Girls Gone Fishin the Daly River aka #GGF2018

Ummm…

Where has 2018 gone? Could the year just slowwwww right down please? This post is just a tad overdue, our apologies for that but this year #life has just gotten so far in the way it isn’t funny!

Here is a recap, from our perspective, of GGF2018!!

Preparation for Girls Gone Fishin 2018 started off as any other year of the tournament has. The call out for expressions of interest went out to teams who wanted to join in on the fun of GGF, the response was AMAZING once again, with over 90 teams expressing their interest. Unfortunately, we only had space for a limited number of teams to fish the tournament, to ensure the integrity and amazingness (that is a word, right?), of the event maintains at the level it has come to be known for. So 50 invitations went out and we ended up with 44 confirmed and participating teams for GGF2018.

Early on in the process of organising GGF2018, there was more and more noise being made in the media and by the NLC about the potential closures to the coast lines of some of our most incredible fishing locations here in the Top End, the areas that were (and more than likely will be) going to be closed included the Finnis and Little Finnis river. This was a HUGE cause for concern for us, as these were the two predominant areas that our competitors fished in, and with too much unknown around if and when it would be closed, whether there would be a permit system introduced and whether that would allow us to have all of our teams gain access to these rivers (let alone what the cost would be for each permit), a decision was made to seek out alternative locations to hold GGF2018.

One area that piqued our interest was, of course, the mighty Daly River. Not only is it an incredible part of the Top End and home to the two longest running Barra Tournaments in the NT - the Barra Classic and the Barra Nationals, it is also an incredibly diverse river that allows anglers to try out new tactics and lures, depending on the tides / conditions of the river and to learn so much more about this beautiful place we live. After meeting with the owners of Banyan Farm, Wally and Kerri, the decision was made and we were moving our tournament!! Were our girls ready for this.. F*#k yeah they were!!

We announced our news to all of the teams and the response was way better than we could have EVER anticipated! The excitement of moving to Banyan Farm was great, and came as a huge relief to us at the same time. We do acknowledge that the move did not suit everyone, but our decisions were based on factors completely out of our control, and were made to mitigate any risk of getting to tournament weekend and not being able to access the areas we needed to fish.

So our new location was confirmed, teams were excited and it was time to get back to sourcing our awesome sponsors! We were, once again, inspired and humbled by the support we received, at every level of sponsorship. Our supporters range from national organisation such as  Great Northern Brewing Co and Lowrance, to local operators and startups here in Darwin such as  Barramundi Adventures Darwin and Akame Tackle, just to name a few. To check out our wonderful sponsors (a.k.a the biggest legends in the world) head to our GGF 2018 page here on the website and check them out!! 

Now that I have spoken about our behind the scenes of the event, it is time to get to the EXCITING part of GGF 2018 - when all the hard work, blood sweat and tears comes to fruition and our teams start rolling in for a weekend of bloody good fun!

Great Northern Welcome Night

Thursday 24th May 2018 saw the arrival of 44 teams, full of excitement, to our new home on The Daly, Banyan Farm! Our welcome night, as always, was sponsored by the amazing Great Northern Brewing Co who provide our competitors and skippers with ice cold brewski’s to get the weekend started! It is always so great to see new and old friends coming together, catching up and getting into the ‘what is your plan’ banter on welcome night.

After tea we got into our welcome night formalities - welcoming and introducing our teams, discussing the rules and thanking our amazing sponsors! Our goody bags were, once again, packed full of awesome gear for each and every competitor and skipper.

As the night progressed, it was clear which teams were catching ‘first night fever’. What is first night fever, you ask? Well, have you ever gone out for a fun night with your mates, run into other mates, and what was meant to be a nice night out, turns into the BEST night of your life? That there, is what first night fever is like! And it is catching more and more people as the years go by. A huge thanks goes out to Bridey Rose and her band mate Lukas for rocking the stage and ensuring the girls had some great tunes to dance the night away to!

Day One

Day 1 of fishing arrived and the teams were up and raring to go to see what the mighty Daly River had in store for them. Now you have to keep in mind that this was the 4th year some teams had fished GGF, and over the preceding 3 years, they had developed a great fishing style and understanding of the areas off Dundee, so a change to the Daly brought a whole new set of challenges, not only the navigation of a VERY low river, but also where to fish, what lures to fish with, how the fish act over the different tides in The Daly. Each and every team did took it in their stride and set out to see what was happening on the river.

Unfortunately for the organising committee, we didn’t have the opportunity to get out onto the water over the course of the day, a new venue meant we wanted to stay on land and make sure everything was going to plan. This resulted in a MASSIVE case of FOMO (fear of missing out), but also meant we didn’t get a first hand experience of what it was like on the water. So, as the teams started rolling in from the days fishing, Sammie, like a kid who was left out of a school excursion, asked EVERYONE what it was like - and the answers were all the same - the vibe on the water was ELECTRIC. Everyone was having fun, mingling, laughing with (and I am sure at) each other and just having a fat old time with their mates.


day one results:

Total Fish Capture - 140

1st Place - Bynoe Blush - 430 Points

2nd Place - Barra Maids - 410 Points

3rd Place - Size Matters - 390 Points

4th Place - The Humminbirds - 300 Points

Biggest Fish - 85cm - Angelina Anictomatis, Bynoe Blush

Smallest Fish - 26cm - Helen Clark, The Humminbirds

Talk about a narrow field heading into Day Two!!!

