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
|JuniorSpanish mackerel||18.100||Angus Daley|
|Mackerel (other)||8.875||Jesse Hall|
|Coral trout||4.319||Angus Daley|
|Mangrove jack||3.032||Isabella Maloney|
|Cod (All)||16.900||Hayden Campbell|
|Javelin fish/Grunter||2.781||Madison Miller|
|Red emperor/Scarlet sea perch||10.000||Stephen Mcdonald|
|Blue tuskfish||2.332||Hemi Craig|
|Other species (cobia)||7.200||Riley Weston|
|SeniorSpanish mackerel||25.800||Travis Baker|
|Mackerel (other)||5.100||Scott Dunne|
|Coral trout||9.650||Brittany Soden|
|Mangrove jack||4.500||Shane Cavanagh|
|Cod (All)||18.050||Tait Swindge|
|Javelin fish/Grunter||3.279||Chris Achille|
|Red emperor/Scarlet sea perch||11.430||Kiera Hinshaw|
|Blue tuskfish||6.040||Kelly Ross|
|Other species (Cobia)||13.500||Bob Illmer|
|Mud crab||2.019||Lorretta Soden|
|Champion angler senior||Shane Cavanagh|
|Champion angler junior||Angus Daley|
|Tagged fish random draw - 1||Jessica Barter|
|Tagged fish random draw - 2||Nathan Wilde|
|Heaviest fish weighed in||Travis Baker (Spanish mackerel)|
|Heaviest fish weighed in by a female||Monique Josiforski (trevally)|
|Senior lucky weigh in winner||Kerrie Beesley|