Our Members-Only Online Fishing Comp

Overview of the 2019 Dash


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When you go to upload your photos to the Clubhouse Wall for the Dash, you may need to reduce the file size. Todays phone images are often high resolution, so an app is needed to reduce their size for upload.

Jo uses a free app called Photo Compress and has no trouble with it, although ads do annoy her. She reckons the interruption on this app isn’t as bad as some.

There are plenty of options, however. Simply search “compress photo” in your app platform and make your selection. TEST IT before the comp 😉

Click the next tab for a screen shot of a couple options…

Fishotopia’s Great Aussie Fishing Dash is a one-day, nationwide tournament exclusively open to members of Starlo’s Inner Circle of Fishotopia. Members pay NO additional entry fees to compete!

We’ve divided the country into the same five geographic regions used for the monthly bite predictions in our Aussie Anglers’ Almanac (see map) and nominated either three or four target species for each region.

On Sunday, 1 December, 2019, you’ll have the chance to chase those nominated species, photograph your catches on a commercially-manufactured measuring mat and upload your entries (limited to ONE of each nominated species in each region) onto The Clubhouse Wall of the Inner Circle (our safe, private version of social media). All entries must be uploaded by midnight on Sunday 1 December (Australian Eastern Summer Time) to be eligible for consideration.

The winner in each geographic region will be decided via a unique point scoring system that aims to create a “level playing field” by equating a 45 cm (fork length) bream with a metre-long flathead or a 1.5 m mulloway! Each regional winner will be selected on the basis of their combined score in the region they choose to fish, thereby rewarding versatility and skill. The winner won’t necessarily be the angler who catches the single most impressive fish of a particular species in their region, but more likely the person who can account for two or more reasonable specimens from the eligible list. (See below for the full scoring details.)

We have some awesome  prizes for each region, with a total prize pool currently valued at well over $3,000… So you’d be crazy not to have a crack!



HERE’S HOW IT WORKS (the rules)

Shortly before midnight on Saturday, 30 November, we’ll make a special post on The Clubhouse Wall nominating a code and/or secret object that MUST be included in ALL entry images uploaded. This post will remain pinned to the top of The Wall for the duration of The Competition. From that moment, you’re free to hit the water in your chosen region, catch examples of the nominated species and carefully photograph them on your measuring mat, with the specified code and/or object clearly displayed in the photo (there are more details on correctly completing your entries below).

Please note that each competitor is only allowed to enter ONE example of each species in each geographic region, so unless you land a whopper straight up, it may pay to hold off uploading your entry until later in the day. There’s no limit on how many of the different species nominated for your region you can tick off (but remember: there’s a maximum of ONE of EACH species in each region). Also, once you’ve uploaded an eligible fish for a particular region, you can’t upload captures made in any of the other regions. (In other words, entrants can only compete in ONE region.)

All entries MUST be uploaded to The Clubhouse Wall by midnight on Sunday 1December [00:00 on 2/12/19] to be in the running. So, you effectively have 24 hours to fish! If the site crashes because of too much traffic, or you can’t get your images to upload for any reason (remember, there’s a 3MB limit), we MAY reluctantly accept them via an email to but please regard this option as a last resort!

Winners will be announced in the Fishotopian e-newsletter sent out on Tuesday 3 December and also posted on The Clubhouse Wall and the Starlo’s Fishotopia page on Facebook. Prizes will be sent out before Christmas, 2019.

PLEASE take a moment to carefully read the Terms & Conditions that follow these rules and species’ listings, and also take a look at the simplified, dot-point summary of how to compete that appears a little further down, as well as the sample images demonstrating exactly how your fish should be measured and photographed. But first, here’s the species list by region, and a detailed explanation of the unique scoring system!