It is always really interesting to see how the field lands and the margin between teams after the first day of fishing is over, because it completely changes the way teams can behave. For example if the front runner is miles in front, you generally find most other teams will stick around and get ‘second night fever’ after the first days fishing, but if the field is narrow, and it is still anyone’s game, teams are off to bed early and nutting out their action plans for the following day. This year, it was the latter!

Barralympics

Another highlight of the GGF weekend is our games night, the Barralympics. This is a night where anyone who wants to participate can, and if you don’t want to and we need more numbers, you still can (and will) haha! This year saw 4 games being played, the first was a three legged race with someone who you didn’t know - talk about making new friends (or enemies) real quick! The second was a game of skill and speed - also known as the cup stacking game (now it is, anyway), the third game was all about sticking your nose where it shouldn’t be (a jar of vaseline) and then transporting cotton wool balls from one bowl to another and the final game, which sorted out the winner from the loser, was the balloon pyramid - whereby you had to create a pyramid of cups using only a balloon and your breath (and of course some cups).

Congratulations to our winner winner chicken dinner Leila Carrick for taking out the prize and winning the ultimate - a Spit Roast Hire sponsored by Top End Welding Services.  


Day Two

After a hearty breakfast, with thanks to the wonderful crew at Banyan Farm, the teams were on the water bright and early to see what the river had in store for them for the final day of the tournament. Teams headed off to their new found fishing spots and cast their lines with the hope today was going to be their day.

Once again, the fish turned up and the girls landed an impressive 152 fish on the final day of the tournament.

Lines out came and teams started rolling into the official tournament area to drop their score cards and photo’s off and once again, the vibe was just awesome. Happy fisho’s, happy friends, and just bloody happy people!

day two results:

Total Fish Capture - 152

1st Place - Barra Maids - 705 Points

2nd Place - The Humminbirds - 660 Points

3rd Place - Size Matters - 645 Points

4th Place - Barra Babes - 585 Points

Biggest Fish - 84cm - Rachel Kenna - Barra Maids

Smallest Fish - 19cm - Racquel Luby - Champagne Divette’s

Overall Results

After another great weekend of fishing, it was time to announce our winners!

Runner up best dressed team

Reel Screamers

Best dressed team

Fishin for Compliments

 Fishin for compliments - best dressed team

Fishin for compliments - best dressed team

masterbait gossip girl

Fishilicious, for their poem -

You can teach an old dog new tricks

With a pack of 30 year olds we’ve thrown another in the mix 
A 55 year old publican is learning new tricks

Now we’re not talking about fishing secrets, She ties her own knots 
She’s picked up a few words, some we’d rather not 

You’d think owning a pub you would have seen it all 
But the Barra olympics put a start to it all

There were a few terms being thrown around but one caught her attention 
It didn’t make sense so she gave it a mention 

“Guys .... what does it mean when they say “spit roast”
Oh my god We were white as a ghost

Well mother dear please take a seat
Get ready for this .... you’re in for a treat 

It’s when a “lady” kind of takes it times 2
... one in the mouth ...and one in the poo. 

Little we knew, There were more things to learn
But trust Ol skippo gave it a turn 

Russ and Lauren pull up aside 
and said
“We have a beer bong, give it a try” 

At first she watched Andy to learn what to do
But of course this mamma said 
SHIT GIMMEE TWO

One more thing she quite enjoyed learning was the fisherman’s sayings as the tide was just turning 

NO WOBBLE NO GOBBLE skippo called from the back 
“What the fucks that mean” she said with a kack

So while we caught fuck-all we all learnt something fun
What you learn at Girls Gone Fishing gets passed to your Mum.

northern cloud Smallest Barra

19cm - Racquel Luby - Champagne Divette’s

 a very excited racquel after learning she won the smallest barra prize

Tao house & asap biggest barra

85cm - Angelina Anictomatis - Bynoe Blush

 angelina anictomatis - biggest barra for 2018 - 85cm

Royal mane runner up champion angler

645 Points - Mel Krollig - Barra Maids

GGF_PRESENTATION_WEB30.jpg

lowrance champion angler

775 Points - Emily Melville - Size Matters

GGF_PRESENTATION_WEB31.jpg

able finance runner up champion team

1035 points - Size Matters, Emily, Melita, Helen and skipper Daryl

GGF_PRESENTATION_WEB32.jpg

Great northern champion team

1115 points - Barra Maids, Dani, Colleen, Rachel, Mel

Our first independent team to take out the title!

Thats a wrap!

