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MEDIA RELEASE - Perfect end to Hooked on Tuna competition

30 April 2018

A tuna weighing almost 106kg has claimed the top prize of the 2018 Hooked on Tuna competition, with anglers making the most of the perfect weather conditions during the last weekend of entries.

Melbourne angler Paul Hourmouzis caught the winning catch, an impressive 105.9kg barrel on Saturday, to take the overall $5000 cash prize of the month long competition.

He was closely followed by fellow Melbourne angler John DeGroot with his slightly lighter 104kg catch followed by Jony Ai, also of Melbourne, with his 29kg effort.

Mr Hourmouzis described the win as ‘total elation’.

“It was a bit of a shock at first, but it was really satisfying to be able to finally reel in the 100kg catch that had been eluding me for the past seven years,” he said.

“I’ll share the $5000 prize amongst my crewmates, and no doubt on some further fishing equipment.”

Mr Hourmouzis encouraged other keen anglers to participate in next year’s competition.

“The real drawcard of this competition is how accessible it is – anyone with a rod and reel has the opportunity to take home the top prize,” he said.

“I know I’ll absolutely be back again in 2019 to try my luck and hopefully retain my winning title.”

Mr Hourmouzis’ winning catch knocked off previous leader and third prize recipient Jony Ai, who had been leading the competition for a fortnight until the weekend’s ideal fishing conditions aided the mammoth fishing haul.

It is believed five tuna weighing in excess of 100kg have been caught in Portland waters over the past week.

Mayor Cr Anita Rank said a record 240 people had entered the competition, largely drawn from metropolitan post codes.

“This is now the third year of the Hooked on Tuna competition and it is clear to see this is becoming a must do event for die hard anglers,” she said.

“Impressively, this is the first competition that has hauled the elusive 100kg barrel catches, all caught on the final weekend of the competition.

“This competition has become an important event on our busy events calendar, further positioning our profile as the southern Bluefin tuna capital and building our profile as a hub for active tourism activities.”

Co-event organiser Michael Hunter predicted further success for the event in the years to come.

“What an exciting way to finish off a great month of fishing, with not one, but two, 100kg plus catches taking home prizes,” he said.

“The competition continues to go from strength to strength every year, with keen anglers coming from far and wide to test their skills in Portland’s waters.

“Following the success of this year’s event, I expect that 2019 will attract more entrants than ever.”

The final weekend of fishing included a presentation by lure guru Peter Pakula, who travelled from Queensland to share his tips on how to fish well in the testing southern ocean conditions.

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