David Pearson is not just the 2018 Deniliquin RSL Iron Jack Fishing Classic Champion Angler ... he’s also a new event record holder.
Mr Pearson landed a whopping 122cm Murray cod during the fishing competition to win the coveted trophy and all the other associated prizes.
According to competition organisers and other long-time Deniliquin RSL Fishing Club members, it is the biggest Murray cod caught during the competition in the event’s 21 year history.
Current Fishing Club president David Hart said the catch was so large, it exceeded the ruler on the official Fishing Classic ‘brag mat’.
Mr Pearson said he caught the prized fish with only 45 minutes of competition remaining, at 10.15am Sunday.
‘‘It’s definitely the biggest fish I have ever caught. It was huge, and she had a bit of go.
‘‘I actually tail-hooked it and I had some help from some other people around to get her on the bank and to get the photo.
‘‘She was returned to the water safely and it was into the same hole the junior longest cod winner caught his 119cm cod.’’
Mr Pearson caught the fish in a spot between Lawson Syphons and the Four Post Camp, ‘‘under the powerlines’’.
He said while it’s not his regular fishing spot, it is one he goes to on occasion.
He said his usual Fishing Classic tactic is to fish near Benarca Bend on the Saturday, and then somewhere upstream on Sunday.
Mr Pearson is the fifth local to win the Champion Angler trophy in five consecutive years, with the last non-local to win being John Farren-Price in 2013 (77.5cm cod).
In 2014 the winner was former Deni-ite Brad Smith with an 87cm cod, followed by Doris Mills and the then record 95cm cod in 2015.
In 2016 former Deni-ite and now Berrigan local Helen Pyle claimed a new largest native fish record with a 99cm cod to win the trophy, and Deni’s Colin Brown claimed the trophy with a 95cm cod last year.
Mr Pearson said it was ‘‘just luck on the day’’, rather than local knoweldge, that helped him win the trophy.
While he is a regular entrant of the annual classic, Mr Pearson said he never usually catches anything, and participates for the fun of it and the ‘‘camaraderie’’.