And just like that the weekend was over! It is never long enough, which is why we have made the decision to add another day of fishing to the tournament going forward! GGF 2019 will be held from 11 - 13 April at Banyan Farm (with the welcome night being 10th April).

A giant thanks to everyone who helps to put the weekend together, our sponsors, suppliers, committee members, marshals, worker bees and especially to Gilly, who lends a hand to anyone and everyone who needs it over the course of the weekend!

To tide you over until 2019, here are some great video’s from our videographer Bedlam TV!

See you in 2019 x

No Bitchin' - Just Fishin!

I was recently asked what it was about fishing that I liked (LOVED) so much, which got me thinking about what it is that I do actually like about it!

To set the scene for this, I want you to watch this short video on Why Men and Women Think DifferentlyFor those who CBF watching a video for 5 minutes, here is an excerpt

As explained in the video (or on the pic), women's brains are wired so incredibly differently to mens, everything is connected and at any one time we are thinking of a handful (at the bear minimum) of different things. As I write this, I am thinking about how crap the TV show my other half is watching is, what time my Doctors appointment is tomorrow, that my laptop needs to be charged, my legs need to be shaved and this bloody couch needs to be replaced.....! I can only imagine that if there were a couple of kidlets running around our place there would be something along the lines of thank fuck little Johnny is in bed (if I was lucky) or why won't little Johnny go.the.fuck.to.sleep also running through my brain box.

How does this tie into my love for fishing, you ask? Well as Mark Gungor explains, men have a nothing box.... you know it is true, how many times have you asked your other half what they are thinking about and they say NOTHING. When I go fishing, I, somehow, manage to find a nothing box... I am honestly able to answer nothing when someone asks me what I am thinking.... but this ONLY happens when I am fishing (or extremely hungover and my brain is protesting my actions by not working). 

How you ask? Being on the water is bloody magic, in particular when you are out in the deep blue and cannot see land or any other vessel or sign of civilisation and all you can see is the ocean, the horizon and your line in the water (and a delightfully cold beer). All your worries, thoughts, stresses of life seem to just disappear and all you are left with is total and utter relaxation and wonder about what it is that you will pull out of the deep blue water.... ahhhh so relaxing! 

Here are some of the other reasons I LOVE fishing:

- The Thrill of the chase - you can never guarantee what you are going to catch, and the excitement / guessing game you play when you pull that fish to the boat is EPIC. I am sure you can all relate to this: "Goldy, I am calling Goldy, yep definitely a goldy, head is shaking like a snapper - ah fuck it's a shark" or "jesus this is a stonker Barra, it has to be over a metre, it is pulling like hell" - nek minute it is just a feisty little 73cm fella! There is something about that adrenaline rush that just gets me going, and gets me super keen to see what I can catch next (or keeps me going on a slow day)!

- The one on one time you get to spend with your Friends and Family - how often are you in a space with your nearest and dearest, where phone service is patchy (here in the Top End it is, anyway) and you get a chance to actually have a chat and see what is happening in each others worlds? 

- The people you meet, either at your local club or at fishing competitions! I have met some of the best chicks at fishing comps! Over the past 12 - 18 months I have formed some great friendships with fellow female fisho's (and men too, but this post is is about the females) who are willing to share their knowledge or listen to mine (very few and far between) with ZERO judgement. It is the best!! There is NO expectation for any of us to know it all, which is lucky, because there is so much that I do not know! We have had some wicked weekends fishing together, they are the type of people you can get away with for a weekend and just chill the eff out, drink some (ok lots of) brewski's and come home feeling super relaxed and refreshed. There is NO BITCHIN' - JUST FISHIN'! 

There are plenty more reasons why I love fishing, too many to list - but these are just some of my very favourite reasons! 

Here is hoping you get to enjoy this wonderful past time, just as I do! 

Tight Lines

Sammie x

 

What a weekend! GGF 2017

Hello Friends of GGF, 

In the blink of an eye, the 2017 Able Finance Services Girls Gone Fishin Competition has been and gone. In some ways, it feels like it hasn't happened yet, but those post event feels are strong, which is a reminder that it, in fact, has. 

Where do I start in even trying to recap the weekend that was GGF 2017? I guess the best place would be from the start, so here goes...

Thursday 18th May 2017 saw the arrival of 43 teams of female fisho's (a.k.a legends) to The Lodge of Dundee for the Great Northern Welcome night. The evening began with some ice cold Great Northern Super Crisp beers and some incredible platters of tasty morsels that were prepared by the incredibly talented team from The Lodge.

It was amazing to see how many teams had made the effort to get team shirts produced. What was even more amazing to see was the incredible amount of sponsors logos on each of their own shirts - these are businesses who have helped these teams get to the event, some of whom had sponsored us as well! 

