, weigh in equipment and laptops. As we made the quick drive to sign on it looked like the weather gods were smiling on us! Low winds and cool conditions saw the crowds start to roll in and competition started in earnest. Heavily advertised the WAUC’s first spearfishing competition in Dampier had an outstanding turnout! We had 31 pairs of eager spearo’s signing in on the day and 40 new members joining on the morning of the competition to the WAUC family. This amount of interest from Dampier spearo’s massively exceeding WAUC’s expectations and thus, leaving the organisers with a stack of paperwork to complete!
As the buzzer sounded the competition started, the fleet departed. Many chose to go via land to their spearing grounds, however, our boat started the long run in search for clean water westward. We arrived at our first spot and immediately see a large school of Golden Trevally and Queenfish came up behind the boat, then everyone scrambles for gear jumping into a milky 20m viz. The flashers go over the side with a cry of “Red Emperor” goes out. Darren and I both dive to 20m, Darren got a nice shot on the Red. I had the tough choice between a Trout, Bluebone and Emperor. I surface with a nice Black Snapper – the perfect start to the day. Both diving pairs start burley trails which leads to our main problem of the day, sharks. Whilst the reef we chose was clean, it also seemed to be a favourite for big Bull sharks and Bronzies. A few good macks are lost before we decide its time to hit the shallows.
We rock into the shallows, the skipper putting us on a shallow coral/bombie field in 5-6m, a quick burley trail brings out some more Trout and some of the best Blackspot Tuskfish I’ve seen. We quickly shoot a few 7-8kg species for dinner before the current pushes us down the burley trail looking for big Jacks, a few 4-5kg models are seen but none of the bigger ones wanted to come into range. I eventually spotted a large Longnose Emperor on the edge of vis and spend the next 30 minutes trying to win a meritorious fish, these are great fish to hunt and stalk.
Fast forward to weigh in, we were greeted by a crowd of some 100 spearos and on lookers, Karl and Blake immediately get onto the BBQ. Darren, Graham and myself start the long process of weigh in while Caleb the token club Photographer started doing the rounds getting some photos of the competitors. Unfortunately my laptop decided it wanted to join in the diving and went for a swim, lucky the phone was a worthy backup. 24 pairs decided to weigh-in at the end of the days diving. I was excited to see what came in. The eskies were comprised of Trout, Mangrove Jacks, Bluebone, Spanish Mackerel and Cobia seemed to be the flavour of the day.
Eventual winners Mark Pascot and Brian Myers took an early lead and hang on to it to win the competition with 7 species and their Estuary Cod taking full points, essentially giving them 8 species. The rest of the field was fairly close with 2nd and 3rd weighing-in in 7 species and 11 pairs weighing in 5 or 6 species meaning 4th and 5th were hotly contested. A couple of disqualifications of good divers occurred due to not being back on the beach for weigh in on time opened up the field. Honourable mentions go to the two Triple tails, two Red Emperors, two Black snappers and one nice Flathead. Also, the fantastic new junior members who landed fish comparable to our senior divers, we definitely will be adding a junior prize category to future competitions in Dampier.
Congratulations to our winners:
• 1st Mark Pascot and Brian Myers
• 2nd Justin Oleary and Raymond Kaestner
• 3rd Karl Reece and Bryce Hollins
• 4th Graham Gould and Wally Galli
• 5th Terry Howe and Eli Oliveros
• Mystery Prizes: Richie Chapman and Ryan
A big thank you to our sponsors: GT Diving, Our Exmouth house, Rob Torelli Down Under – without our sponsors these competition wouldn’t be possible!
A special thanks to our support staff Ben Coy, Joe Petrovich, Graham Gould, Darren Aitken, Karl Reece, Caleb Moore for their tireless efforts behind the scenes, at weigh in and cooking the BBQ. Blake Caddy and Dave Price for the many hours on the phone and looking after all the Perth boys so well.
And finally a big thankyou to our new members and existing members of the WA Undersea Club who entered the first WAUC Dampier competition. WAUC are already planning some new events in the not too distant future for our new North West members and some certified club scales are on the way for our members to use. It was great to meet you all, thank you for your good humour whilst I ran my first event. Please join the new WAUC Pilbara Facebook group and once your membership email comes through join WAUC Gold for the latest member only updates.
If you would like to help out with future WAUC events or even sponsor the WAUC or an event don’t hesitate to contact me.
WAUC Secretary and Sponsorship officer