You?d have to say Simone is a bit ?tinny
By PETER ELLEM
WHEN Graftonian Simone Nicholson bought a $10 toy fishing rod and some live bait from Yamba's Fully Rigged tackle shop, little did she know it would land her a 4.7kg flathead and a $4000 boating package.
Simone, 24, has won the lucky draw for first prize in The Daily Examiner Fish of the Year competition, donated for the second successive year by Steve and Malcolm Behn, of Iluka Boatshed and Marina.
Simone and her partner Shane Laurie love nothing better than booking in at Yamba Sun Motel for a couple of days of recreational fishing off the breakwall or at some more secret spots.
The couple's old tinnie 'clagged it' about six months ago, so they had been saving for a new one.
''When I got the phone call on Monday to say I'd won a boat, I was bouncing off the walls with excitement,'' Simone said.
''This is the biggest present anyone could ever ask for.
''We all went out for a celebratory lunch at the Grafton Club. I put a few dollars through the pokies and came up with a $900 jackpot.
''I'm just waiting for the trifecta now.''
Simone said that while Shane was the serious fisherman, she was content to stick with toy rods because they 'held up pretty well' for the size fish she usually caught.
''That flathead in December was a quick and easy catch; I think a strong tide brought him straight back to me,'' she said.
''I'm so glad I went back to Chris (Rigg's) weigh-in station and entered the comp. We're registering the boat today and christening her at the weekend. We can't wait to get out there.''
Simone wins a 315 Stacer Proline v-nose aluminium punt, a Yamba five-horsepower motor and a Redco trailer.
Steve Behn said Iluka Boatshed and Marina had enjoyed great exposure from the competition throughout 2005 and he was keen to supply the major prize for this coming year.