After a couple of cold ones, we launched into the formalities. The excitement in the marquee was electric, and as soon as the words "Welcome to the 2017 Able Finance Services Girls Gone Fishin competition" were said the crowd erupted into screams of delight and we knew from that moment on that it was going to be an incredible weekend. As with every year, we thanked our INCREDIBLE sponsors, and welcomed each team on to the stage to collect their Vanguard Homes goody bags full of GGF merch, sponsor goodies and a water bottle with a message close to my (Sammie's) heart - "It Ain't Weak to Speak" with thanks to Livin, which is an organisation that is raising awareness and trying to remove the stigma around mental health.  After going through the rules, some of the teams headed off to get a good nights sleep ahead of day one, but, as always, there were a few teams with 'first night fever' who hung around and enjoyed the music and the drinks. 

Night 1 Collage.jpg

Day one comes and all teams were at the boat ramp at 5am for breakfast and a Pauls Iced Coffee, and were chomping at the bit to hit the water. The new boat ramp facility at Dundee Beach made an amazing difference to the launching of the boats this year, along with the amazing marshals we had helping us out this year. The lighting (or lack thereof) of the ramp is an issue, and something I am hoping is addressed sooner rather than later. Luckily we had the foresight, and had our own set of flood lights set up - which helped shed some light on the situation! All teams were on the water prior to lines in at 7am. 

We headed out to check in on the teams and see what was happening on the river, most of the teams we came across had caught a fish (or five)! The vibe on the water was just as electric as that in the marquee the night prior, and our teams were all having a ball. We watched a few teams catching fish - the river seemed to be producing the goods - woohoo. We came across Wasted Talent, with Trish Wright on what appeared to be a snag... They had an interesting method of trying to get off the snag, and were doing some serious circle work on the river.... after asking them what the hell was going on, they advised us Trish was on a fish, and that it was wrapped around a snag. Another 10 or so minutes of this passed, and you could see Trish all but give up hope and sent her lure retriever down her braid - 5 or so minutes of working that passed, when all of a sudden 'ping' the tension on the line went and Trish started winding madly, only to realise that her line had snapped.... she wound that in, and started bringing in the lure retriever when all of a sudden she screams "I've got the fish"! The front treble of her Classic Lure was in the fish's mouth, and the back treble was hooked through the lure retriever.... If we hadn't seen it with our own eyes, we wouldn't have believed the story!! 

We started making our way back down the river continuing to check in with all the teams on the way to make sure they were all having a good time, there would have only been about three teams out of those we spoke to who had yet to land a fish - pretty impressive for 10am on day 1!

We headed back to base to get ready for the evening's festivities, but not before catching up with team Anchor Management, who modestly told us that Kaylee Festing had just landed a 95cm beauty! Woohoooooo!!! 

 amazing how thick the fish were that were caught this year! 95cm slab of barramundi caught by kaylee festing! 

amazing how thick the fish were that were caught this year! 95cm slab of barramundi caught by kaylee festing! 

After lines out at 5pm, teams headed back to the boat ramp for retrieval, it was awesome to see so many confident chicks reversing trailers down the ramp, they all did an amazing job! For those who were still practicing, we had a great team of marshals on hand to assist in that area! I (Sammie) was amongst it at the boat ramp catching the tall tales from the day, while Hayley & Tara took the score sheets and photo's from our teams.

As the last few teams were being retrieved, Hayley approached me at the top of the ramp and asked me to come check on my scoring spreadsheet. I left the ramp and headed over to ask what the problem was.... the spreadsheet was recording 186 fish (with still more scoresheets to be handed in) and they (and I when they told me) were in a bit of shock!! I mean we had spoken to a lot of teams and they had caught fish, but we left the river before lunch time, so we had no idea about the quantities that were caught through the rest of the day! We got to cross referencing the paper sheets to the spreadsheet (all the while still adding the score cards as they were handed in) and at the end of the count the numbers matched perfectly....

244 Barramundi

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! We were lost for words... how could it be possible, that in one day, our anglers had caught more fish than the first two years added together?!?!? Our weekends were made, all the hard work, all the time and effort and stressing about how the event would turn out paid off in that very moment for us! The rest of the weekend was truly going to be a bonus. The fishing gods had turned it on for our anglers, and we couldn't be more delighted. 

Our teams headed off to freshen up for the evening, and rolled into the marquee in time for dinner to be served. Once again, the meals provided by The Lodge of Dundee were second to none.

After tea, it was time to get stuck into the formalities. We were so excited to announce the capture (and release) figure for the day! After a few guesses from the crowd, 80, 160, we announced the impressive figure of 244... the roof of the marquee just about lifted off the frame as the teams roared with excitement at how incredibly well they had done for the day!! There were looks of shock and delight around the marquee, the energy was amazing and from an organisers perspective, you truly could not ask for a better response! 

Before the excitement settled down too much, we held our annual Barralympics competition... which is a HILARIOUS sight each year, and this year was no different. Barralympics is a series of events where participants are knocked out until we have a winner. Round 1 this year was Jimmy Fallon's Egg Russian Roulette - if you haven't seen it before, do yourself a favour and google it! The girls had no idea what they were in for and the look on their faces when we announced it was nothing short of priceless - we had 20 boiled eggs and the rest were raw... three, two, one smash on head, boiled eggs move through to next round. From there, the girls moved onto a team event where they had to land 5 ping pong balls into the container on the top of their team mates heads, which was followed by Blindfolded Musical Chairs.... oh looord was this event a treat for us viewers!! There were three winners of this, who moved onto stocking bowling, where they had to mow down 5 water bottles using the tennis ball in the end of a pair of stockings that was tied to their head.... All in all a spectacular show! 

