Sensational weather greeted 470 nominated anglers last weekend at the 2005 Longreach Yellowbelly Classic.
Held along the banks of the Thomson River, the event attracted anglers from throughout the region and raised the profile of the Thomson River and Longreach area.
A yabby auction and race started the weekend’s fun with Yabby No. 5 making it over the line first and a prize of $50 went to M & M Green of Richmond. Simstock Rural Agencies of Longreach, owners of Yabby No. 7, picked up the second-place prize of $25. The adult lucky draw prize of a spinning reel went to Rockhampton’s Terry Donpon, while Leonard Lane from Winton won the junior lucky draw prize of a Saturn spinning combo.
During the weekend, 119 fish were measured in, with yellowbelly being the main target fish for adults to snag a 32L fridge/freezer from Engel. Fish from 30-53.3cm were measured and most of them were released back into the Thomson River. The slightly breezy conditions didn’t appear to hinder fish from being caught but I’m sure there would have been a few people who didn’t catch any.
Saturday night saw Apex Park full of life and vitality when Morris Griffiths of Longreach presented his Tae Kwon Do class demonstration. The onlookers were impressed with the action and variety of ages of people who took part in his class. The hand reel casting competition took a lot of skill and precision and young Mitchell Basket of Winton was the only junior to land the sinker into the bucket to win the $25 prize. His sister Sydnee came in second throwing the closest to the bucket for a Mad Keen cap. It was the same result in the adult class with five competing for $50 cash. Only James Balke could land his cast in the bucket. Kurt Mann was Saturday night’s junior lucky draw winner, taking home a Saturn spinning combo. In the adult draw, Joanne Baskett of Winton won the Ugly Stik Telescopic Bobbing Pole.
“Our event objective was to encourage and promote fishing, encourage tourism into the area and promote regional visitation and we believe that we’ve achieved our goal,” said James Balke.
Over the weekend, organisers James and Helen Balke spoke to several campers about their experience on the river and the general comment appeared to be that everyone enjoyed themselves.
The organisers would like to thank the sponsors, including Terry’s Marine Centre in Rockhampton (under new management), Followmont Transport, Outback Queensland Internet, Amalgamated Pest Control, Longreach Great Outdoors, Ergon Energy and Engel Portable Fridge Freezers.
The main draw was for a Stacer 370 Proline boating package valued at $5,700 donated by Terry’s Marine Centre in Rockhampton. The audience held their breath as the ticket number was drawn out of the box by Terry Donpon and the winner announced. Don Dalglish of Longreach was the lucky winner and was very excited about his prize.
|Longest Yellowbelly||Christie Huemiller of Barcaldine, 51.6cm|
|Longest Catfish||Jimmy Carlsson and Jayson Willersdorf of Longreach, 42.4cm|
|Longest Barcoo Grunter||Kelsa McCullagh, 49.3cm|
|Longest Welch’s Grunter||none caught|
|Longest Bream||none caught|
Kelsa McCullagh of Longreach won the major prize draw of a $400 camping package
|Longest Yellowbelly||Jo Rabnott of Barcaldine, 53.3cm|
|Longest Catfish||Cheryl Bruce of Longreach, 48.5cm|
|Longest Barcoo Grunter||Neville Geiger of Windorah, 33.5cm|
|Longest Welch’s Grunter||Joe Herron, 35.5cm|
|Longest Bream||Tom McIvor of Longreach, 34.5cm|