GAMEX 2022 TOURNAMENT REPORT The Exmouth Game Fishing Club’s GAMEX sport and game fishing tournament is Western Australia’s biggest and most prestigious fishing event, showcasing Exmouth’s extraordinarily diverse fishing options via 30 different prize categories across line class, tag & release and capture sections for more than 50 eligible gamefish species.
Held in March each year, the 54th running of GAMEX from March 18-26, 2022 was once again impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions and health concerns which largely prevented international and interstate visitors from attending. Despite this though, the turnout of 48 teams and 183 anglers from throughout Western Australia was well above what the event organizers were expecting, which highlights the popularity of the tournament.
With a fantastic weather forecast for GAMEX’s six days of tournament fishing aiding the fleet featuring boats of all sizes, teams were super-keen to hit the water for the start of fishing on Sunday March 20. Most crews opted to chase billfish on day one and the action was reasonable with 55 billfish tagged for the first day of fishing. Small to mid-sized black marlin dominated the score sheet, with the day’s total tag tally comprised of 42 black marlin, 11 sailfish, 1 blue marlin and 1 striped marlin.
Day one ended up being the peak of the billfishing, with figures of 44, 27, 18, 24 and 35 billfish tagged over the following five days. The total of 203 billfish tagged (130 black marlin, 67 sailfish, 5 blue marlin and 1 striped marlin) was poor by Exmouth’s lofty standards, but these numbers still rival the world’s best destinations and tournaments even in a slow year!
Amongst the billfish tagged & released were some nice fish including black marlin to 120kgs. Haulin’ had the highlight of the billfishing with a big sailfish on day two which may have gone close to the all-tackle Australian Record of 88.75kg, but the team opted to tag and release the fish rather than weigh it in for record purposes.
Team Black Marlin skippered by Eddy Lawler took out the major billfish section of Champion Boat Tag & Release Marlin for the second time in three years with their 21 marlin tagged. Top Deck were runners-up with 13 marlin tagged. Champion Boat 7m & Under Tag & Release Billfish went to Pussee Galore with 10 fish tagged, and Champion Boat Tag & Release Sailfish was won by Reel Teaser with 8 sailfish tagged.
The beauty of GAMEX as a tournament is its variety, with 30 different sections across both tag & release and capture for a wide array of fish species showcasing Exmouth as a genuine world class sport and game fishing destination. On the line class capture side of the event the fishing was likewise quite tough going, but there were still 35 fish weighed in, which included Spanish mackerel, shark mackerel, school mackerel, queenfish, spangled emperor, golden trevally, cobia, mack tuna, yellowfin tuna, striped tuna and wahoo.
The most noteworthy of the line class captures was a 4.76kg queenfish on 1kg line to 10 year old Kalvin Gates which is a pending WA Male Small Fry state record; continuing GAMEX’s history of producing more state, national and world record claims than any other Australian fishing tournament.
Heading in to the final day of fishing, there was nothing in the major Champion Boat Overall Capture/Tag & Release section with half a dozen boats all just needing a good final day to take out the win. In the end though, team Got ‘Im On topped the leaderboard with their 7 species on 11 line classes for 5777.34 points from runner-up Mystic Knot who managed 6 species on 9 line classes for 5125.16 points.
Dates for GAMEX 2023 are March 17-25, with a new major prize of a $50,000 Northbank trailerboat package up for grabs. So get your team together and booked in now!
GAMEX 2022 SECTION RESULTS SECTION 1 Highest Point Score Game Fish Other than Billfish or Shark Weighed in on 1kg Line RUNNER UP: Matthew Horlock Mystic Knot 4.52kg Queenfish WINNER: Kalvin Gates KDMA 4.76kg Queenfish
SECTION 2 Highest Point Score Game Fish Other than Billfish or Shark Weighed in on 2kg Line RUNNER UP: Richard Horlock Mystic Knot 5.28kg Queenfish WINNER: Stephen Arscott Awesum 5.62kg Queenfish
SECTION 3 Highest Point Score Game Fish Other than Billfish or Shark Weighed in on 3kg Line RUNNER UP: Richard Horlock Mystic Knot 5.5kg Narrow Barred (Spanish) Mackerel WINNER: Kieran Passmore Awesum 5.76kg Golden Trevally
