TOP ANGLER: Lofty Wendt accepts the Angler of the Year trophy from Biggenden Fishing Club president Andrea Kelly.
TOP ANGLER: Lofty Wendt accepts the Angler of the Year trophy from Biggenden Fishing Club president Andrea Kelly. Erica Murree

Surprises all round for Lofty

A freshwater fish has bagged Lofty Wendt the title of overall angler of Biggenden Fishing Club.

The criteria for champion angler points is tallied over both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Even though his nephew Gavin Kelly had 203 points over saltwater fishing, Wendt won the champion angler crown by a mere point as he had fished both categories.

Wendt has won the title in 2010, 2012 and 2015.

"Over the years it's always been a competition between Gav and me,” he said.

In 1917 the club didn't have a champion because no freshwater fish were caught.

The day was full of surprises for Wendt, as he also received the David Platten Memorial trophy for biggest freshwater fish, a 54cm yellowbelly.

When he resigned as president at the club's annual meeting last year he was awarded life membership.

On Sunday he was surprised when president Andrea Kelly pinned the badge on.

"After the other two trophies this is the icing on the cake,” he said.

A much sought-after trophy introduced in 2014 by Beth and Greg Maitland is the trophy for most points by a family.

Mrs Kelly said this was a wonderful acknowledgement of the club as they prided ourselves on being a family club.

In their first year in the fishing club, the Smith family of Paul, Mel, Anieka and Jett were the excited winners.

Mr Smith said last year at the Lifestyle for Kids Day, Anieka and Jett loved it so they decided the join.

"I wished as an adult I could have been part of the day as I've never fished before,” he said.

"But I have booked myself into the day when the club has the professional on board to teach us how to fish with lures.”

Mr Smith said it's been fantastic.

"We've gone on a few weekend trips to Buxton, Mairi and Woodgate,” he said.

This is all new country to the Smiths, who came to Biggenden from Brisbane.

"We've been scuba diving but never fishing,” Mr Smith said.

"The club has been more than accommodating as we don't own a boat.”

Other award winners:Saltwater: most points, Gavin Kelly 203 and Lyn Pym 88. Best fish: Brad Doyle with a 60cm flathead and Lyn Pym, 53cm flathead. Junior: Jett Smith 72 points and best fish with 62cm flathead.

Freshwater: most points: Deam Pym 92. Best fish: Lofty Wendt with a 54cm yellowbelly.

Skin fish: best cat fish, Tyler Roberts with a 46cm catfish. Most cat fish, Gayle Roberts 253 points

Specific species, junior, Aneika Smith with a 41cm flathead.


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