Australian Anglers Association, (WA Division) Inc.
Sunsmart Mandurah 500, January 2002
The 2002 Sunsmart Mandurah 500, sponsored by Healthway and the City of Mandurah, was run by the Australian Angler's Association (WA Division) on the Australia Day weekend 26/27 January.
Boundaries for fishing were from the northern end of Golden Bay to 10km south of the Preston beach carpark, so people had plenty of choice.
There was a good number of entrants, but there were thousands of other people fishing in the Mandurah and south area over the weekend. There were certainly enough people trying to catch fish that weekend! The weather was warm to hot - great for being out on the beaches. Looking north from some spots, you could even see the Skyshow fireworks all the way up in Perth.
Species eligible for the competition were Tailor, Mulloway, Herring, Flathead/Flounder, Whiting, Tarwhine, Skippy and Sharks. Entrants could chose to compete in either the Open Section, Ladies Section or Junior Section. Each entrant was allowed to present one fish from each species and the heaviest fish presented for each Section won.
The fish weights are first checked on simple balance scales, so that the heaviest fish presented can easily be seen by putting each fish presented on the scales up against the heaviest so far. If the scales go down, that's the new current heaviest fish.
Digital scales measuring to one gram are used as backup, and are used to check and measure the exact weight of the heaviest fish. There's always a lot of interest when the fish are close in weight, and one time two fish had exactly the same weight to the nearest gram, but fortunately, these were the second heaviest and the difficult decision didn't need to be made.
The species were drawn at random from envelopes pinned up on the board, with the last species drawn out being eligible for the major prizes of $1000 for the Open section, and $500 each for Ladies and Juniors. So no one knows which species will win the major prizes, and this encourages people to spread their fishing and not concentrate on any one species.
This year the last species drawn out was whiting, so the winners won the major prizes with whiting, even though heavier fish of other species were caught and won other prizes. Some of the winners and notable catches were:-
Hold your mouse over the image for a description, or click on the photo for a larger view.
Thanks to everyone who supported this by sponsoring, entering, donating prizes, or helping to run it. Many thanks to the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club for the use of their premises for the sign on and weigh in.
President AAA (WA Division)
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This page last updated 4 November 2002.