The scores for Day 1 were close, which meant it was still anyones game! Some teams headed home so they could get up bright and early, while the rest enjoyed the tunes being played by DJ Fletch and the beverages being served by the awesome team behind the bar. 

After a good nights sleep, we headed to the ramp bright and early for day two. Lots of teams had arrived at the ramp and launched before 5 in an effort to get to their fishing spots to ensure they were there for lines in at 7am, others arrived right on 5 and from there, it was a steady stream of boats arriving and launching. Once again, our teams were spoilt with a great Brekkie and some refreshments courtesy of Pauls and Coca Cola. 

We didn't get out on the water on day two, we had too much to do back at base to get the marquee ready and decorated for the nights festivities. We spent the day getting organised, did a little emergency recovery of a marshal boat, towing it back to the ramp from Stingray Head, and headed to the marquee at lunch time to get started on the decorating.... HOLY SHIT it takes a loooong time to blow up balloons and organise them as table decorations. 200 balloons for 40 table centres, 2 huuuuge balloons (that were supposed to be octopus but had other ideas and ended up in the roof of the marquee, streamers, nemo pool toys, hand made coral, jewels for the tables.... it looked great, but my god were we buggered! At 5pm, when the first lot of boats came back in, we were madly grabbing all the prizes out of the trailer while still tidying up our decorating mess and trying to organise all the prizes into their categories. As always, we pulled it off, and when we stood back to look at the marquee it looked AMAZING!! We were so excited. 

It didn't take long for the whispers of a big fish being caught to get back to us in the marquee! Knowing how fishing stories go, in fact we had one on the pre fish day - one of the teams had caught a 92cm Barra in the Little Finnis, and Sammie had been in The Finnis River and had caught a 78cm Barra, however, by the time the welcome night had come around, Sammie had caught a 92cm Fish in The Little Finnis!! Anyway, back to the story, and knowing how fishing stories go, we waited to see the score cards come in before we confirmed the capture of this big fish, and when we saw it, boy oh boy were we STOKED!! 

104cm of beautiful Barramundi!! 

Woohoo! Kristy Kelly of team Reel Exposure had landed a beautiful 104cm horse in The Little Finnis. What made this capture even more exciting was the fact that this was the ONLY fish that Reel Exposure caught for the weekend - what a bloody good effort!! Score cards kept coming in, Day Two looked like another incredibly successful day on the water! One team had caught 18 Barra for the day.... HOLY MOLY! At the end of the count, we had 186 fish recorded as Day Two's capture.... WOW. 

The teams headed off for showers and to get dressed up in their costumes for the evenings festivities - the theme for 2017 was Under The Sea. We weren't disappointed when teams started rolling in!! There were Jelly Fish Galore, but not just ordinary Jelly Fish, there were LED lights, streamers, umbrella's! It was the most incredible sight, especially when they all started a Jelly Fish Conga Line and danced around the whole event space, they then took it to the dance floor and moved in such a way that it looked like there was a sea of real life Jelly Fish on the dance floor! These weren't the only great costumes though, there were crab pots, Nemo, Dory & Crew, Bearded Clams (haha), Turtles, King Neptune, Crabs!! The choice of a winning costume was super hard, but the winners were the girls from Reel Rebels, Megan, Jen & Kelly who had an original, and fantastic costume! 

After another delicious meal, it was time to announce the winners!! 

Best Dressed Team

Winning Gift Baskets kindly made with love by Lenna Lehmann

Reel Rebels -  Best Dressed Team

Reel Screamers – 2nd

Chix with Stix – 3rd

 

Random Catch

Taking home a Crocosaurus Cove Double Cage Dive voucher each, with thanks to Crocosaurus Cove

110cm Jewie – Kate McCullough, Team Bynoe Blush

95cm Queenie – Kelly Brand, Team Sheila Reelers

Masterbait Gossip Girl

Masterbait Prize Pack, with thanks to MasterBait

LouAnne Duncan, Barra Slayers – Fully pumped for the 81!!!

DAYTWO_WINNERS_GGF82.jpg

Galvins Plumbing Smallest Barra

Winning an Outback Floatplane Adventure The Ultimate Tour Voucher

26cm – Delissa Bell, Team Birdsnest

DAYTWO_WINNERS_GGF83.jpg

BigFish Gear Biggest Barra

Winning a Shimano Rod & Reel, 65L Girls Gone Fishin Esky (Evakool), Trophy

104cm – Kristy Kelly, Team Reel Exposure

Sign City Runner Up Champion Angler

Winning a Shimano Curado Reel – 200i, G-Loomis EX-6 Rod, Precision Marine $500 service voucher

790 points - Tracy Saliba, Team Cupla Qwyties and a Chill

Outback Floatplane Adventures Champion Angler

HeliFish for 3 x people, Trophy

965 points - Emily Melville, Team Size Matters

Wigg Plumbing Runner Up Champion Team

With thanks to Wigg Plumbing & Great Northern - Winners got Shimano Spin Reel, Shimano Barra Raider Rod, Great Northern Eskies, Shirts, Lures, Calendars and Trophies!

