2013 Bowen Family Fishing Classic
  |  First Published: December 2013

Bowen’s biggest event is now over again for another year and the feedback from sponsors and patrons was awesome weekend had by all. As the Classic jingle goes, ‘The fishing’s great so bring your mates to Bowen in the sun,’ certainly rang true; family, fishing, and fun at the Bowen Fishing Classic.

The weather was picture-perfect for Australia’s biggest family fishing classic and wet weekend and crowds flocked in their thousands. The event kicked off on Saturday afternoon with our local gospel band and the blessing of the fishermen and went on to see Bowen’s very own X factor contestant Judah Kelly perform on stage. The ever popular Jochheims pies featured senior and junior pie eating and the kids enjoyed the crawchie races soon after.

The Surf Lifesaving Club come along to help run the Fling A Fish competition for a bit of fun and an on stage energetic fitness display of Zumba got the crowd pumpin’ for rock n roll band Bad Habits of the Whitsundays.

The weigh-in kicked off Saturday afternoon at 4.30pm with Channel 7 sports reporter James Van Luwen while at 5.30pm our local member for Dawson officially welcomed all to Bowen’s beautiful front beach and Fishing Classic 2013. New comers to the Classic, Celtic Fyre were a great hit with their unique brand of entertainment in one of their 2 performances for the weekend. With kilts adorned, bagpipes, drums, fiddle, banjo, didgeridoo, accordion, keyboards, bouzouki, guitar this team of 11 talented musicians brought their own distinctive Celtic sound to Bowen to the absolute delight of the biggest crowd in front of Sound Shell organizers had ever seen.

The fireworks never fail to delight all ages and went off with a bang at 8pm. The dynamic Beccy Cole bought her own style of country music to us as she performed in her high energy live show. Her sassy and infectious honesty had the crowd laughing right along with her as she performed many of her award winning hit . Late night funk band Electrik Lemonade of 7 showed the late crowd how to party with their repertoire of original energetic funk rock tunes with hip hop and blues elements.

Brekkie on the beach – what more could you ask for? It started off Sunday’s full day of activities for families. The tide times saw the sand castle competition move to a new time slot of 9.30 but this did not faze the sand enthusiasts with many families taking to the beach. Another new comer to the Classic was the Lawn Bowls competition and demonstrations to cater for all ages. The Bush and beach craft for the kids was once again very popular with kids making leis, tiki masks, flowers and fish. The weigh in kicked off at smoko time and although angler numbers were down the quality of fish donated was very high – thanks must go out the all anglers who donated their catch to local Meals on Wheels and the Bowen Fisherman’s seafood for filleting everyone’s catch of the day.

The Lolly Drop returned to the skies this year thanks to the crew of Dwyer Aviation and was great hit with the thousands of kids (and parents) gathered at the high tide mark! Gudjuda Reference group coordinated their Turtle tag and release with this year’s classic, much to the delight of families they got to see firsthand these gentle giants of the sea go back to their natural habitats. Then the popular Celtic Fyre on the main stage while adults and kids got to try their hand at casting with the team from Bowen Recreational Fishing Club and won prizes for accurately landing the lure in the bowl! Hopefully they all got pointers for next time they’re casting for the real thing.

Beach soccer got underway as soon as the tide was low enough and had some stiff competition between teams for the cash prize. The male and female Dash for Cash certainly was just that, a quick dash out along the beach and out to the marker and back for $500! Many tried but only 2 were victorious on the day.

The Brad Geiger duo back on home turf with their acoustic rock session led up to presentations. Lucky weigh in prize, heaviest fish prize along with heaviest weight and secret weight prizes for Senior and Juniors in 15 categories of fish plus mud crab for the Seniors were awarded to the lucky anglers, who should all be very proud of their fantastic catches.

Reports from security say patrons were well behaved, locals, visitors to the region and the classic crew report a great time was had by all. Congratulations all round to the small organizing committee for yet another classic that exceeded all expectations. So as the memories fade of Bowen’s best weekend of entertainment and fishing, please remember all the hard work that goes into this event by its team tireless volunteers and the Classic Crew committee as their reward is your support and patronage. – Sharon Bradford

Biggest Fish

Age GroupSpeciesWeightName
JuniorSpanish mackerel18.100Angus Daley
Mackerel (other)8.875Jesse Hall
Coral trout4.319Angus Daley
Mangrove jack3.032Isabella Maloney
Flathead1.463Joshua Tause
Cod (All)16.900Hayden Campbell
Whiting0.279Nathanel Klienert
Trevally10.950Kaylee Kimber
Bream1.071Chloe Sullivan
Sweetlip3.640Billy Bauer
Barramundi5.800Toby Burgess
Javelin fish/Grunter2.781Madison Miller
Red emperor/Scarlet sea perch10.000Stephen Mcdonald
Blue tuskfish2.332Hemi Craig
Other species (cobia)7.200Riley Weston
SeniorSpanish mackerel25.800Travis Baker
Mackerel (other)5.100Scott Dunne
Coral trout9.650Brittany Soden
Mangrove jack4.500Shane Cavanagh
Flathead1.562Wayne Tawse
Cod (All)18.050Tait Swindge
Whiting0.288Rita Jenkins
Trevally24.500Monique Josiforski
Bream0.967Wayne Sullivan
Sweetlip7.430Jason Winter
Barramundi13.330Clint Stoneham
Javelin fish/Grunter3.279Chris Achille
Red emperor/Scarlet sea perch11.430Kiera Hinshaw
Blue tuskfish6.040Kelly Ross
Other species (Cobia)13.500Bob Illmer
Mud crab2.019Lorretta Soden

Other results

Champion angler seniorShane Cavanagh
Champion angler juniorAngus Daley
Tagged fish random draw - 1Jessica Barter
Tagged fish random draw - 2Nathan Wilde
Heaviest fish weighed inTravis Baker (Spanish mackerel)
Heaviest fish weighed in by a femaleMonique Josiforski (trevally)
Senior lucky weigh in winnerKerrie Beesley
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