Very threatening, wet weather predictions, including predicted flash floodings for north east Victoria, didn’t stop 2,300 anglers participating in the 2017 Yamaha Cod Classic last weekend, starting last Friday and concluding at 1.00pm Sunday.
Instigator of the now iconic annual Australia fishing event, the Yamaha Cod Classic based at Mulwala Football Netball Club, Tony Bennett, said attendances exceeded expectations following the lead-up weather forecasts for the three-day cod classic.
“It cost us probably 400 anglers,” the chief organiser told the Yarrawonga Chronicle. “We still had 2,300 anglers and you could add on about 500 for family and friends. Beforehand, we were heading for our third biggest number of anglers.”
The record total stands at 3,100 anglers, in 2009. Tony made no secret of his displeasure at the “dire weather forecast”, adding: “We had (just) 6mm of rain.”
But all who attended loved everything about the 2017 Yamaha Cod Classic with the catch and release fishing event in various enticing locations on Lake Mulwala and the mighty Murray River upstream and downstream.
The top five Yamaha chiefs attended and appreciate it’s the biggest inland fishing competition in Australia, luring anglers throughout Australia and some from overseas.
Yamaha representative James Edmonds praised the big event. “The weather wasn’t as bad as predicted. The fishing was great (790 Murray Cod, 90 Yellow Belly and 700 Carp caught and released),” he told the big presentation audience.
The Yamaha Fishing Team’s Vicki Jorgenson added: “We were very glad to again be part of this cod classic. It was a big crowd.”
Prizes for the angling fraternity at the Yamaha Cod Classic totalled $150,000 including seven boating packages - which equals an overall total of 103 Yamaha boats since 2000 - and over 1000 lucky door prizes.
Cricket celebrity and keen angler Merv Hughes has missed just the one Yamaha Cod Classic in the past 16 years. “It’s fabulous, well organised, well run,” he told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
“To get this many people up here fishing is testament to the success of this cod classic. With so many prize giveaways there’s always a chance for everyone to win a prize, and there are top prizes.”
Merv’s fishing ability isn’t as good as what he cricketing ability was. “I’ve always fished but I’ve only measured two fish in the 15 years I’ve been in the cod classic!” the 56-year-old Australian Test cricketer who took 212 wickets and made 1020 runs in 53 Tests told of his fishing catches.
The chief organiser called on various key participants to draw a winner’s ticket, including Darren Scott OAM of Rupanyup. Darren, 52, was attending his 17th cod classic at Mulwala. He was awarded his national medal for services to Operation Rosemary in 2014 in respect of Anzac Day Services for the past 37 years, starting as a 14-year-old, the poppy being added to the rosemary following the passing of the last Australian veteran from World War 1.
Tony expressed his thank you to everyone involved. “I thank everyone who helped make this a success. The Mulwala Football Netball Club helpers were just great with the meat and salads,” he said.
“There were trying conditions. But credit to you for getting here. Next year will be 1st and 2nd of December.” Anglers needn’t fear adverse weather conditions next year.