1535 points, Team Size Matters, Emily Melville & Melita McKinnon, Skippered by Darryl Melville

Evakool Champion Team

Shimano Exsence Reel, G-Loomis EX-6 Rod, 85L Evakool Esky, Bigfish Canvas Print, Territory Guided Fishing Voucher, Ella Bache Facial Vouchers, 

1675 points - Team Wasted Talent, Lenna Lehman, Trudy Hallas, Trish Wright, Skippered by Leigh Wright

After the winners were announced, it was time to party! And that we did with thanks to DJ Fletch on the decks! The atmosphere was INCREDIBLE. At 12:30am there were still over 100 people at the event dancing the night away, thank you to Fletcher who hung around and did three or four more "ONE MORE SONG, ONE MORE SONG, ONE MORE SONG'S" and for the music throughout the presentation of the prizes - you really helped set the mood and build the suspense!! 

What an incredible weekend! 420 Barramundi caught and released over two days by 143 women!!! Every single team recorded a point scoring fish - something that has not happened in a competition that we have ever been part of before!!! What a bunch of absolute legends. The girls fished hard, the fish were biting. The river looked amazing, clear and full of life! Lots of small fish were caught, which excites us beyond belief for the next few years of fishing in that area. 

A HUGE thank you to our amazing sponsors, without your support, Girls Gone Fishin would not happen! We trust that you feel well represented at the event, and look forward to continuing our partnership for years to come. Make sure you check out our sponsors for 2017! 

To everyone who put time in to the event, thank you! The commitee, you are awesome, Andrew Case and the team at The Lodge of Dundee, you are awesome and did an incredible job, Hayley (who was out there with her 5 month old son) and Tara - the weekend just would not run without you two - you do all the menial but important tasks while I run around like a headless chook, my partner Tim, my family for your support. You all friggen rock! 

And last, but not least, thank you and well done to our competitors and skippers. Whilst we bust a gut organising an incredible weekend, you are the people who turn up with good attitudes, good vibes and have good fun! Without you, there is no Girls Gone Fishin. 

If you aren't already doing so, follow us on FB and check out the photo's and keep up to date on the latest happenings of GGF! 

Girls Gone Fishin is fucking awesome! Woo

Sammie x

Girls Gone Fishin... should be easy to organise... right?

Organise a fishing comp they said, it will be fun, they said.....

This is perhaps one of the only times I use this sentence with sincerity! I am usually using it in a joking fashion to my friends whose kids are throwing an epic tantrum (have kids they said... it will be fun they said...), organising Girls Gone Fishin is fun, and exciting, and scary, and daunting, and hard, and rewarding, all wrapped up into one AMAZING weekend, with people who believe in GGF and all that it is. 

For those of you who haven't followed the Girls Gone Fishin story from the start, let me take you back and share some insight into how it all came to be. 

Since 2011, I (Sammie) have had a desire to establish and run my own Women's fishing competition in the Top End, having fished in a number of other comps over the years, I saw that there were so many teams who had dropped off the radar, and the atmosphere of some of these events was changing. It was no longer as fun, the teams who I was so used to seeing out on the water were no longer showing up, the lunch time raft ups when the fishing was slow had all but ceased, the shit talking across the radio while out on the water was quiet - to me, these are what makes the weekend memorable, especially when the fishing is slow, as it has been for the past few years. Don't get me wrong, it was still fun - we still laughed and had a great time,  but it just wasn't as fun as it used to be. Some of you reading this may disagree, but remember this is my personal opinion, and is a the background for how GGF came about. 

Fast forward to October 2014, and hearing enough talk from me, my friend Brooke put a rocket up my ass and pushed me to start Girls Gone Fishin. We went to lunch, and we came up with the initial GGF master plan - to organise a friendly fishing competition, no more than 10 or so teams, organise some comp shirts, we all stay at my families beach house at Dundee and we run a friendly comp, in fact the initial plan for the trophy was a Ken & Barbie doll in a toy sized raft! Ha! As we sat there at lunch, we listed who we would contact about the event and came up with some numbers. We also toyed with the idea of making this a proper event..... 

Fast forward a couple of weeks, we sat on Brooke's couch and did some brain storming for a name, googling Roller Derby team names, throwing words around, coming up with HEAPS of different scenarios, until we finally settled on Girls Gone Fishin. From there, a business name was registered (you see, although this is a fun, friendly competition, there is still a requirement to do things properly, tax returns on the income and expenses, sponsorship invoices that need to be sent out etc.), a logo was designed and we set up a private group on FB and began inviting those people who we had listed into the group. What happened next was interesting, to say the least. People kept getting added to the group, and the interest in the comp grew. 