  1. Trevally (all species)
  2. Mackerel (all species)
  3. Mangrove jack


  1. Tailor
  2. Mackerel (all species)
  3. Mulloway


  1. Trout (all species)
  2. Murray cod
  3. Golden perch (yellowbelly)


  1. Snapper (pink)
  2. Australian salmon
  3. King George whiting
  4. Bream (all species)


  1. Flathead (all species)
  2. Yellowfin whiting (sand, silver, summer)
  3. Bream (all species)
  4. Mulloway (jewfish)


  • Fish MUST equal or exceed the minimum legal length for that species in the waters where they were taken to be eligible.
  • Where there are seasonal closures in specific regions for certain species, these fish should NOT be targeted in those waters. Fish suspected of having been caught where closures are in place will NOT be eligible.
  • Where multiple species are covered by a single description — such as Mackerel (all species) or Flathead (all species) — only ONE entry from that grouping or family of fish may be lodged by each competitor in each region: eg, ONE mackerel or ONE flathead per competitor.
  • Fish with forked or concave tail margins are to be measured to the tail fork.


Below are the lengths required to score a neat 100 points for each species on our list. These 100-point lengths represent genuine “trophy size” examples of each species. In many cases, they would be the fish of a lifetime! Scores for larger or smaller specimens are extrapolated up and down from these “100 pointers”. (A range of examples is given further down). Please note that lengths are to be measured to the FORK for all species with forked, crescent or concave tail margins:

AUSTRALIAN SALMON: 75cm = 100 points

BREAM (all): 45cm = 100 points

FLATHEAD (all): 100cm = 100 points

GOLDEN PERCH (yellowbelly): 65cm = 100 points

KING GEORGE WHITING: 55cm = 100 points

MANGROVE JACK: 65cm = 100 points

MULLOWAY (jewfish): 150cm = 100 points

MURRAY COD: 125cm = 100 points

SNAPPER (pink): 95cm = 100 points

SPANISH MACKEREL: 160cm = 100 points

TAILOR: 80cm = 100 points

TREVALLY (all): 150cm = 100 points

TROUT (all): 70cm = 100 points

YELLOWFIN WHITING (summer, silver, sand): 45cm = 100 points

So, how does this actually work?

Below are some examples:

A. A 71cm flathead would earn 71 points, but would be easily beaten by a 40cm (fork length) yellowfin whiting, worth a cool 89 points!

B. An 86 cm (fork length) snapper would be worth 91 points, just pipping a 65cm (fork length) Australian salmon, worth 87 points.

C. A 61cm (fork length) trout would earn its captor 87 points, very narrowly topping a 108cm Murray cod worth 86 points.

D. A massive 168cm (fork length) Spanish mackerel would be worth an impressive 105 points, but would be beaten by a whopping 90cm (fork length) tailor at 113 points!

But here’s where it gets really interesting… Because we’re rewarding versatility! This competition favours those entrants who can catch multiple species in a particular region. For example, someone who enters a 32cm bream, a 31cm yellowfin whiting and a 44cm flathead in the South Eastern Seaboard division will score a combined total of 184 points, most likely beating any single fish entry, no matter how large! As you can see, catching more than one species from each region greatly increases your chances of winning.

Okay, here’s a simple point-form recap of all the important stuff. After you check it out, PLEASE take a moment to read the terms and conditions below, as your participation in the event implies complete acceptance of, and compliance with, ALL of these Terms, Conditions and Rules. Thanks!


  • There are NO entry fees! You simply need to be an Inner Circle Member to compete.
  • A Wall post late on Saturday 30 November will specify the code/object that MUST be displayed in ALL entry images.
  • You can fish from the time you receive confirmation of the code/object until midnight on Sunday, 1 December (24 hours).
  • You may only enter ONE of EACH eligible species from a particular region. If you enter more than one image of an eligible species from a particular region, only your FIRST entry will be considered.
  • Once you enter a catch from a particular region, you may ONLY enter subsequent catches from that same region: you can’t compete in multiple regions.
  • Place the intact fish flat on the measuring mat, with its mouth closed and its nose against zero. Measurements are to the tail FORK for species that have a concave, crescent or forked tail.
  • Place the specified code and/or object on top of the fish, in plain sight, for the photo.
  • Photograph the fish so that its length can be CLEARLY seen and read, without any distortion or ambiguity.
  • ALL entries MUST be uploaded to The Wall by midnight 1 December (00:00 2/12/19) to be eligible.
    (Note that the maximum image size for posts is 3MB.)
  • Please CLEARLY specify in your posted entry what region you were fishing in, the species shown, and your assessment of its length (fork length, where applicable), in whole centimetres. Entries not accompanied by these details may be deemed ineligible. You do NOT need to work out your point score for each entry.
  • Round all lengths up or down to the nearest whole centimetre (eg: 42.4 becomes 42cm, 42.5 becomes 43cm).
  • Note that the organisers may adjust your quoted lengths based on the photographic evidence and calculate your points accordingly. Points are also rounded up or down to the nearest whole number. Organisers’ decisions are final and NO dialogue or negotiation will be entered into.
  • Winners will be announced in the Fishotopian Newsletter on Tuesday, 3 December, as well as on The Clubhouse Wall and the Starlo’s Fishotopia page on Facebook.


