The third annual Riverina Classic Catch and Release fishing competition was held over three days on Valentine’s Day weekend in February. Anglers headed to the banks of the Murrumbidgee River at Darlington Point in the Riverina NSW, located 30km south of Griffith and 150km west of Wagga Wagga.
The Riverina Classic is designed to cater as a complete family event weekend featuring helicopter flights, catering, kids’ activities, lure casting competitions, boat displays, major raffle draw, release of native fingerlings, river train rides and much more.
The event transpired to be a great success again this year with $20,000 donated to Motor Neurone Disease NSW and the local Griffith support group for MND, who service a large section of the Riverina, providing assistance to those living with the disease.
Over 7000 Murray cod and golden perch fingerlings were also released at the closure of the competition in order to help secure a sustainable fishing future in the Murrumbidgee River ecosystem.
This year the competition was designed to run as a photograph entry competition in order to minimise any negative effects on fish welfare and ensure anglers have maximum opportunity to chase that elusive big one, with entries coming in around the clock over the weekend.
Overall there were 500 entrants into the competition, with a total of 94 fish of legal size entered over the weekend. Categories in the competition included: Biggest Yellowbelly, Biggest Cod, Biggest Carp and cumulative length. Each category had both Junior and Senior sections and every single junior that entered the comp went home with a prize.
Jack Smith and Brodie Kenningale took the crown of Senior and Junior Champion Angler respectively for 2016.
This year we also delivered a prize for the best represented fishing club in attendance with Griffith Northside Leagues Fishing Club taking home $1,000 cash to put towards their club.
The Riverina Classic offers one of the largest prize pools for inland fishing competitions in New South Wales with $50,000 worth of prizes given out over the three day event.
The major prizes that were given out as part of the raffle draw included a $10,000 Flight Centre Holiday Voucher, won by local entrant Jeanette Bagatella of Griffith; a platinum 40L Engel fridge package and a Weber Q BBQ.
Lucky entrants in the fishing competition went in to the draw to win a complete Stacer 399 Proline Angler Boat with 2-stroke 30hp Mercury motor and trailer package, with Andrew Kocaj taking home the goods.
Additionally the committee was able to give away an additional lucky entrant prize of a Stacer 3.5m punt and motor package to winner Trent Royston during presentations, thanks to Griffith Marine Centre.
Thanks to the sponsors, they were also able to giveaway a dinner and movie Valentines package and a getaway, including flights to Mungo Lodge, in the Mungo National Park, NSW.
Thanks to everyone who entered, helped out, attended the weekend and had fun! The event was made possible by the hard work and dedication of volunteers from the Riverina Classic Fishing competition and their partners and friends who help organize the weekend. The event would not have taken place without the generosity of all our sponsors whose support will help ensure the community and the event continue to thrive.
We hope to see you all at next year’s competition 10-12 February 2017. For more information on the Riverina Classic Fishing Competition weekend like us on Facebook or visit www.riverinaclassic.com- Riverina ClassicReads: 583