2009 Mike Carney Toyota Billfish Challenge
After following this tournament via the internet over the last few year, l was finally given the opportunity to fish it off 2 boats. The first option was a 40ft game boat, and the second option 22 trailer boat named 'Oi Budd'. My choice was to fish on 'Oi Budd'
This boat belongs to Todd, a friend of mine in Townsville, and together with Talina, one of the best female anglers and deckie l have ever met, fished the 4 day tournament in the under 8 metre category. The tournament is a light tackle bill fish tournament and all anglers fish 6kg line class through out the tournament
The fishing over the 4 days was the slowest it has ever been over the 30 years since this tournament has been run, according to Townsville Game fishing Club president Tom Hatrick, but still a great time was had by all crews on the 30 odd boats over and under 8 meter category.
The weather over the 4 days was pleasant compared to the previous year and the smaller boats were able to fish the full term of the tournament. Having the leading boats in both categories on 2 fish each meant that the prize was still up for grabs till cease fishing was called at 16:30pm on the final day. So you can imagine Talina,Todd, and myself eagerly listening to the final skeds, and awaiting the call to Cease fishing.
All in all we caught a varielty of mackrel..spotted, spanish and shark mackrel. we had 4 baits deployed at all times. Two skipping gar fish off the out rigers, a swimming mullet or pilchard onthe down rigger, and another swimming bait on the flat line.
when ever possible live bait were a ready in the live bait well and one always rigged up and ready to be thrown out at a bill fish.
We managed 2 billies over the four days which was enough to win us the tournanment. My first fish was a 30kg Sailfish, shortly followed by Talina's 20kg black marlin
Here are some of the prizes taken for the tournament:
1st boat over 8 meters............Sea Baby IV
2nd boat over 8 meters............Mauna Kea
3rd boat over 8 meters...........Utopia
1st boat under 8 meters............Oi Budd
2nd boat under 8 meters............Bad Company
3rd boat under 8 meters............Mates Rates
Meritorious encouragement award...Alby Albery at 82 years catching his first marlin Champion angler over 8m - Toni Williams -Utopia
Champion angler under 8m - Marcus Belcher - Bad Company
Champion skipper over 8 metres - Sea Baby IV Rod Mathisen
Champion skipper under 8 years - Todd O'Shaughnessy - Oi Bud
Our fishing vessel 'OI BUDD'............................... Boats and crews getting ready at the marina
Party on the Spit..Cape Bowling Green..............Sunset on the Spit
Team 'Oi Budd' accepting prize for 1st Boat over 8Metre... Todd's thank you speech for champion Skipper
Bodo Muche Bronze Sculpture Trophie.......Team Oi Budd
Congratulations to all those who competed, and a special thanks to the committee and members of the Townsville game fishing club who through their hard work put together a great programme over the 4 day fishing tournament and the Gala presentation dinner at Jupiter's Hotel and Casino.
A big thank you to Luke & Kelly from Pelagic High Performance Offshore Gear for their support and great gear they provided us on 'Oi Budd.
And on a final personnel note l would like to sincerely thank Todd, Talina, and their wonderful families for the opportunity to spend time back up in Townsville, and their wonderful hospitality over the who ten days l was back up in God's Country