Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

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Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby slim » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:45 pm

I was fairly excited a week ago when Dan aka spooled let me know about Yakkers being allowed to compete in the Dave Irvine Memorial Snapper Classic at Coffs for the first time. This was going to be the first offshore yak comp to my knowledge in Australia and I for one wasn’t going to miss it.

The weather forecast was good and so $120 later I was booked in and ready to roll. As is always the way with these events lots of folk said they were coming and didn’t show which is a real shame but they missed out on a fantastic weekend.

For those of you who don’t know who Dave Irvine was, he was the guy who invented the environet, the brag mat and the man bag (a large dry bag). We were all lucky enough to receive a man bag full of shimano gear at registration. Unfortunately this comp is held in his honour as Dave lost a 20yr battle with cancer not that long ago.
saturday DIMSC.jpg

I arrived on Friday at 6pm meaning I missed a prefish in glorious conditions. The reports from the boaters indicated big snapper off Sawtell. There were fish of 95cm fork length landed on Friday as well as a whole host of other species like pearlies, tuskies etc.

I met up with Ron(ronaldo), Paul(yakdog), Dave(sbd), Tommy(mrx), Danny(physopath) and Stephen(worleybird) at the registration and briefing. We had some plans worked out and the hope was that the forecasted strong wind warnings would abate and be cancelled. Sadly for Saturday this wasn’t the case.
my OB.jpg

At 5.30 Saturday morning Paul, Danny Ron and myself met at the ramp to hear the strong wind warnings remained current, therefore the comp was postponed at least until a new forecast at 11. We went our separate ways and at about 9.30 i met up with Danny at Fishing Tackle Australia talking to Adrian (T-curve). We were happily talking away when Paul burst in saying Sawtell was fine for fishing so we should head down there. SO off we went. Half way there though the phone rang and said it was blown out at Sawtell so we turned around and headed for the Jetty at Coffs.

It was here that we were told that the comp had been postponed until tomorrow so we decided that we will brave it and go for a fish anyway. Three of us Danny, Paul and Myself launched through the harbour and into some of the biggest seas I have ever been in. The wind was 15kt from the south and the sea was well over 2. The heads of the harbour was a washing machine and I resorted to paddling the outback rather than the mirage drive to at least feel like I was making progress.

We rounded Mutton bird and were being blown north at 3km/h. This made fishing very tough indeed. You would cast like hell North and in no time you were over the top of your plastic and you didn’t know if you were near the bottom or not. I never got a hit in the 3 hours we were out there. It was terrible. Nearing Charlesworth Bay Danny hooked a freight train on bream gear. The fight seemed to go for hours and i was thinking we would pass Ballina before too long. The fight lasted about 25 minutes when up came a very nice Mack Tuna. At least he didn’t donut. Paul got a sergeant Baker so he avoided the donut as well.
dannys mack tuna.jpg

We landed in Charlesworth bay and Heather Pauls wife was kind enough to drive us wet and cold back to the cars at the jetty.

Later that Arvo we met up for a few beers back at the club and yarned for a fair while. The reports were of lots of snapper out there and a few Spaniards thrown into the mix. Tom lost a rod and reel to a Spaniard when it flattened his rod tube and pulled it out at a million miles an hour. The other amazing thing was that it looked like the wind warnings would be dropped for Sunday so the comp will be back on.
charlesworth bay.jpg

Again we all met up at the ramp at 5.30am. The rain was pouring down and the wind was hitting 25kt WSW. We decided it was too windy for Sawtell so we went to Maccas for a cuppa and to discuss plans. The comp was on as the BOM had not reissued a strong wind warning, excellent now where can we launch.

We went to the Jetty but no way were we going to get out there, so we went to coffs crk but the same story there as well. In desperation we went to Charlesworth bay and found it to be perfect. The best bit was that there was a chance for a snapper just out from the point.
yakdog leads the way.jpg

paul in the rain.jpg

paul with drogue.jpg

We wandered to the beach and all safely launched through the little beach dumpers and cruised east to where the big snapper hopefully lay. Inside Charlesworth the wind was fine and the water was relatively flat though quite confused. We drifted around for a while, I caught a 15cm bream on a 5” armour shad foul hooked of course. Whilst i was releasing him I heard Paul wohooing as he had hooked up on a good snapper. We all paddled over to see him boat a very healthy 59cm FL snapper. Just as I was thinking Paul had won the yak event Stephen paddles back from out wide with his brag mate strangely already laid out. It was then he told us he had landed a 75cm tip length snapper which ended up at 66.5cm fork length. Brilliant effort in terrible conditions.
pauls stealth.jpg

the start line for the 1st DIMSC.jpg

Not long after with Danny and I yet to get a snapper we called an end to it all. It was freezing cold and raining. I have never been so cold in my Yak ever.
paul hooked up.jpg

paul and his snapper.jpg

We all went our separate ways and met back at the club house. The kids were smashing car windows in the casting comp, the reptile man snuck a 6 foot black headed python down the back of big dogs pants...Lucky that suit is brown I reckon.

