Let me begin by saying that boats are a fantastic thing to have in your spearfishing life. Like your girlfriend, boats have their pros, and
cons too. There are a couple of old sayings I like to quote “the wife told me it was either the boat or her. Gee I am going to miss her cooking.” Or this one, my favourite. BOAT – Break out another thousand. IF you don’t mind constant maintenance, you have the room to store one, and importantly, you think can afford to keep both your wife and your mistress (…the boat) under the same roof, you might even decide you need new friends then go and visit your local boat dealer.
The range of coastline you can travel by boat in a session far exceeds that of the rockhopper; if a spot you have chosen is fishless or dirty simply pull up anchor and move onto to another headland or reef; you can fish otherwise hard locations; my favourite is that fact that you are out on the ocean and enjoying the vast blue sea, you never know what suprises you will see out there on a given day. Whales, pods of dolphins, massive bait balls, awesome bird life, huge sharks, blokes floating around on an esky lid, sunfish, the list is endless. I enjoy being out on my boat and sharing experiences with my friends.
After the state titles a couple of the Dolphins went for a little drive further north and bumped into the legend that is MickD, he was very polite and put up with my boat for a whole day before he politely suggested I park the Devil in the garage and we take his Milligan out for the next days fishing.
So we did. Thanks Mick we had a fun couple of days.
Pics are of Evans Black Kingie, it went 41kg. Awesome couple of dives on this tremendous fish, Evan knew what he was doing to bring the fish in and still the fish was too big, taking off with all his kit for some 20 minutes before the float popped up tomb stoning. Cheers went up all around the boat. I was privileged to be there to see the black behemoth in the flesh. Check out its chopped Dorsal fin and the shark bite scar tissue on its flank from previous altercations.
The yank has been in form lately the past 6-8 weeks. 28kg Spanish, 31kg Jew, 17kg wahoo and then the 90 pound cobia. Good stuff buddy not bad for a crappy Sydney fleabag diver.
The NSW Championships this year were hosted by the Central Coast Sea Lions. A rock hopping only event this year’s championship saw great conditions with near flat seas and slight winds complemented with viso ranging from 8-14m saw two great days of rock hopping for the 49 keen competitors. The scoresheet was held under Sydney Metro Zone scoresheet. Seven Dolphins made the trek up to the Central Coast and were well rewarded.
Day 1: Bateau Bay
So with zero knowledge of where to swim here, I went looking for a few of my old mates from the Sea Lions, big wave surfer and charter operator Ian Stewart didn’t let me down and gave some great advice to the Dolphins on the terrain we could encounter. Benny Bayfield rocks up now grinning from ear to ear, he has been scouting the coastline and has devised a plan, which involved a lot of running, with this event if you choose you can go on foot a distance before entering the water.
At the start many divers run down the steep hill and turn left and right, I waited up the top to see who went where and I decided then to get away from the masses and to stroll along the path and turned left awhile before entering the surf, a lucky choice of direction as I landed 14 species with 563 points (90%).
Ex Dolphins member and President of the USFA Peter Saunders had the overall lead with 11 fish including a cracking 4.4 kilo Giant Boarfish, probably the best fish I have seen weighed in a comp in a few years. It was good for me to see two V’s (Veterans) at the top of the leader board.
Ben Bayfield (79%), Dez (68%) and Evan (66%) were all still in the hunt for Day 2. I had a feeling the fitness of these guys would show on Day 2 with the location being announced at the weigh in – Norah Head, “The Bull” is offshore a little and it would be a drag race to see who could get their first.
Day 2: Norah Head
What a race! Evan had winged feet and took off like a shot dog, his Banks Board strapped over his shoulders. Spearos were saying in disbelief as they reached the top of the stairs at the Lighthouse “hey that guy is over-arming out to the Bull!” That’s how fast Evan was to the water before everyone else and he had the Bull to himself for a while.
When I finally arrived to the Bull, one hour later… there were great fish all over it, and many of the competitors elected to fish here. One interesting specie landed was Parry Gryllis 1100gm Spotted Sweetlip, a fish not common in Sydney. I saw all of our guys out at the Bull, Pat Mullins our champion Grand Master had some bad luck with a stuck spear and he spent 30 minutes dislodging it. Parry and Paul ‘Mudcrab’ Marsh had great scores and PB’s on the day, they fished very keenly. The Bondi Brats or Maroubra Marauders, or as Roso calls them the “that tinny trio!” each had a great strategy and I witnessed how hard they were fishing.
Derrick pulling out a great 710pts with second on the day and 95%, however it was Benny’s day and being consistent with 659pts and 88% had the edge on Dez from Day 1 to take out his first NSW Open Spearfishing Championships.
