NSW Game Fishing Association Interclub Tournament starts in Port Stephens

Reel Trouble team members are Robert Fitzalan, Paige Fitzalan, Ray Wilkes, Stephen Ritchie, Phil Smith and Dean Gray. Photo by Jewell Drury(left) Paige Fitzalan with her Marlin weighing approx 140kg breaking the current record. Photo Supplied( right)
Reel Trouble team members are Robert Fitzalan, Paige Fitzalan, Ray Wilkes, Stephen Ritchie, Phil Smith and Dean Gray. Photo by Jewell Drury(left) Paige Fitzalan with her Marlin weighing approx 140kg breaking the current record. Photo Supplied( right)

THE 54th edition of the NSW Game Fishing Association Interclub Tournament began on Friday and culminated with Ladies Day on Monday.

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The tournament is the biggest game fishing tournament in the Southern Hemisphere with 132 boats registered this year.

“Fishing has been slow to moderate and at the end of day two, 100 Marlins have been tagged in the tournament,” Garry Chenoweth, NSW GFA President told Bay News Of The Area.

“The weather has been good although normally by this stage larger numbers of tagging were expected due the number of vessels out on the water,” Mr Chenoweth said.

Robert Fitzalan from Forster and his team on board ”Reel Trouble” a 35ft Caribbean, had an unexpected surprise on day two which catapulted them into 11th position.

Fourteen-year-old Paige Fitzalan, Robert’s daughter, tagged and released her first Marlin weighing approximately 140kg and received 12,500 points for her efforts.

This is Paige’s first tournament and she was thrilled with the results.

Paige was the youngest in the tournament to hook, tag and release a Marlin. .

“We all knew straight away that it would have been close to a record for age and gender but decided to release it,” Mr Fitzalan told Bay News Of The Area.

“After we looked at the record we realised that she had actually broken the record with the last record recorded only a 70kg Marlin,” the proud Dad added.

Added to the size and approximate weight of the Marlin, was the fact that Paige had caught the huge fish on only a 10kg line.

As the Marlin was tagged and released to see another day, Paige’s new record will unfortunately not hold.

The whole vision was captured on “Reel Troubles”, Garmin Virb Sports Video Camera, so there will be plenty of time to have bragging rights for many years to come.

Paige is a Year 9 student at Manning Valley Anglican College and will surely have a great story to tell when she returns this week.

“It was awesome, I was so shocked when I found out that I broke the record,” Ms Fitzalan said.

Watching the video footage is impressive with Paige exhibiting superpower strength as she reeled in the fish with adrenalin packed vigour.

“My arms went to jelly after we tagged and released him,” she added.

The team on board “Reel Trouble” included Robert and Paige Fitzalan, Ray Wykes, Stephen Ritchie, Phil Smith from Bobs Farm, and Dean Gray

 

 

By Jewell DRURY

 

Proud dad Robert Fitzalan with daughter Paige . Photo by Jewell Drury
Proud dad Robert Fitzalan with daughter Paige . Photo by Jewell Drury

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