SECTION 4 Highest Point Score Game Fish Other than Billfish or Shark Weighed in on 4kg Line RUNNER UP: Stephen Arscott Awesum 6.54kg Golden Trevally WINNER: Vanessa Fourie The Meeting 9.62kg Narrow Barred (Spanish) Mackerel
SECTION 5 Highest Point Score Game Fish Other than Billfish or Shark Weighed in on 6kg Line RUNNER UP: Brento Smith Insalted 8.96kg Queenfish WINNER: Ron Conder Outabound 11.82kg Narrow Barred (Spanish) Mackerel
SECTION 7 Des Ryan Memorial Trophy Highest Point Score Game Fish Other than Billfish or Shark Weighed in on 10kg Line RUNNER UP: Scott Turrell Haulin’ 10.2kg Wahoo WINNER: Marie Pittock Outabound 11.70kg Narrow Barred (Spanish) Mackerel
SECTION 8 Champion Boat Tag & Release Shark RUNNER UP: Awesum 11 tags 6 line classes WINNER: Loosen Up 12 tags 5 line classes
SECTION 9 Champion Small Fry Angler (under 11yrs old) RUNNER UP: Kalvin Gates KDMA 4 species 6 line classes 2752 points WINNER: Harvey Mitchell Pussee Galore 2 species 6 line classes 4100 points
SECTION 10 Champion Junior Angler (under 16yrs old) RUNNER UP: Holly Bennett All The Gear No Idea 1 Species 1 Line Class 800 points WINNER: Axel Nelson Java 2 Species 6 Line Classes 1850 points
SECTION 11 Champion Female Angler RUNNER UP: Ashleigh Perry Last Drop 2 Species 3 Line Classes 2300 points WINNER: Jesse Sutton Got Im On 7 Species 10 Line Classes 5477.37points
SECTION 12 Champion Male Angler RUNNER UP: Nick Horlock Mystic Knot 3 Species 4 Line Classes 2700 points WINNER: Stephen Arscott Awesum 5 Species 11 Line Classes 3694.83 points
SECTION 13 Champion Small Fry Angler – Tag & Release Billfish RUNNER UP: Jake McClelland Grand Slam 5 tags 1 Line Class 2400 points WINNER: Harvey Mitchell Pussee Galore 8 tags 6 Line Classes 3900 points
SECTION 14 Champion Junior Angler – Tag & Release Billfish RUNNER UP: Alex Nelson Java 1 tag 1 Line Class 500 points WINNER: Holly Bennett All the Gear No Idea 3 tags 1 Line Class 1200 points
SECTION 15 Champion Female Angler – Tag & Release Billfish RUNNER UP: Jesse Sutton Got Im On 5 tags 5 line classes 2500 points WINNER: Deb Foster Hooked Up 6 tags 2 line classes 2700 points
SECTION 16 Champion Male Angler – Tag & Release Billfish RUNNER UP: Mal Roberts Black marlin 8 tags 1 line class 3900 points WINNER: Nathan Opalinski Top Deck 13 tags 1 line class 6100 points
SECTION 17 Champion Boat Tag & Release Sailfish RUNNER UP: Black Marlin 8 tags 1 line class 3200 points Time of Tag WINNER: Reel Teaser 8 tags 1 line class 3200 points Time of Tag
SECTION 18 Champion Boat Tag & Release Billfish Light Tackle (1-10kg line) RUNNER UP: Pussee Galore 4 tags 3 line classes 2100 points WINNER: Haulin’ 4 tags 1 line class 2300 points
SECTION 19 Champion Boat Tag & Release Billfish Medium Tackle (15-24kg line) RUNNER UP: Top Deck 13 tags 1 line class 6100 points WINNER: Black Marlin 20 tags 1 line class 9200 points
SECTION 20 Champion Boat Tag & Release Billfish Heavy Tackle (37-60kg line) RUNNER UP: Well Played 5 tags 1 line class 2000 points WINNER: Scavenger II 6 tags 1 line class 2300 points
SECTION 21 Champion Boat Tag & Release Billfish – Boats 7m & Under RUNNER UP: Trouble Maker 8 tags 2 line class 4000 points WINNER: Pussee Galore 10 tags 6 line classes 4800 points
SECTION 22 Champion Boat Tag & Release Billfish – Boats Over 7m RUNNER UP: Top Deck 13 tags 1 line class 6100 points WINNER: Black Marlin 21 tags 2 line classes 9800 points
SECTION 23 Champion Boat Tag & Release Marlin RUNNER UP: Top Deck 9 tags 1 line classes 4500 points WINNER: Black Marlin 13 tags 2 line classes 6600 points
SECTION 24 Champion Boat Overall Capture/Tag & Release RUNNER UP: Mystic Knot 6 Species 9 line classes 5125.16 points WINNER: Got Im’ On 7 Species 11 line classes 5777.34 points
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN GAME FISHING ASSOCIATION INTERCLUB WINNER: Exmouth Game Fishing Club
SECTION 25 Steve Pitman Memorial Trophy – Most Skilled Angler (most species on most line classes) WINNER: Jesse Sutton Got Im On 7 species 10 line classes
SECTION 26 George King Memorial Trophy – Top Tagging Captain (most tags) WINNER: Eddy Lawler Black Marlin 21 tags
SECTION 27 Phil Tickle Memorial Trophy – Most Meritorious Capture (Highest point score capture excluding billfish or shark) WINNER: Kalvin Gates KDMA 4.76kg Queenfish on 1kg 476 points