This is the way you should photograph your catch. Note that this golden perch’s nose is hard against the zero mark and its mouth is closed. The designated item or code would be placed where the numbered entry tag is in this image. This entry would be recorded as measuring 51cm (rounded up to the nearest whole centimetre) and would score 78 points.
Here’s another example of how to photograph your catch for The Competition, this time it’s a bream on a mat without an end stop. It’s important that the fish’s nose is on or even slightly beyond the zero point. The code or designated item would be placed on the bream’s flank and the photo taken. This catch would be recorded as measuring 38cm (to the fork and rounded to the closest whole centimetre) and would score 84 points.
Lay the fish on a damp, flattened measuring mat with its nose against the zero mark, straighten it out, place the designated object/code on top of it and remove your hands for the photo. Quickly check the photo to ensure you can see the full length of the fish and accurately read its length.


  1. Participation in Fishotopia’s Great Aussie Fishing Dash (hereafter referred to as “The Competition”) implies complete acceptance of, and compliance with, ALL Terms, Conditions and Rules as set out here.
  2. The Competition is open to all current financial members of Starlo’s Inner Circle, including monthly and annual subscribers, as well as those who received their membership as prizes or gifts. Membership must be valid and current at the commencement The Competition.
  3. The Competition is conducted by Fishotopia, a registered business owned and operated by River & Sea Pty Ltd. Steve and Jo Starling (co-founders of Fishotopia and directors of River & Sea Pty Ltd) and their immediate family members shall NOT be eligible to enter or compete in The Competition.
  4. The Competition will take place on Sunday, 1 December, 2019. Fishing may commence at midnight on Saturday, 30 November (00:00 01/12/19) and all entries must be uploaded to The Clubhouse Wall (“The Wall”) of Fishotopia’s Inner Circle by midnight on Sunday, 1 December (00:00 02/12/19). (NB: All times specified are Australian Eastern Summer Time [AEST].)
  5. If, for any reason, a competitor is unable to upload an entry or entries directly to The Wall, they may email them to as a last resort. If such emailed entries are received by the organisers before midnight (AEST) on Sunday, 1 December, 2019 they MAY be accepted and uploaded to The Wall by the organisers (at their discretion). However, competitors should make every effort to directly upload their entries to The Wall (taking note of the maximum image size of 3MB).
  6. The aim of The Competition is to catch, measure and photograph (on an acceptable, intact, commercially-produced measuring mat) legal length fish of the designated species, with the relevant code and/or object specified in advance of the start time clearly displayed in every photo.
  7. Each competitor may upload ONE image of each eligible species from any designated region onto The Clubhouse Wall of Fishotopia’s Inner Circle before midnight on the day of The Competition. Once an entrant’s first entry is uploaded, they may only submit further entries from the same region. You cannot compete in multiple regions. (See The Competition Rules for more details.)
  8. Each entry (an eligible species of a legal size from a designated region caught in compliance with local regulations) should comprise a single post/upload to the wall or single email to the organisers. Please: NO multiple entries or multiple species in a single post/upload or email! In the event of a competitor including multiple images/entries in a single post/upload or email, only ONE of those entries will be considered, at the discretion of The Competition organisers. The organisers’ decisions are final and binding.
  9. There is no limit to how many eligible species each member may upload an image of during the 24 hours of The Competition. (See The Competition Rules for more details.) However, only ONE entry for each eligible species from a particular region may be uploaded, and only fish exceeding the minimum legal length in the jurisdiction where they were caught will be considered. In the event of a competitor uploading multiple images of the same species from one region, only the FIRST image uploaded will be considered.
  10. All competitors implicitly grant permission to Fishotopia and River & Sea Pty Ltd to edit, reproduce, sell, copyright, exhibit, broadcast or distribute, in any way they deem fit, all or any media uploaded to The Wall, without attribution, consultation, payment or compensation, in perpetuity.
  11. Competitors must clearly display the code or designated object for The Competition in their catch images (entries), which also need to show the fish’s nose (mouth closed) against the zero mark on the measuring mat, and a clear representation of the fish’s total length, with no distortion or manipulation of any part of the fish. (Note that the maximum image size for posts is 3MB.)
