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    Spearfishing News Article from 1954!

    June 25, 2013 3 min read

    Anglers Versus Spearman by Dick Barton, Shooters' Monthly March 1954

    Once again The Entrance, Tuggerah Lakes, was the scene of feverish activity among the fishing fraternity. Anxious enthusiasts were seeking weather reports, and the local gossip as to where all the big-'uns were lurking waiting to be caught.

    The spearmen assembled at the Toowoon Bay Camp at 1.20pm, and the Big Parade started with much tooting of hors, etc. Everybody must have thought there was something free going on, for when we reached the Entrance the procession was nearly a mile long.

    At the assembly point opposit Tim Farrell's shop the opening ceremony took place with Councillor Fulcher, President of the Qyong Shire Council, doing the honours. Tim Farrell, President, E.D.A.A. Club; Dick Charles, President, E.S.F.A of Australia; Mr Walker, Chief Health Inspector, Wyong Shire Council; and myself, as President, U.S.F.A of N.S.W., spoke on the competition and the goodwill which it created. When weights were declared there were 44 spearmen versus 44 anglers, which was a record roll-up for the E.D.A.A. Club.

    After the opening everybody split up into groups, to shoot off to the beach with a car-load of mates, off we went to the good spots. I chose Norah Head so straight down to the rocks at the back of the bus terminus we drove, and reckoned we would pull a hundred or so points of fish out of there, but the anglers must have gone there in the morning with a team of mix-masters because the water was churned up, with a rip running at about 15 knots, and extremely muddy.

    With mild exclamations we went around the Lighthouse. We would be bound to get in there. as we walked down to the rocks we met a spearman with a nice 8lb. jewfish.

    At this stage we got cunning, so after a good deal of discussion we hopped back to Toukley Bridge. We dressed (if you have seen spearfishermen you know we get dressed to go in) and in we went. If you have gone into a tunnel in a train you might have some idea of the visibility under the water at Toukley. A big, indistinct shape loomed up, I poked a spear at it, but it was only a bunch of weeds covered in mud. Just to show what conditions we can overcome, Joe Wilkinson, our Competition Recorder, and Sid Forrester both speared a bream.

    Just so we wouldn't give our position away to the anglers we ate one bream and weighed in the other. Score - anglers nil, spearmen 2.5 points.

    Sunday morning, more rain, rough seas, so more bed. From our spies the latest score was: anglers 64 points, spearmen 2.5 points.

    Things by this time looked serious, so it was make an early start, about 9am. Shortly after this, before we could have a look at the water and decide it was too rough, the peace of the camp was shattered by the arrival of two bus-loads of spearmen and supporters from the Newcastle Branch of the U.S.F.A.

    Many futile attempts were made by the spearo's to go in, but even in some of Dick Charles' private holes there was nothing doing.

    I went in down near the bridge. By this time I was visibly worried when news was brought by the underwater  grape-vine that there was hope - a spearman named Goodchild had caught another bream at Toukley.

    At 8pm the final weigh-in and  scores, and to confound the critics who said we would not catch fish we weighed in our second bream, all of it, and the final scores were: anglers 151.5 points, and spearmen 5 points. (One 44.5lb jewfish by angler Bruce Brines).

    Councillor Fulcher declared the results and presented the Heffernan Trophy to Tim Farrell for the anglers. Seriously, though, we're glad they won it; it will give us a good excuse to up there again next year to win it back.