The Fish Award


This trophy is duly engraved with the famous : “ON THIS DAY I SHOULD HAVE GONE FISHING” epitaph.

This prestigious club trophy sits on the PJRC wall beckoning all members to be nominated, the trophy is awarded for the best “stuff up” or mistake achieved by a member during the shooting year. The trophy is not awarded every year as nominations must first pass through the PJRC Fish Award committee before being deemed worthy of consideration for this prestigious trophy.

The FISH trophy was originally a frozen mullet, however it had deteriorated in the early years when transported between winners becoming a very sad and thin looking fish, during Andrew Martins tenure of this award the trophy was accidentally thrown out during a freezer clean up by his wife. In the following years it is rumoured an interim FISH trophy was created by Ken Liley, being a red napkin with a quickly drawn FISH on it, but this trophy was never found, it was claimed the napkin was used after a particularly untidy dinner and discarded. Club Associate, Tom Lowndes, horrified at the lack of a trophy for such a prestigious PJ award, he later corrected this loss by donating the current FISH AWARD trophy that still adorns the wall and which contains a rubber fish which sings “Don’t Worry Be Happy” when activated.

Suspect club records show this award has been won 9 times by :

2010 – Greg Fackender

The “Tubegun” FISH Award, Greg after much gunsmithing and costs he fitted his Omark rifle into a MAK Tubegun custom stock from the USA, he then spent hours dry firing in the PJ clubhouse on a Saturday morning perfecting his position and hold. Then after much mathematical calculations on ballistics, barrel centre to rear sights centre etc he calculated a theoretical sight zero, in the afternoon with many club onlookers, dubious of his mathematics, Greg fired one shot (achieving a remarkable bullseye) but on opening the bolt he broke off the bolt handle requiring major repair efforts including a new bolt body. All this time and expense for just one shot, ie : he should have gone fishing instead.

2009 – not awarded

2008 – Rick Ashton

The “Multiple” FISH award. A truly worthy recipient, Rick lifted the FISH standards with this award with multiple nominations in just one selection period. Retiring earlier in the year the PJRC FISH AWARD Committee had to close all nominations and award the trophy months earlier than planned after Rick achieved a magnificent 10 FISH award nominations in just 6 months. These included 4 in just one ACT Queens (left shooting glasses at home – urgent courier despatched, wrong elevation x 2, he even left his shooting gear in the hotel when he drove to the range).  The final two nominations being when he left his rifle cheekpiece and bolt at home at a Hornsby competition. Having his nephew Mike, closely monitor and report all FISH efforts to the club didn’t help either.

2007 – not awarded

2006 – Angus Bell

The “Foresight” FISH award, Angus had avoided any FISH nominations for over two decades but like a true champion he finally came through in 2006 when he was leading the Port Macquarie Prize Shoot, shooting 50/50, 50/50, 50/50, 50/50, 50/50 he was looking good to take out the winners prize with no real wind present and being 4 points clear of all rivals. At the last range he scored 5 (adjusted ½ left),4 (adjusted ¾ left) ,3 (adjusted 1 ½ left),2 (adjusted 2 left) and  then a miss, losing 10 points all up, on firing the miss his front sight shot off the rifle, then he finally realised he hadn’t secured his ladder foresight onto the barrel between ranges, it was only held on by the mirage band.

2005 – not awarded

2004 – not awarded

2003 – not awarded

2002 – not awarded

2001 – not awarded

2000 – Tony O’Keeffe

The “Brown Pants” FISH award, considering Tony’s history (or Crocodile as we call him) it was surprising he had not yet won the FISH award before, however in 2000 he finally showed his true mettle and was awarded the trophy for his Bendigo Queens efforts where he was suffering from a gastric bug that caused him to miss all the first three ranges, scoring 0/150 for the first day of the Queens.  It was reported that he made repeated attempts to make the shooting mound for each range however was thwarted in his endeavours to get a score in and impressed everyone by the speed he showed in getting to the toilet dragging his pants.

1999 – not awarded

1998 – not awarded

1989 – Andrew Martin

The “Eyes Right” FISH award, Andrew won this award by firing a shot onto the wrong target, to make matters worse it was during Andrew’s first time in the Port Jackson No 1 Grade Team, and we needed a good score towards a win. There is some conjecture over the cause of this, one version blames the inherent pressure of being in the No 1 Team for the first time, the other (and preferred) version is Andrew’s gaze wandered to a nearby female shooter, who was pleasing to the eye, which then caused him some concentration issues. Years later he is still asked by Tony Moon whether he’s fired any misses recently !

1987 – Andrew Wilson

The “Howitzer” FISH award, Andrew transcribed his loading data in a 300m Match using a 308 Win in an Angel action. He used 46.1 grains of ADI 2001 powder instead of 41.6 grains with appropriate drastic results. The legend being he actually fired 3 rounds before he realized something was wrong, hammering the bolt open each time and his shot hitting 1 metre high on the target with flames bursting forward of the muzzle didn’t seem to faze him. His rifle bolt face still bears the scars embedded in it “308 Win”. He was also given a magnificent beer glass etched with a prone shooter attempting to load a howitzer round into his rifle.

1986 – Kirk Hazelton

The “Biggles” FISH award, Kirk got lost whilst on his second solo aircraft flight during 1985 whilst flying over the Blue Mountains before a grade shoot, Kirk had to navigate back to Bankstown airport using the Great Western Highway, turning right at Church Street Parramatta and left at Hume Highway and down to Bankstown airport, we are not sure if he landed in the carpark or the runway in his Cessna. However full credit, he still made the grade shoot however a bit late.

1985 – Lorraine Pogoniski

The “Piker” FISH award, Lorraine won this award from her efforts during a NSW Queens Prize, She had shot for the first 2 days, however on the third day the weather had deteriorated badly and she chose instead to lie in at home for Day 3 rather than lie on the wet mound, and get soaked in the rainy conditions. She was duly labelled a “piker” by all those that did get wet and awarded the FISH award.

1984 – Tony Moon

The inaugural winner, in fact the trophy was created to recognise this great “FISH” event. Tony was the PJRC representative in the MDRA Champion Of Champions for 1984. He practised many times during the previous weeks to ensure success but then wore out his rifle barrel in training to the point where it couldn’t group and in the match he came last, achieving a truly unusually low score for a high profile Australian representative (even all the juniors beat him).

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