Gamex 2023 - The iconic fishing tournament
ONE lucky team walked away with a new boat after competing in Gamex last week.
The iconic fishing tournament run by the Exmouth Game Fishing Club this year offered over $150,000 in prizes, including a trailerboat from Northbank Boats.
To be eligible to win the boat teams simply needed to catch at least two fish during the six days of competition and the winners were team Max Factor.
First time Gamex participants, the crew of Dale Walker, Lee Rayson and Alistair Minas from Perth were absolutely thrilled when their name was randomly drawn at the presentations.
Organiser Ben Knaggs tried to get a few words out of them, but they were speechless after their big win.
It was another great week on and off the water, with 58 boats and 245 anglers competing in the 55th Gamex.
In total, 631 billfish were raised, 461 were hooked and 237 were tagged.
Black marlin dominated billfish captures, with 161 tagged, compared to 68 sailfish, seven blue marlin and one striped marlin.
Other species caught included Spanish and shark mackerel, yellowfin tuna, golden trevally, queenfish, cobia, wahoo, spangled emperor and dolphinfish, with 27 sections up for grab in total.
There were even a couple of pending records, in line class categories for young angler Luke Mounsey.
One of the big winners for the week was the team aboard Black Marlin, who won Champion Boat Tag and Release Marlin, with 11 marlin.
Second was local charter boat Blue Horizon with nine fish, while local charter guru Eddy Lawler was Top Tagging Captain.
Fatal Attraction took out Champion Boat Overall Capture/Tag and Release with 11 species and 11 line classes, narrowly ahead of Awesum.
Champion Male Angler was local tackle store owner Matt Gates, while Champion Female Angler was Bri Bollard.
Champion Small Fry Angler was Dean Gates, while Champion Junior Angler was Jessica Hournhardt.
Experienced charter skipper Craig White from Evolution Charters had a great week, his team taking out three sections including Champion Boat Tag and Release Sailfish.
One of his crew was a very old friend of mine, Dave Somerville, who I have known since I was a little kid in Esperance and is a truffle baron these days.
Off the water highlights included the very popular kids day, a family event on the first Sunday at the marina next to the EGFC clubhouse, which was won by three-year-old Rory Williams for catching a big javelin fish.
All up, Gamex is estimated to pump well over a million dollars into the Exmouth economy each year.
Dates for next year are March 8-16 and the club expects to have an even bigger prize pool, including another boat up for grabs.
Image caption: Team Evolution Charters was one of the big winners at Gamex 2023.