We realised that there was a demand for Girls Gone Fishin to be bigger than what we anticipated it was going to be, and so set out creating a bigger and better framework and plan for the competition. The private FB group turned into a public page, sponsorship letters were drafted and sent out, a bigger venue (The Lodge) was selected and we turned 10 or so teams into 29 registered and paid teams. HOLY MOLY. 

The next interesting thing to happen, was that the people we were sending sponsors letters to were coming back with a yes - what the heck, people want to give us money to help with the running costs of Girls Gone Fishin?! HAHA.

The next 6 months was a massive blur, Brooke was busy designing all the collateral for the comp, and I was busy managing all the registrations and the finances. As a joint force, we also managed to decide on what merchandise we wanted, what we wanted the trophy to look like (sadly no Ken & Barbie in a boat [YET] ), gathered sponsors, organised the menu with the Lodge, lanyards, stubby coolers, shirts, hats, buffs, spreadsheets, money, insurance, branding and promotion, keeping the competitors engaged, keeping sponsors informed - you name it, we did it!

The event was AMAZING! It completely exceeded our expectations, and blew us away. There were a few hiccups, such as being rained out on presentation night, but overall, it was just incredible. There were plenty of fish caught, a 110cm beautiful chrome Barra. 

After the first year, I took over the reigns of the comp, while Brooke continued to work on her ever growing business Studio B Designs. I was up for the challenge, and eager to make the second year even better than the first - more fun, more memorable. After the success of the inaugural comp, word had gotten out about Girls Gone Fishin, and I was getting enquiries left, right and centre. I decided it was time to start up a website, to try and systemise and handle the enquiries and expressions of interest that were coming through the emails. I enquired about getting a website built, but it was way outside what we had left in the account, so I decided to build it myself - ha! Wasn't that fun. Luckily for me, I am a quick learner, and having found a platform as easy as the one I am using made life a hell of a lot easier. 

Once the website was built, expressions of interest went out, I was inundated! Again, I was blown away by the support the comp was receiving and amazed by how many people wanted to fish it (in fact, to this day I am still excited when I hear people talking about the comp). 

I missed out a big part about organising the first year when I omitted to say I was lucky enough to be working for a great company where my workload allowed me to work pretty much full time on organising the event, which I needed, given the fact we had never organised anything like GGF before. Year two, I decided it was time for me to seek out more of a challenge in my professional world and moved into a new role with a property developer as a senior member of their finance team. I started with them at the same time as the EOI's were due in, registrations were coming in, invoices needed to be raised, deposits that were due and being monitored, concept designs for the theme for 2016, shirt and merchandise designs, goody bags, sponsors. Oh, and my professional move definitely threw me the challenge I was seeking, in the form of doing 80 hour fortnights, after taking 10 hours off during the fortnight to attempt attending uni to do my accounting degree. 

Again, the 6 months prior to the comp was another MASSIVE blur. I literally got to the event and looked around and thought... how the HELL did I pull this off? Somehow, all the merch was there, all the prizes were there, everything we needed, was there! I am incredibly thankful for the support of people like Megan Brown, who I was able to use as a sounding board for 2016, and who helped with sourcing some of our sponsors. I also need to make special mention to my two BEST friends, Hayley and Tara. Both of them have been by my side on the weekend of the event for both years, and have done an incredible job helping keep me calm, and keep me on track - I would be fucked without them. 

Girls Gone Fishin 2016 was EPIC. Amazing, mind blowing, incredibly, fun, hilarious. It was fucking fantastic! And I take so much pride knowing that my hard work paid off and produced the weekend that was. Before the event was even over (in fact, the week leading up to the comp), I had expressions of interest pouring in from teams who had heard of the comp, and wanted in. Like seriously, can I just focus on running the event for now?! HAHA! We had 34 teams in 2016. Incredible growth from year 1 (in my eyes).

Given the interest for 2017 that was already generating in the days before, and after 2016 event, expressions of interest opened in May 2016. By the time I sent invites out, we had over 76 teams register their interest, and to this very day, I am still getting enquiries as to whether we have spots left. For anyone reading this, the answer is no. We are at capacity with 43 teams. 

In June, my partner and I purchased our first home together, a month later, we were off to Canada and Alaska for a month long holiday, and when we returned in August, I decided that it was again time for a change in my professional life, so I started a new job on the 1st September. Not surprisingly, I had a bit of a breakdown, I could not cope with all the change that was happening in my life, and there was too much pressure (that I was putting on myself) and so I ended up with a pretty bad case of Depression and Anxiety. I was not functioning very well, and it got to the point where I did not think I could cope with organising Girls Gone Fishin. I was barely coping with my day to day life, how the hell was I supposed to cope with organising a women's fishing comp? Girls Gone Fishin 2017 almost did not happen. I was super close to announcing that there would be no event. 

