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Word spreads about great marlin season
The coastal estuaries are firing again
now the holiday crowds have
disappeared and the water has cleared.
Rat kings are stirring in Wagonga
Inlet again, with most fish landed
under 60 centimetres. They re stacks
of fun, though, especially when you re
expecting to hook a bream or flathead.
St Georges Basin has fished well for
big flathead and some decent little
snapper. The lizards are hitting soft
plastics and the reds are responding
well to vibes.
A couple of cracking lure-caught
mulloway have also been reported
from the Basin, highlighting what a
great fishery it s become since
commercial netting was banned there
more than a decade ago.
Local waterways are a little
discoloured after a soggy January. Cod
are still biting well in the urban lakes,
although I d expect bait to out-fish
lures in the turbid conditions.
There have been some reasonable
golden perch around, too, with Lake
Burley Griffin one of the best
It s worth a trip out to Googong as
well, which is clearer and producing a
few solid cod.
The amazing marlin season shows
no signs of slowing down. Word of the
incredible action around bait-balls off
Narooma and Bermagui is spreading,
with 40 boats fishing The Kink on a
weekday last week. Most hooked at
least one or two marlin, and there were
some sizeable dolphin fish around,
too.Sharks are prevalent, with a five-
metre great white spotted at The Kink
and heaps of bronze whalers sighted
closer to shore.
If you re after a change of pace,
beach fishing is superb at the moment.
Beachworms fished in the gutters are
accounting for lots of bream, whiting,
salmon and flathead.
Don t forget, the annual Thredbo
Fly Fishing Expo is on this weekend at
Thredbo Alpine Village.
The free event is packed with
presentations and workshops designed
to improve your fly fishing skills. Visit
thredbo.com.au for all the details.
Nicholas Doornbos, 12, of Gungahlin, and Connor Dowell, 11, of Palmerston, will be taking part in the Quebec
International Pee Wee Tournament in Quebec City.
Photo: Melissa Adams
Young guns head off to Canada
Representing Australia for the biggest
minor league hockey event in the
world is an impressive tick off a
youngster s bucket list.
Two Canberra teammates, 11-year-
old Connor Dowell and 12-year-old
Nicholas Doornbos, have been chosen
to compete in the Quebec International
Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament from
Both members of the Canberra s
junior ice hockey team, Canberra
Phoenix, overcame tough national
tryouts to compete with about 2300
players from 100 teams across more
than 16 countries.
They are undertaking week-long
training in New York before flying out
Connor admitted he was slightly
nervous, but said his jitters were
drowned in excitement as he loved
"It s a bit difficult sometimes, but
it s worth it," the Palmerston boy said.
"I d be very proud and happy if
The event, which attracts about
20,000 visitors each year, has been a
tradition since 1960 and some
participants have become world
champions in the sport.
Connor s mum, Jo Binkin, said the
Australian team comprises of three
players from QLD, four from NSW,
four from VIC, two from WA, two
from the ACT and one from SA.
"We are in the bottom level of the
competition because our season is in
our winter and we go in the middle of
their winter," she said.
"We also don t have the same
competition here as they have over
The boys discovered their passion
for ice hockey at the age of four and
five and share the dream of playing for
the Australian men s national ice
Nicholas began playing hockey in
Canada where the sport is more
popular, before moving to Australia at
four years old.
"I grew up playing ice hockey, I
picked it up and kept with it," he said.
"Keeping up with my homework is
abitofachallenge. . .Ihavetodoit
before I go and do my fitness."
Ms Binkin is proud of Connor s
dedication to excelling as goal-keeper,
and Nicholas mum Diane is
impressed with her son s fearlessness
"He made it his goal to even try out
for the team and when he made that, he
has put so much effort into training
and fitness," Ms Doornbos said.
While the players had been at a
disadvantage preparing for the
tournament during off-ice season, they
made up for it with extra daily
backyard training -- sometimes causing
some broken fence palings.
But that was a small price to pay for
the hard-earned opportunity to play in
such a prestigious tournament.
Spider bite sees the season from hell get worse
Just when it looked like the WNBL
season from hell couldn t get any
worse, a white-tail spider crawled into
bed with the Canberra Capitals and bit
their star point guard.
United States import Renee
Montgomery now has a story to tell
her American friends after she was
bitten by a white-tail spider and added
more misery to a campaign that has
delivered a record losing streak of
The spiders, native to Australia, use
venom on their prey rather than
spinning a web to capture it, although
they typically prey on other spiders.
Montgomery s misfortune in the
final three weeks of the competition
adds to a year where the Capitals have
fallen off their perch as a WNBL
powerhouse, failing to win a game and
in danger of losing every match this
Montgomery scored 27 points in the
Capitals three-point loss to Adelaide
in late January, almost single-handedly
lifting the team to their first victory.
[The losses] all hurt to me,
We have to have everyone engaged
at all times. It s been a long season but
we have to fight those lapses and we
can t let the score get all the way to 22
before we kick in.
Soccer CEO search is on
Capital Football will search far and
wide for a new chief executive officer
to replace outgoing boss Heather Reid.
Candidates are required to have at
least seven years experience in sports
management in a similar position, but
don t have to have a background in
Reid announced she will step down
as the CEO after 12 years in charge at
Capital Football s annual general
meeting at the end of March. However,
she will stay on in a consultancy role
for 12 months to assist her successor in
Capital Football has grown from an
organisation with five staff when Reid
was appointed in 2004 to now having
17 full-time employees.
It has an annual turnover of
$4 million and manages competitions
that have more than 20,000 players
from 47 clubs across seniors, juniors
Reid expected the CEO position
would be highly sought after to help
run the highest participation sport in
I look forward to working with the
new CEO and I m sure we will have a
very long list of people who would like
to do the job, she said.
Hunt for new
hold for now
Canberra Capitals general manager
Joe Roff says officials will wait to
finalise a review of the WNBL
program before ramping up the search
for Carrie Graf s successor.
Graf quit and will see out the last
four games of the season before
walking away from the club she has
coached for 15 seasons and led to six
Former AIS coach Phil Brown and
ex-Capitals assistant coach Chris
Lucas loom as attractive options.
Graf has offered to help finish the
wide-ranging review of the club s
basketball operations following a
season from hell, which has seen them
slump to 20 consecutive losses -- the
biggest losing streak in the club s
Roff was confident there would
strong candidates to choose from but
not until we ve farewelled one of the
most successful coaches Canberra has
ever seen .
Fell Swoop off
It s decided, Matthew Dale will take
Fell Swoop to the group 1 Oakleigh
Plate (1100 metres) first-up, but
there s still a bit of water to go under
the bridge before the Canberra
trainer gets excited about the star
sprinter making his group 1 debut.
There s a long way to go before
that feeling [and] we start to hone in on
our chances, Dale said.
He will give the son of Not A Single
Doubt a jumpout next week as a final
tune-up for the Oakleigh at Caulfield
on February 27.
Fell Swoop has won eight of his
10 starts, including the listed Chandler
Macleod Stakes (1200m) and the listed
Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m), and has
picked up more than $300,000 in
But if everything goes to plan that
will change in three weeks when Fell
Swoop takes on the Oakleigh Plate as
a lead-up race to the main target -- The
Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March
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