THERE'S only one thing harder than hooking the winning fish in the Wooli Snapper Challenge.
That's finding a room in the coastal village that has become the Mecca for Aussie snapper fisherman keen to get the hands on the $15,000 worth of prizes up for grabs in this year's competition.
Last year's winners Jay Cochrane and Daniel Saye are two competitors not worried about this dilemma.
Last year the locals snared the crown with a 9kg snapper which Jay hauled in on a serious rig of 50lb braid with a 20lb carbon leader.
"We're definitely keen for a repeat," Daniel said.
According to event organiser and local publican Ian Rees, there is barely a bed left in town for the week of the competition, with more than 150 entrants expected.
"We're fully booked, the caravan park is fully booked and pretty much all of the apartments in town are booked out too," Mr Rees said.
The competition brings as much as $150,000 into the Clarence.
"That's the big thing; some good news for the area with the jail closure and what not.
"It's a good drawcard for the whole district," Mr Rees said.
The competition started in 2007 with just five local anglers and has grown considerably since its inception.
"Wooli's just such a great place to come and definitely a great fishing area," said Mr Rees.
Last year the locals took out every single prize, "which is always good to see, we like it when the locals get up and win" said Mr Rees.
Over the coming weeks Ian and the entire village will be praying "for good weather and smooth seas."
Entries for the competition close at 10pm on August 10 at the Wooli Pub.Competitors fish from August 11 until August 17.
The presentation is held on the evening of the last competition day.