Date of Event: 1940s - 1970s
Vessel type: Fishing boat
Location: Lakes Entrance
Suggested title: From Illegal Casino to Legendary Lakes Entrance Fishing Vessel
Commercial fishing entered a new phase when Kevin and Frank Mitchelson transported a half-planked casino hull to Lakes Entrance, transforming it into the most recognised Victorian fishing vessel of its time. Contracted to supply anchovies for Peck’s, the brothers named their vessel Anchovette after the famous fish paste.
Flying after the fish:
The Mitchelsons employed light aircraft to spot shoals of fish. A purse-seiner, Anchovette carried up to 80 tons.
Awash with salmon and drawing excited crowds, Anchovette unloaded amid the din of ice-crushing machinery and shimmering scales. Wicker baskets, each holding half a ton, transferred catches to waiting trucks.
At the cutting edge:
Researching tuna fishing for Australian Fisheries and accidentally catching shark, the Mitchelsons developed a technique that changed shark-fishing forever.
More Than a Fishing Boat:
Dramatic rescues at sea or hosting Blessings of the Fleet; it was all in a day’s work for the Anchovette.
Melbourne underworld spawns fishing legend:
1940s Melbourne underworld figure Henry ‘King Midas’ Stokes planned to thwart the law with a sumptuous floating casino operating outside the three-mile limit. Stokes’ sudden death left his partly-built dream in tatters until pioneering Lakes Entrance fishermen, brothers Kevin and Frank Mitchelson recognised its potential.
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