The three-day catch, tag and release competition is one of the first in the Australian game fishing season and is timed to coincide with the annual run of sailfish in the Exmouth Gulf.

EGFC Club Manager Ben Knaggs said the competition follows a Pro-Am format which makes it popular with both experienced sportfishers and amateurs alike, with around 60 competitors expected to take part.

“There is a whole range of people getting involved, from mums, dads and kids, through to full professional charter guides, with every one having an excellent chance at winning some fantastic prizes” Ben said.

“We get a lot of interest in the Billfish Bonanza, as a major aspect of the tournament is the aggregation of large numbers of sailfish in the shallow, sheltered waters of Exmouth Gulf which is a very unique situation for a game fishing tournament”

The Billfish Bonanza does not capture fish which are brought in, rather fish are set free while still in the water and the capture logged to form part of a greater scientific program run by NSW Fisheries, which tracks the migration routes of billfish.

“In the past we have seen fish tagged and released in Exmouth travel as far as Africa or Java”

“This is information that simply would not be available without the citizen science efforts of our competitors and club members.”

K+S Salt Australia Managing Director Gerrit Gödecke said he was delighted to support this local event.

“We have been coming to Exmouth for a number of years now and appreciate how important angling is to so many people.”

“It’s great to see so many people are set to compete and I wish everyone the best of luck.