No Caption
No Caption Bill North

Classic fishing contest set to revive Tim the Bream

A DATE has been set to return the Tim the Bream fishing competition to the annual calendar of Yamba events.

One of the Yamba Rotary Club members planning the event's return, Darren Williams, has nominated the weekend of August 20 for the competition.

Mr Williams said the only issue to be finalised was finding an insurer for the event.

"Everything else has been green lighted," he said. "Once we get the insurance sorted it's all hands on deck."

He said the club would mirror the original 1958 prizes for catching the tagged fish, nicknamed Tim the Bream.

"We will have a fish tagged which will be worth $10,000 and 10 other tagged fish worth $1000 each."

The original Tim the Bream had a £10,000 prize tag on him, but more than 7000 anglers who flocked to Yamba from June 7-16, 1958 could not catch him.

Mr Williams said the myths around Tim the Bream lived on for decades.

"Apparently 10 to 15 years later someone claimed they caught a bream tagged in the competion," he said.

"But that might be just a bit of an urban myth."

He said there was some fascinating footage of the competition available on Youtube which showed how big a deal the competition became in the late 1950s.

"They had Jack Davey here," he said. "He was a big radio and TV star of the day. He even broadcast his shows from here during the competition."

He said people who watch it would see plenty of local faces.

"There's one section on Johnny Garvan, who was just a boy back then showing him running across the rocks," Mr Williams said.

"Now he's one of the blokes you go to around here if you want to know anything about fishing."

As in the original competition Mr Williams said there would many other prizes for other species of fish caught, numbers caught, total weight and some novelty categories.

Mr Williams said despite similarities with the original, the new competition would have significant differences.

"The competition will be all live catch," Mr Williams said. "Dead fish will not be admitted.

"We don't think it will be much of a problem. A lot of people already have live bait and catch tanks and you can make one pretty easily for around $30.

"All you need is one of those big plastic containers you can buy for $10 and an electric aerator you can hook up to a battery for $20 and you have an aerated tank."

The club has introduced some science into the event, to ensure it runs smoothly.

"We've been working with Paul Butcher from Fisheries in Coffs Harbour on making sure the competition is conducted sustainably.

"They're happy to work with us because it allows them to do a bit of research."

Mr Williams said the organisers had to secure the brand name of Tim the Bream from Caltex, who owned the name after they took over the original competition sponsor, Ampol.

"They were more than happy to release the use of the name," he said.

The map of fishing spots allowed in the original Tim the Bream competition in 1958. Photo Tim Howard / Daily Examiner
The map of fishing spots allowed in the original Tim the Bream competition in 1958. Photo Tim Howard / Daily Examiner Tim Howard

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