The Victorian Spearfishing Challenge is a selective spearfishing challenge that was initiated in Summer/Autumn of 2001/2002 and has had some amazing results over the years. Hosted by the Southern Freedivers, the aim of the challenge is to promote conservative and selective Freediving and Spearfishing to the wider diving/fishing community in Victoria.
The basic idea is for each diver to attempt to capture ten separate species over a ten-month period with points awarded based on weight. These ten species are all challenging fish to catch and are good eating.
There are 10 key Victorian species to target and divers can use this as an opportunity to try to figure out how and when to target each species.
The eligible species are;
The heaviest fish of each species gets 10 points, second heaviest 9 points, third heaviest 8 points and so on. Maximum score is 100 points. Keep in mind that even if a bigger fish may have already been submitted, you can still get points depending on the size and whether others have submitted fish. For example, if someone else submits a 3kg cray and yours is 2.5kg, you have a chance to get 9 points if no one else submits a cray. Then if someone submits a cray bigger than yours, the score for your cray would only drop to 8 points.
Individuals can submit a maximum of 2 per species, which means you can upsize each species once.
For the first timers, have a look at the leader boards from previous seasons to see which species are submitted at specific times of year. The heaviest species to for the current season will be highlighted on the leader board.
Minimum weights are as follows;
- 340gm - Whiting / Trevally
- 400gm - Flathead / Sweep / Squid / Australian Salmon / Snook / Snapper
- 1000gm - Crayfish
- 3000gm – Kingfish
Where to Weigh Fish
The weigh-in of the fresh catch can be done at several locations around the state or frozen specimens can be weighed at Club meetings or Club dives. Alternatively, you can have the fish weighed on any certified scales (butchers, supermarkets), as long as a picture of the scales certification sticker is submitted with each fish entry.
Refer to the current seasons Vic Challenge post in the Club Dives section of the forum, as per the below link, for the current weigh points around the state.
How to Submit Fish
For each species you must fill in a submission form, which can be found on the Vic Challenge forum post in the Club Dives section of the forum, linked above.
To submit the form you can send a private message on the forum to the VictorianChallenge user. Alternatively, you can send your submission to Stoj (@stoj34) via Facebook messenger.
The Start and Finish
The event starts on the 1st of August each year and concludes the day after the Queen’s birthday public holiday in June the following year. This caters for anyone that wants to submit fish that have been captured on that long weekend. Refer to the club calendar for the dates.
Each diver that enters one or more fish, has a chance in the draw for a major prize. Prizes given in the past include wetsuits, dive trips and spearguns.
The winner of the Victorian Spearfishing Challenge and major prize winners will be announced at the Southern Freedivers presentation night in early July each year, after the conclusion of the event and dive season.
Leader Board Updates
The updated leader board will be posted every month on the Forum and Facebook pages, usually in the lead up to the club meeting. The final leaderboard will not be posted to build up some suspense in the lead up to the winner being announced at the Southern Freedivers presentation night. Within the past few years there has been only a few points difference between the winner and the runner up!
I Would Like More Information
The Fine Print
Fish must be taken in Victorian waters and must be submitted within 30 days of capture.
Only fish taken in the current season from the event start till the event conclusion/end can be entered. Refer to the club calendar for the dates.
All submissions must be completed and submitted within the event start and conclusion/end dates, as above.
Maximum 2 of each species to be submitted.
Fish must be weighed on certified scales.
You must be a current financial member of the AUF to be eligible.
All state Fisheries regulations, including minimum lengths/sizes, need to be adhered to and only fish taken whilst freediving are eligible.
A Final Word
If you would like to improve your spearfishing in a selective and sustainable way, join in on this challenge and enjoy these tasty species available along our coastline.
Good luck to everybody that participates and we look forward to seeing everyone's submissions.
Dive and stay safe!