The draws went under way and strangely 140 draws for random prizes were made for 180 competitors and not one of the 7 yakkers got drawn. Something strange there. But that aside it was great to see Stephen get 3rd most meritorious snapper and for Paul and Stephen collect their trophies for the Yak division. Danny and I by his reckoning came equal 3rd and that seems fair enough as well.

A big thanks must go to Danny, Ron, Dave, Tom, Dan Bode, Stephen, Adrian, Kim, Paul and Heather for making this weekend one of the most enjoyable I have ever had.
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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby AROBBO » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:54 pm

Cracker report fellas, and some Awesome Fish, That red in NICE!!! not a bad tuna either
Thanks for sharing.
Cheers Aidan :bye:
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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby Keen-as-fisho » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:34 pm

Great effort considering the less then average conditions, I'm glad I didn't go as I would have been burleying up constantly. Well done all. That snap looks really clean.
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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby tommo1 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:45 pm

Well done to all the yakkers out there that took part.
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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby worleybird » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:02 am

I was just getting a report going but i'll try and keep it shorter as slim has covered most of it.

From two weeks ago the weather report went back and forth between woeful and mediocre. Never looked like being good but the hope was that it would at least be mediocre (i've never found myself hoping so hard for 'mediocre'!!) As it came closer it became apparent that it was going to be closer to woeful and that the numbers would be seriously down.

Meeting up at the briefing all the kayakers decided to try for sawtell in the morning as it looked good that arvo. BOM had a strong wind warning but i was pretty sure the morning would be ok as long as the bureau came to the party with a cancellation of wind warnings. Unfortunately I was called at 5:45am to say the comp is cancelled while i was, at the same time, looking out my sawtell window at not a rustle in the trees!! :doubt: It turned out that it was quite a good session in the morning that was ruined by the BOM warnings. nothing you can do about it though.

As slim mentioned they ended up out at coffs and i headed out about 15mins behind with dave and tom. Paul had been kind enough to donate his old sounder so that i could at least have some kind of eyes out there. Because it wasn't comp, the trolling lures came out and the wire went on. About 150m from the launch i hooked up with what was surely a salmon but dropped him after a short run. It was wild fishing out the front and even behind muttonbird but i persisted there while tom and dave headed out a little further to a mark and i didn't see them again for that day. My persistence was rewarded with the awesome bag of a red rock cod (in true iurfka style) and a slimey mackerel on my plastic!! :sad1:
I then fought my way back over about 1.5 hours to get back in the harbour and to my car.

The next day we awoke to a far more miserable day but i got straight on the BOM website and saw there was no wind warning and the comp was called on. We ruled out sawtell, Jetty, park beach and finally ended up at charlesworth bay for a surprisingly fishable looking sight!! :ll: We hadn't been able to get onto dave and tom and Ron and called it, so it was just the four of us.
Dan signed us all in with marine rescue, to their disbelief and comments like "how many will be aboard?" "umm.... ONE??"
Anyway, it was finally ON!! We were going to be the first kayakers to fish in the Dave Irvine Classic!! and the odds were only 4-1 of winning ( i was probably thinking that it was more like 50-50 chance that we'd all be equal 1st as the only starters with no fish)



I was the last to leave the beach and soon as i got out realised that the steamer was overkill and too hard to paddle in. So off came the PFD, spray jacket and the top of my wetsuit and then back on with the jacket and PFD again. Alright! now it's time to get fishing.

The inside of the bay was surprisingly fishable, but out the front was pretty rough and windy. I tried to tuck into the headland and just get something out of the wash and that's where i got my first fish. I was stoked!! not a snapper but still worth it.

Didn't mean anything for the snapper comp but for anyone who knows the rules of IURKFA, this meant that everything would count from now on.

Over the next 60 mins i lost about 4 jigs and spent the majority of it retying leader and jigs and then paddling back over the ground i'd lost while tying!!! :bb: We got some really big rain squalls and then a nice calm patch so i decided to head off the front of the headland where i could see a competing boat trying their luck in close. I got out there and the country looked decent with the odd bit of activity on the sounder. I had a white 5" DAMIKI ARMOUR SHAD (new favourite plastic) rigged up on my symetre 2500 and 15lb braid. I'd lost my last 3/8 ounce TT jig head so I had attached one of my homemade jig heads which was a bit lighter but on a weaker hook. The boat, now 30m away, began to pack up, and just as they gunned the engines and turned away my plastic got trounced and drag started flying off the reel. At first i thought maybe spotty or king fish as it was straight and fast but eventually it settled and started the head shake thing and I got a WHOLE lot more nervous :re: . The wind was pushing me north quite fast and the fish didn't need to do much to peel off drag. The whole fight took about 1km of drifting and about 10-15 mins on the 15lb as i couldn't put too much pressure on him but eventually i got him up and saw that beautiful red tinge under the yak!! :drib: After a bit of dragging him on the surface trying to get him close enough while the wind blew me away from him, I finally had him in the net. Yahoooo!! (deliberately loud in an attempt to get the others to hear!! they didn't) A quick pick in the net for proof of capture.