Luckily for me, my sisters (being the bossy bitches that they are) told me that I was forming an organising committee and that we would all contribute to putting the event together. We enlisted the help of my besties, Hayley and Tara, as well as Megan Brown and Lenna, an old fishing buddy of all of ours. The pressure of Girls Gone Fishin was easing, and with some great support from my partner, family and Psychologist I was able to manage my anxiety and depression - and get on with the job of organising the best weekend of the year (as well as the rest of my life). 

In November, that new job I started back in September also wasn't working out quite the way I had hoped, and so after years of job hopping, and generally [thinking] I could do it better than it was being done, I started my own business.... Northern Cloud Consulting. On the 12th December I began working in my business full time. So far, it has been amazing, and it allows me the flexibility to work on GGF (although I do need to be careful, as GGF have super special rates of $0 an hour!!). 

Since then, it has been all systems go. Invites went out, registration forms came back in, sponsors letters have been sent to a multitude of people and we have once again got some amazing support behind us. As I sit here writing this, I am shaking my head in disbelief at how much this comp has grown - it humbles me that people had the faith in the idea, and have supported us the way they have. 

Wow - when I sat down to write this it was going to be a bit of an insight into the comp, but it has turned into so much more than that. I am not after sympathy, or empathy, judgement or comments. I love Girls Gone Fishin, it is a huge part of my life, and I strive to ensure that it is run with professionalism and integrity. We have an amazing community of fisho's in the top end, and that is evident when we all get together, whether it be at Girls Gone Fishin, The Barra Klash, The Nationals or The Classic, Shady Lady or SWB. We love our sport, we respect others that love our sport. That is what I want GGF to be about, Fun, Friendship and Fishing. 

As a side note, if you are suffering from anxiety and or depression, you are not alone. Fuck me it is a shit house thing to go through, and it does creep up on me from time to time, but just know you are not broken, or shit, or useless, or fucked, or dumb. You are navigating this ridiculous thing we call life! 

Tight lines ladies and gents. 

There is only 12 weeks to go until GGF 2017. FUCK YEAH! 

Sammie x

 

Why hello there, 2017!

Holy moly where has the past month gone?!! Before we know it, the 2017 Able Finance Services Girls Gone Fishin Invitational will be upon us! There is now 15 weeks to go until the comp kicks off, and we are getting sooooo excited. 

We are super proud to announce our amazing sponsors who have come on board to support the competition. The competition would not run without them, and for that, we are ever so grateful. Please make sure that you are supporting them and their businesses, as they are supporting us! 


 

This Week at GGF Headquarters

Our first lot of merchandise arrived this week, with great thanks to the legends at Livin - this is an amazing organisation that is aimed at removing the stigma around mental health! Check out their page for more info, they are doing some truly incredible works. Sam (one of the founders) was also a competitor on survivor! 

We also got the majority of our design work through from our fabulous designers! Girls Gone Fishin is more than just a weekend of fun, it is a brand that represents women in fishing in a friendly, respectful and professional manner. As such, we need to make sure that our image is well represented, which is why we enlist top class Graphic Designers and Apparel manufacturers.

Brooke, owner of Studio B designs comes up with our design concepts each year. This theme flows through to all of our gear, including shirts, hats, buffs, lanyards - as much of our merchandise is branded in this way, to ensure that everyone can identify Girls Gone Fishin from a crowd. 

Speaking of shirts, we cannot, look past Josh and his team at BigFish Gear - they are the best in the business, and always take our concept designs from Brooke at Studio B to an amazing level on our shirts, hats and buffs. If you are ever looking for fishing shirts, look no further. You will not regret it. BigFish are also one of our amazing sponsors - supporting us from day 1! 


Sponsor in the spotlight

We are incredibly lucky to have the support that we have had from Able Finance Services since the competitions inception back in 2015. Without hesitation, they came on board to support us and have done so ever since. If you are in the market for a new home loan, or looking to refinance, Able are your guys (and gals). I have personally used them to secure my home loan and they were nothing short of AMAZING. 

Able Finance started as Access Home Loans in 1998. They then changed their name to Able Finance Service on 29/2/2000. It was opened by Husband and Wife team Sam & Kerri Crowley. Long term Loans Consultant Michael Best started with the company in 2001 and has been with the company since. Now employing 6 Loan writers, 3 support staff and an insurance arm they have become the go to people for everything financial.

In 2012 Able Finance was named 5th Top Independent Mortgage Broking firm in Australia by Mortgage Professional Adviser Magazine. They were also named in the Top 25 overall Mortgage Broking firms in Australia by The Adviser magazine and Company Director Sam Crowley is often chosen in the Top 100 Loan Consultants in Australia.

The best thing about using Able Finance Services is our Home Loan services are FREE!
That's right, you pay nothing - our fees are paid by the lender - the service is at no charge to the borrower.
We have over 20+ Lenders to choose from and once we ascertain your needs and objectives we can offer a range of option most suitable to you, even if it is with your current Lender.


That is all from us for now! Make sure you are liking our sponsors pages, this competition truly would not be able to be run without them! 

Tight Lines

Sammie Wigg x