I took out the Veterans Championship by the skin of a bee’s’; Pat Mullins is the Grand Master Champion; we had four Dolphins in the top 10; Ben winning Seniors as well, with Dez 2nd and Evan 3rd. Paul ‘Mudcrab Marsh was 15th ans Parry 19th overall. If ‘the 3 Amigos’ had remembered to fill out their 3 man team sheet they would have smashed that trophy as well by several hundred points.
Thanks to the Sea Lions and Al Cooke their President in particular for hosting the event. Al was very appreciative of the Dolphins as we all assisted in scores on Day 1 with him and ran a set of scales on Day 2. Well done guys!
Next year the Championships will be held in the South Coast of NSW and is always well attended as the locations are very desirable spearfishing areas. I hope to see you all there.
Conditions: Westerly winds with strong gusts up to 25knots during the competition, a North Easter did appear out of nowhere approximately 11am to 11.40am where the breeze swung back to the West and increased steadily throughout the day. Seas pancake flat with a non-existent swell up until the NorEaster came rising to about 1m dying out as quickly as the wind change did. Harbour was choppy later in the day. Visibility was excellent south up to 20m while North was so-so. South today was the way to go with those running north not overly happy.
The Dolphins had 19 sign on and weigh in, the Dragons surprisingly, where we thought they would come out en masse, had only 10 members, many believing the event would be cancelled and not bothering to get out of bed. We smashed them, everywhere, overall points 3975 to their 2769.
Dolphin’s Junior, son of a gun Aaron Puckeridge continued his fine form taking out his successive Alliman with a splendid 22 species and 990 points. Quite achiever Derrick Cruz runner up with a solid 888 points and 16 species there were some splendid fish in his catch. Ian Puckeridge 3rd 845 points; Grizzly Whaler Steve Wayne made an appearance to land 813 points for 4th. Paul “Mud Crab” Marsh gaining a PB with 517 and 5 species of Leather Jacket for 11th, Sam Krywulycz also a PB score with 471 and 14th overall.
Bream 1050gm – 84pts – Derrick Cruz
Red Rock Cod 1655gm – 99pts – Derrick Cruz
Red Rock Cod 1400gms – 84pts – Sam Krywulycz
Yellow tail Kingfish 5685gm (largest fish on day for SSD) – Parry Gryllis
Deep Body Jacket 2400gm – 96pts – Pete Manolias (club record)
Rock Blackfish 3400gm – 68pts – Sam Krywulycz
Yellow Spot Surgeon 1850gm – 74pts – Derrick Cruz
Tassie 2200gm – 88pts – Aaron Puckeridge
King Wrasse – 1075gm – 64pts – Ian Puckeridge
and of course the Clown Triggerfish – 885gm – 43pts – Derrick Cruz
Dez donated the Triggerfish to Mark McGruther at the Australian Museum and it is only the second Clown Triggerfish in their collection, Mark was stoked to have it.
Pete’s Deep Body is a sensational fish and it ties with 3 others of the same weight going back to the 80’s, amazing, the three spearos all former much loved characters being Froggo Goldsmith, Dave Andrews and “Rocky” Rob Thomas, Rocky came to the 60th.
Special mention made to the Harbour master, Scotty Bailey whose boat always contributes along with Wade’s Seydel very important harbour species. Alex Delpopolo just missing out on a club record Fan Belly weighing just shy of the 800gms that is the current record.
The Dolphins won the 4 man Team convincingly with over 3300pts scored. Overall we lead the competition by 3 points with the Dragons in second place. Derrick is leading the Open individual Championship, Benny Bayfield close behind and breathing down their necks is Evan Leeson in 3rd other Dolphins feature in the Top 20. Nine Dolphins in the top 20, just fantastic!
Thanks to Parry & Dave Rogers for doing the scales, and Pat Mullins, who is in fine form and came 16th on the day, for keeping us all entertained as always.
Hope to see you all with sharp spears, and wits, at the next one at Gunnamatta Bay.
Fred was the original founding member for the Dolphins it’s first president and first Life member. He later moved to WA in his late 20’s, where he did a record freedive at the time recorded at 110ft, he was also charged with having a powerhead over there in the early 60’s.
When you are having a quite beer or coffee have a read of it, 11 pages of good times. Amazing how had core these boys all were in the 50’s and early 60’s. We got nothin’ on them really, we are spoilt.
Born in Sydney at St. George Hospital Kogarah on the 12/9/1935, one of four children of Frederick Robert and Dorothy La Vere Nann. Resided at Walter Street and then Darley Street Sans Souci until 1959.
Special thanks, picture provided by Fred’s daughter Vicki Nann.