The day started before first light with the organisers setting up a gazebo next to the main jetty in Lancelin. Rain and grey skies from an early morning storm greeted competitors but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the 20th annual Glynn Dromey, Western Australia’s biggest spearfishing competition. The rain continued during sign on but as the sun rose it eased and we were presented with flat seas, variable wind and low swell.
Thirty two (32) pairs signed on and at the diver’s briefing the competitors received their competition tokens, safety information, rules and new sign off procedures. The horn sounded at 7:00am and a sea of nervous competitors gunned their engines and the fleet of boats scattered to all points of the compass. 3/4 of the fleet headed north whilst the remainder headed south to the Bomba reefs.
Lancelin is a challenging place to reliably find and spear good fish, this really adds to the challenge of the event.
The West Australian Undersea Club Inc would like to thank the sponsors for generously donating over $8K of prizes
Andre Spearguns AU
Lancelin Angling and Aquatic Club.
We started the morning as part of the fleet that headed south. We quickly shot down and hit one of the shallow bays picking up Salmon, Sweep and Tarwhine. A quick look at some of the usual reefs showed that the current was mild and opposite to the standard Lano current. Although we managed to pick up Harlequin and a nice Goatfish we didn’t see any Baldchin or Pelagics. We made the call to head north and on the way saw birds working, jumping in on one of my favourite reefs I saw Spanish, Sharks and Broadbar, unfortunately they proved very flighty. The reef showed great life, I passed a couple of nice Blue groper and a heap of bait as I swam to a section I knew had a big cave network. First dive on the cave produced a nice Dhu, I quickly started to burley as I saw some decent Blackass, a solid Baldie came in and I managed to get a stone shot into it, another fish in the boat. 12pm and we had a solid bag of 9 species; Dhufish, Pink Snapper, Baldchin, Harlequin, Skippy, Salmon, Tarwhine, Goatfish, Sweep. Deciding we needed Pelagics we ran back central and set a nice chum line, plenty of bait was around but the fish were flighty and the sharks plentiful, we made the decision to head in early..
There is a certain element urgency that comes with diving competitions which I enjoy as a contrast to my normally very relaxed style. When the first hour or so passes and you still haven’t landed or even seen a fish on the competition list, you challenge yourself to think about where will be the best spot to go next. Added is the extra buzz you feel when you finally spot a fish that will score good points (and taste great), then you draw on all your skills as a spearfisher to make sure you successfully land the fish.
The final run back to the beach is full of a mental replay of the day’s encounters, if fish were lost, what could have been done differently, wondering how the other guys went and what other fish have been speared, all of which will be revealed at the weigh in.
The day had started poorly with no fish on the boat by 10am. Phil had a reef some way south which he promised would give us 4 species. Phil’s special spot was anything but, Graham spotted a Dhuie through the panel and it seemed my worries about Phil talking it up would prove unfounded. Leaving Graham to his fish I started following the edge in 14 meters of water as Phil had described looking for a large Baldchin groper or a random Mackerel. The viz was clear and current mild. Diving to the bottom, I waited… and waited… annnd waited…. nothing. The next few dives produced a coterie of small baldies, wrasse and sweep which were following from the bottom as I finned over the surface. This was turning into a good swim.
The ‘edge’ Phil had given me was proving anything but, the broken weedy limestone crumbling onto clean white sand without a ledge or cave was uninspiring so I shot one of the sweep. Finning along I slowly eviscerated the fish to set up a long curtain of finely shredded burley over 200 metres long. The last time I used this technique, two tiger sharks circled Heidi and me for 15 minutes until she tickled the 11 footer with her spear and they left us alone.
About 50 metres after the last of the sweep a blue missile glides under me at 5 metres and I dive down to its’ level and glance away. I look back, and see the mackerel’s head turn but not enough, with gun out front I kick hard and shoot from 5 metres away. The spear goes in near the left shoulder and as I find a little while later, exits at the right gill slit. It weighed 15.50 kgs and helped our points tally as we ended up with 5 species and seventh spot.
Weigh-in and presentations
This year we were very lucky to be able to hold the weigh in at the Lancelin Angling and Aquatic Club facilities. The vene was ideal not just because of the poor weather conditions but also as its a perfect location with a nice grassy area next to the outdoor undercover area and a massive indoor area for presentations with a bar and kitchen serving refreshments.
The weigh in always brings out the club spirit, everyone exchanging stories from the day and the past plus banter and fooling around with a certain level of concentration and eagerness as each pair’s catch is examined and weighed by the weighmaster.
Weigh in was a big affair with 23 pairs entering fish. Some of highlights include Cameron Bates’s Spangled Emperor, Mael Corret’s 20kg YTK, Joe Petrovich’s Spanish mackerel and a number of great size prized Baldies and Dhufish.
Competition was tight with only 30 points separating first and second place, last year’s runners up outscoring the 2015 champions. There was as little as 4 points between some places through the rest of the field.
1st Troy Eggins and Mael Coret 1720.8
2nd Chris Barnes and Darren Atiken 1694.6
3rd Caleb and Riley Moore 1361.5
4th Ben and Graham Carlisle 1227.1
5th Tim Schiffermuller and David Ingham 1224.8
6th Gary Gilgallon and Ross Bullock 1014.8
7th Graham Gould and Joe Petrovich 930.4
8th Jason Shaw and Kris Dawe 748.8
9th David Greirson and James Luchetta 679.2
10th Brendon Moelart and Jonathan 677.3
A special thanks to those who helped out with the running of the competition Chris Barnes, Graham Gould, Joe Petrovich, Ben Coy, Graham Carlisle, Tim Meir, Jason Mellor and Caleb Moore.