Mega weekend for sportfishing clubs
  |  First Published: July 2017

Over the recent Labour Day long weekend two great events kept anglers busy reeling in the fish. Across the state a species challenge was hosted by Australian National Sportfishing Association Queensland branch (ANSA Qld). In the tropics the North Queensland Sportfishing Championships was hosted by the Hinchinbrook Sportfishing Club.

The statewide species challenge saw 35 competitors from eight different clubs landing 67 different species of fish over the weekend.

“This annual event is run by ANSA Qld and aimed at offering members from all over the state an opportunity to get out on the water and enjoy the weekend with family and friends,” ANSA Qld President, Nathan Johnston explained.

“Online fish captures were submitted throughout the weekend and automatically updated on a progressive online leader board for the four fishing categories. The rules were simple – catch and enter as many different species of fish during the weekend using the new ANSA Qld online capture entry form and the person with the biggest tally of species at the end wins,” Nathan said.

Category winners each snagged a unique Lethal Lure trophy along with an ANSA Qld yellow champion angler fishing buff. The senior male and female category awards went to Bob Dover (from Kingaroy) and Helen Johnson (Bundaberg) who both caught 18 fish each. The junior category winner was Blake Manthey (Kingaroy), while for the sub-juniors it was a Beau Rose (Redcliffe) who took out the top spot. ANSA Qld is already planning next year’s event with the 2018 event dates to be released soon.

On the same weekend eighty anglers from Bundaberg to Mossman converged upon the Hinchinbrook region to compete in the 2017 North Qld Sportfishing Championships. The event kicked off on Friday evening and wrapped up on Sunday afternoon for social activities and the official awards presentation.

The North Qld Sportfishing Championships has a long history and this was the first time the Hinchinbrook Sportfishing club had hosted the event.

“It was fantastic to see so many anglers travelling from across the state. It’s also the first time the event has included an option for anglers to register captures either using photos or through presentation of their catch,” Hinchinbrook club president and ANSA Qld VP, Adam Royle said.

Mr Royle added, “Giving anglers the opportunity to compete while allowing for a choice of either catch and release or presenting captures and then taking them home for the table worked really well.”

Many local businesses and organisations supported the event, including the major sponsors Halifax Homebrew & Tackle and the Hinchinbrook Shire Council.

Anglers from several clubs walked away with great prizes and awards, including a good number from Hinchinbrook Club, who came into the event with a strong home-ground advantage. Champion male, female and junior angler in the light line section went to Brendan Cundell (Hinchinbrook), Zara Cundell (Hinchinbrook) and Elliott Ruddell (Townsville). In the open line section it was a family affair with Adam Royle, Melissa Royle and Hope Royle from Hinchinbrook taking out the three champion angler spots.

At the end of the evening every angler who submitted a fish went into the running for a $500 fishing and outdoor prize pack, thanks to Wilmar Sugar, which was won by Margaret Fretwell from the Townsville Saltwater Sportsman Club.

“The support we received and the feedback from competitors has been great and I certainly hope to see as many if not more competitors back again next year,” said Mr Royle.

A full list of winners is available from the Hinchinbrook Sportfishing club Facebook page. More detail on the events and other club and member fishing opportunities can be found at the ANSA Qld website, www.ansaqld.com.au. – ANSA

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