Kirkleagh Klassic is Alive in '05
  |  First Published: October 2005

Over the last 15 years the Kirkleagh Klassic Family Fishing Competition has become arguably the biggest and most popular freshwater fishing competition in Australia.

With some great cash and prizes up for grabs, and the chance to fish on one of Queensland's premier freshwater impoundments, it is little wonder that competitors come back year after year. The large camping area has great facilities for camping, with several amenities blocks that have hot showers and clean toilets. Electric BBQs under shelter, drinking water and firewood are provided and there will be hot food and cold drinks for sale on-site for anyone who doesn't want to take cooking gear along.

In the past, organisers have leased the entire Kirkleagh Recreation Area from the water board. As there is now a private enterprise operating Kirkleagh Campground, this arrangement is no longer possible. Competitors (only) in the Kirkleagh Klassic won't need to purchase the normally required SEQWC boating permits that usually apply, and a reduced camping fee will be charged by the operators of the Kirkleagh Tourist Park.

There are several different divisions that competitors can choose between. The main competition is based on a secret length system (secret weight in the past) so that those who catch the biggest fish are not necessarily the winners. The categories that are available are bass, golden perch, silver perch and eel tailed catfish in senior and junior divisions. Each competitor can measure in two of each of these species per session.

There is a catch and release section where extra incentive prizes are on offer for anglers who choose to release their fish. There will be on-water marshals who will be able to measure and release fish for competitors’ convenience. These marshals will be identified at the pre-competition briefings.

There will be a special catch and release only tent situated on the lake’s edge so that anglers can bring in their catch for measuring without leaving their boats. However, remember that a suitable livewell must be used, as any fish that aren't in good condition may be rejected by the judges for the catch and release prizes.

Something new in 2005 will be a Teams Division, where two people can fish together in a team (must be in the same boat) and may continue to measure in fish after their two secret length entries have been measured in. Only those entered as teams can continue to measure in fish after their two fish per session. The Teams Division will have extra prizes up for grabs and only costs an extra $5 per competitor ($10 per team).

Any tilapia, banded grunter, spangled perch or fork tailed catfish caught should be destroyed and disposed of in bins provided at the campground.

There will be a pre-competition briefing that will be held at the staging area at 5am on the Saturday. As there are different rules this year, it is important for everyone to be attentive. All competitors must attend to collect their Competitor Cards before going fishing: you cannot measure in any fish without one. There will be a further briefing at 8am for the late arrivals and for those who sleep in.

The 2005 Kirkleagh Klassic will be on October 15 and 16 at Kirkleagh Recreation Area, Lake Somerset. Entry fees are $30 for seniors and $5 for juniors, with an extra $5 per person for teams entry ($10 per team)

As in previous years, all monies raised will go directly towards fish stocking initiatives in Somerset and Wivenhoe lakes, Atkinsons Dam and surrounding waters. In last year’s Kirkleagh Klassic, over $14,000 was raised for fish stocking initiatives.

All inquiries should be directed to --e-mail address hidden-- or 0419 552 646. – SWFSA(Somerset & Wivenhoe Fish Stocking Association)

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