Net in water while the brag mat was set up. Lip grippers in the mouth. Armour shad pulled out of mouth (It was then that i remembered that i had that crappy jig head on and it was bent all out of shape! luckily i hooked him on the light outfit as heavier gear may have straightened it completely!!) Got the fish on the mat and took about 1000 photo's to make sure. I swam him for about a minute, he gave a kick and i released him. A big spray to say thanks but no thanks and he was off!! woooo!!

I paddled straight in to the other guys to let them know there was fish a bit further out. As i paddle up i see paul pull his own fish into the yak and the other guys gathered around. We used my already laid out bragmat to measure and photograph his fish and Team WorleyDog was on the board twice!! :ll: (at this stage we were under the impression that we were competing as a team!! We then fished that area over many drifts and finally called it after no more fish but paul got busted off by a few on some suspect braid that i'd say will be replaced promptly.

We all made it in safely. Signed ourselves off and packed up with the motivation of getting into dry clothes as quickly as possible.

We (Paul and I) got our cameras to the club (just :re: ) and we figured our team had won. A multitude of prizes were drawn and none of the kayakers were drawn :doubt: and then the trophies were awarded. To my surprise my fish had come third in the whole comp so i got a trophy for that and then kayak trophies were awarded individually which meant I won with a 66cm fish and Paul came 2nd with his 59cm fish.

The evening was ended by a guy, who had already been drawn for the $2500 Lowrance sounder earlier, was drawn to win the $14000 boat package. Sometimes it's just your day :ha: .

Thanks to all yakkers that came to the event. Also the yakkers that petitioned for yaks to be included. The Dimsc organisers for including yaks and making an excellent event, even with poor weather. Thanks to all the sponsors for the goodies and prizes.
Thanks to Paul for the sounder (I owe you a drink still!) and to my old faithful yak that is a dog to paddle (especially in wind) but still had the mojo to pull in a nice red!!

Looking forward to next year. Hopefully with a lot more notice and some better weather a lot more yakkers can join us in 2012.

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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby FisherMitch48 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:45 am

Awesome reports Slim looks like you had an interesting but very rewarding weekend :ll: . And steve you had me on the edge of my seat :re: , what an awesome fish and so happy for you that you landed it despite the elements (I bet the next thing on the shopping list is more 3/8 jig heads :snic: ), and on the 15lb outfit, awesome!! :drib: . And paul that 59 aint to bad either! :cool2:

Well done to everyone who braved the conditions I would have loved to of been out there on the water for the first offshore yak comp wether I put fish on the board or not :sad1: All I can say is bring on 2012 I'm in for sure!! :bye:
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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby michelle » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:40 am

great fish caught in not so good conditions - and I thought we were mad at Narabeen :ha:

very jealous of catching snapper from the yak :ll:
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bream 38 cm soft plastic bream 40 cm sammy 65 black bream 41cm ZX
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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby Estuary Girl » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:17 am

Awesome result guys in some pretty horrendous conditions.I would have been keen for it but had no chance to secure annual leave as I was on shift that weekend. :bb:
Hopefully next year I can attend as I'd love to support this wonderful event!


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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby silver19 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:35 am

Well done Guys---you all deserve a medal.

Great reports and photos. Thanks for sharing. :fg:
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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby LittleSalami » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:17 am

Loved it!!!!! :ha:
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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby YakTTMax » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:51 pm

Great stuff lads, reports and pics top notch. Glad to see you all made the most of the conditions and fantastic to see the first 1yr yak entries getting into the main prize pool.
All the best, Rob.. :bye:
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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby Paulsod » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:01 pm

Now that is how reports are written. Excellent job boys.
Glad after all the trouble and lousy conditions you had to contend with you came good on some trophies.
You have to wonder about the draws though. :doubt:
Best so far in yak:- Gold-spotted Sweetlip - 44cms, Snapper - 75cms, Estuary Cod - 54cms, Dusky Flathead - 49cms, Longtail Tuna - 104cms, Grass Emperor - 54cms, School Mackerel - 64cms, Giant Trevally- 63cms, Mulloway - 89cms

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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby clarkey » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:04 pm

Well done fellas,good to see some snaps come onboard.
Those nav lights look good slim might have to do something like that on my prowler.
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Re: Dave Irvine Maemorial Snapper Classic...the report

Postby Physhopath » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:09 pm

Well it looks like its all been said, so I will just add some pics.

Well Done worleybird & yakdog, and a BIG thanks for showing me your local :ll:

I had an absolute ball, even if I only caught 1 fish, was a w/end I will remember for a long time.
I know I won't be sleeping in a swag next year :bb: , but I will be there.




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Species Yak caught,
Flathead, Bream, Tailor, Estuary Cod, Luderick, Whiting, Bonito, Amberjack, Flounder, Pike, Slimeys, Yakkas, Toads, Black Tip Reef Shark, Snapper, Mulloway, Sting Ray, Yellowfin Tuna, Striped Tuna, Mahi Mahi(dolphinfish) & Black Marlin.
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Postby RAZORBACK 300 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:21 pm

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