Big ones did not get away

By JULIA ILES julia.iles@dailyexaminer.com.au

FISHING enthusiasts have been spoilt by great catches and fine weather at the Yamba Fishing Festival.

The three-day event is as much about fishing as it is about socialising, eating out and music. Record crowds turned out for yesterday's program, which included a free sausage sizzle, jazz band and a live broadcast by 2GF.

"It's the biggest crowd we've ever had and I would estimate it to be over 200," Gary McCabe, an organiser of the event, said.

Other festival activities included a fishing seminar, a workshop for children by expert Rod Harrison and a boat show exhibiting the latest crafts and accessories. As for the fishing competition, final results will be known this afternoon after the final weigh-in.

The competition categories range from the heaviest of species, through to those for children under 16, visitors, as well as open divisions.

Until 3pm today, when the competition ends, leading weights may be superseded.

So far the heaviest in the competition is a jewfish that weighed in at a whopping 17.95kg, which was caught by J Spears.

Other leaders in the heaviest species category are S Buxton, who caught a 6.6kg snapper, B Bushell with a 5.65kg groper and P Rheinberger with a 1.2kg bream.

In the children's under-16 event, R Hogue of Woombah, is in line to receive a $50 prize for a 1.7 kg catch.

In total there are 10 places in the children's competition with prizemoney ranging from $50 to $20.

A Cannon is leading the open event with a 1.4kg catch, while in the visitors' event two anglers from Stanthorpe, R and L Bramble, lead.

The event has attracted fishermen from a wide area, such as R Hawkes, an entrant from Brownstone, Victoria.

The Yamba Fishing Festival was started in 1962.

Organisation was accepted by Yamba Lions Club some years ago.



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