Richard Edwards with his winning baldchin groper from last year’s Bluewater Classic.

The popular Bluewater Classic

The popular Bluewater Classic is on later this month and will once again attract hundreds of keen boating anglers out to share in some great prizes.

Perth’s biggest and longest-running boat fishing competition is in its 32nd year and there’ll be more than $40,000 worth of prizes up from grabs on Saturday, February 18.

The good thing about the Bluewater Classic, which is run by the Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club out of its superb clubhouse overlooking the Indian Ocean, is that it includes a range of species which means anglers of all skills and inclinations are a chance to win a prize.

Whether you specialise in serious offshore fishing or just like to chase bread-and-butter species in close in a tinnie, the 12 species eligible for prizes are chosen to give all anglers an equal chance at success.

That means the angler who catches the 15kg dhufish will win the same prize as the one who catches the 200-gram herring.

Samson fish and garfish have been removed from the eligible species for this year for various reasons.

This year’s species are whiting, herring, breaksea cod, baldchin groper, tailor, flathead, dhufish, harlequin fish, skippy, pink snapper, king george whiting and queen snapper.

Two of the bigger prizes are for baldchin groper and king george whiting, while just entering the event could be enough to walk away with a great $13,000 dinghy package from All Boats and Caravans including a 4.29m Stacer on a trailer with a 30hp outboard, four PFDs, anchor kit, inshore flares, 12-months registration and insurance.

The dinghy will be given away by a random draw at the presentation on the Saturday evening at the club.

Fishing hours are from 6am-3pm with more than 800 anglers expected to launch their boats from Hillarys and Ocean Reef, with every competitor able to weigh in one fish of each species and the heaviest specimen winning the day.

The weigh-in downstairs on the stage should start around 4pm and will be hosted by veteran fishing writer Mike Roennfeldt and club member Glen Omond, with a huge crowd expected to gather as the social side of the event takes over through to the presentations upstairs from about 7.30pm.

As always, organisers have their fingers crossed for some good weather for the day, with Sunday a reserve day just in case.

MAAC club manager Rob Weir said it was shaping as another great day for all involved.

“It’s a competition open to the general public and you don’t have to the greatest fisho, as we do six inshore species and six offshore to give everyone an equal chance,” he said.

“Once the fishing is done, when people come back here the hospitality is great, there is a great atmosphere, we keep our prices down and there is good bar food.

“It is a good day for people to try out fishing, or just come check out the fishing club.

“It’s important that everyone has a good time as we want more people to get involved in fishing.”

Registration forms can be found at many tackle stores including Compleat Angler, Bluewater Tackle World, Tackle HQ and BCF, or online registration is available at www.maac.com.au, where more details including rules can also be found.

Anglers can also register at the club from 9am-5.30pm on weekdays.

Last-minute registrations are available at the ramps up until 9am on the morning of the event, but there is a late entry fee, while there is a Daiwa rod and reel up for grabs for anyone who registers online before the 15th.

The MAAC will also be running a shuttle bus from the Hillary Boat Ramp from 3.30pm on the day of the Classic, due to the lack of parking at the club.

Caption: Richard Edwards with his winning baldchin groper from last year’s Bluewater Classic.