If you've been hanging out to see the results of the Wilderness Systems Kayak Fishing - Straddie Challenge that took place over last weekend, well here they are! A big thank you to all participants for a fantastic weekend and congratulations to all the lucky winners!
On a beautiful May weekend 43 kayak fisho’s converged on South Stradbroke Island for the Inaugural “Wilderness Systems Kayak Fishing – Straddie Challenge. Participants loaded up their kayaks with fishing & camping gear and set off on the 30 minute leisurely paddle across the Gold Coast Broadwater.
Over lunch, on the Saturday, we were all treated to a talk by Eco-Gear sponsored fisherman, Liam Fitzpatrick. In the afternoon the 40+ field charged out onto the Broadwater and spread in all directions. Some headed closer to the Seaway, some to Crab Island and the surrounding flats were also popular. Others headed north for the protected waters and mangroves on the inside of Brown Island, while others sort out the rock walls, pontoons and bridge pylons of Sovereign & Ephraim Islands.
Saturday night was spent around the camp fire with some of Liam & Jen’s karaoke going late into the night. The leader, after the first session, was young Aaron Walker on 52 points closely followed by Liam and Richard Orchard, both on 50 points.
Sunday morning saw some paddlers hitting the water at 6 am, others struggled out of bed quite a bit later than that.
By 10am paddlers returned for the final weigh in’s……congratulations goes to Aaron who managed to upgrade 3 of his fish from the first session and took out Overall Champion on 62 points. The late charge came from Clarky who was able to add 2 more scoring fish to his 3 from the previous day and took out the runner-up prize finishing on 56 points.
|Overall Champion||Aaron Walker||62|
|Runner Up||Scott Clarke||56|
|3rd Place||Liam Fitzpatrick||52|
|4th Place||Richard Orchard||50|
|5th Place||Greg Pratt||44|
|6th Place||Bill Hossack||43|
|7th Place||Paul Atkinson||35|
|8th Place||Wayne Dunkley||32|
|8th Place||Travis Wheeler||32|
|10th Place||Kristian Martin||25|
|Big Bream||37cm||Travis Wheeler|
|Big Flathead||52cm||Wayne Dunkley|
|Big Whiting||37cm||Paul Atkinson|
|Big Tailor||45cm||Scott Clarke|
|Big Trevally||39.5cm||Aaron Walker|
|Big Jew||44.5cm||Liam Fitzpatrick|
Kristian Martin borrowed a kayak to participate in the Straddie Challenge weekend. After having a great time, and catching a few fish, he was extremely excited to take out the lucky door prize, a brand new Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120.
Wilderness Systems who put up a Tarpon 120, an AT paddle and an assortment of kayak accessories came on as the major sponsor of the event.
Sea to Summit provided dry bags, phone cases, paddle leashes, PFD’s & paddling gloves.
Mantra Kayaks supplied a number of kayak stands.
Barz Optics – floating, Polaroid sunglasses.
Fish Brain Lures (by Brad Dicker) – hand crafted timber lures.
Eco Gear – lures & soft plastics
Thanks also to Christian from Wilderness Systems as well as Brad & Liam who helped out throughout the weekend.
Well that’s it…..until next year. Thanks to all who participated and provided the great feedback at the end of the weekend. Please spread the word so that next year is only bigger & better. For those who missed the “Straddie Challenge” this year, pencil this in as a must-do weekend on your kayak fishing calendar next year.
For full size photos, I've included a gallery below. Enjoy the photos!