The annual Murrabit Cod Challenge was held over the weekend of March 19-21, an event run each year by the Murrabit Football and Netball Club to raise funds for their club. The event has been running since 2009 and is run 100% by local volunteers. Entries for the competition were capped at 300 adult tickets and sold out in just over a week, proving to be a very popular event. There were also 39 enthusiastic junior competitors entered, who were all lucky enough to take home an assortment of prizes donated by Hookem Fishing.
After having to cancel their previous year’s event in 2020 due to COVID-19 the club was relieved to be able to get this event off the ground. River conditions were great and perfect weather on the Saturday made for a great day of fishing. A total of 13 Murray Cod over 55cm were measured and seven Yellow Belly over 30cm.
The lucky winner of the major raffle, a 399 Stacer Proline boat, 25 HP 4-stroke Yamaha motor and trailer was won by Chris Wagner from Strathfieldsaye. Chris has been attending the event since 2013 and was thrilled with his win. Second raffle prize winner was Brian Martin with an Engel portable fridge/freezer and Neil Hopkins took home the electric boat motor. Daniel Scott grabbed himself an Engel 28L cooler/live bait box for his early bird entry. The largest group to enter the event was won equally this year between ‘Hooken’ and ‘Maryborough’, both having 25 participants in their group.
Event coordinator, Brent McKnight, said that the competition ran smoothly and that the event would not be possible without the support of their generous sponsors, Molin’s Motorcycle and Marine, Murrabit Trading, Blue Sky Swan Hill, Engel, Hunter Marine, Hookem Fishing, AB Building Constructions, Boatcatch and Johnson’s Auto Marine and Caravan Centre.
Murray Cod Challenge (combined length per boat) – Jackson and Brendan Fletcher from Bendigo, 55cm, 57cm, 73cm Murray Cod with a total of 1850 points.
Yellow Belly Challenge (combined length per boat) – Ken Conroy and Andrew Bower from Ballan were joint winners with Damian Cooper, Glenn Solomano and Stephen Kelson of Bendigo with a 44cm Yellow Belly with 440 points.
Largest Murray Cod – Jordan Edelsten, 80cm.
Largest Yellow Belly – Damian Cooper and Ken Conroy, 44cm.
Largest Carp – Zac McGrath of Castlemaine, 70.5cm.
Junior Fishing – Harry Hooper and Cooper Hein both caught a 55cm Murray Cod, and Harley Bladier a 32.5cm Yellow Belly.
This article appeared in The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper, 25 March 2021.