  12. Lengths recorded shall be to the outer tail edge for species with straight or convex tail margins, and to the fork of the tail for those with forked, crescent or concave margins.
  13. Uploaded images that are unclear, distorted, blurred, obscured or otherwise not able to be easily interpreted by the organisers; which are suspected of having been digitally manipulated; or which do not include The Competition code/designated object, will be deemed ineligible. NB: The code or designated object for The Competition will be announced on The Wall shortly before midnight on 30 November, 2019 (AEST).
  14. Entrants should state the species, the designated region where it was caught and their personal assessment of its length (in centimetres, rounded up or down to the closest full centimetre) as part of each posted entry to The Wall (or email to the organisers). However, The Competition organisers reserve the right to adjust the length recorded (and the points thus awarded) based on their visual interpretation of the image supplied. The Competition organisers’ decision is final and binding.
  15. While Fishotopia supports and encourages catch and release, fish may be retained by their captors where it is legal to do so. However, fish must be whole, intact and preferably alive when photographed on the measuring mat. Mutilated, damaged, gutted, gilled, frozen or otherwise degraded fish will NOT be considered eligible.
  16. In addition to their official entries (a maximum of ONE of each eligible species from each designated region per angler), entrants are encouraged to post images on The Wall of themselves or others holding fish, releasing fish, fishing or otherwise participating during The Competition. The organisers may, at their discretion, choose to award a prize or prizes to members based on their assessment of these images.
  17. All fish caught during The Competition must be taken on rod and reel or handline, in strict compliance with fisheries’ rules and regulations in the jurisdiction where the entrant is fishing at the time. It is incumbent upon ALL competitors to comply with their local regulations, and to ensure they hold any necessary licences or permits.
  18. Only fish taken legally on hook and line from publicly accessible waterways are eligible. This excludes private waters, farm dams, hatcheries, fish-out ponds and any sanctuary zones or any waters where fishing is expressly prohibited.
  19. Fishotopia and The Competition organisers reserve the right to remove any posts from The Clubhouse Wall at any time, and to disregard or exclude entries in The Competition that do not fully comply with all the rules, terms or conditions: stated or implied.
  20. All decisions of Fishotopia and The Competition organisers are final and binding. No dialogue or negotiation will be entered into concerning the conduct or results of The Competition, or the subsequent awarding of prizes.
  21. Prizes will be awarded in each region based on the entrant with the highest combined point score in that region. The scoring system is described in detail in The Competition Rules.
  22. In the event of a tie in any region, the member who uploaded his or her FIRST entry to The Wall earliest on the day of The Competition will be declared the winner. NB: Any entries received via email will be deemed to have been received at 00:00 on Monday 2 December, regardless of when they were actually sent or received.
  23. All participants, entrants and competitors in The Competition expressly acknowledge that fishing, boating and other outdoor pusuits are potentially dangerous activities and they accept FULL responsibility for their own safety, wellbeing and actions, thereby releasing Fishotopia, River & Sea Pty Ltd and the organisers from any responsibility or liability whatsoever for loss, injury, damage to person, damage to property or otherwise in relation to The Competition. Participation in The Competition implies complete acceptance of all Terms, Conditions and Rules.
  24. Winners will be announced in the Fishotopian newsletter issued on the evening of Tuesday, 3 December, 2019 and posted on The Wall and the Starlo’s Fishotopia page on Facebook at about the same time. No dialogue or negotiation will be entered into concerning the conduct or results of The Competition.
  25. Prizes will be despatched to regional winners before Christmas, 2019. In the event of a prize for a particular category or region not being won or awarded, The Competition organisers reserve the right to either hold that prize over for a future event, return it to the sponsors, or award it to a participant of their choice, based on judging criteria completely at the discretion of the organisers. No dialogue or negotiation will be entered into concerning the conduct or results of The Competition.

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