Great Inland Fishing Festival this weekend

December 6, 2013

The Great Inland Fishing Festival will be held this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Copeton Dam. The Great Inland Fishing Festival Committee President, Brett McInnes is very pleased with the way the way things are coming together.

“With the dam around 70% capacity, the fish on the bite and plenty of great prizes up for grabs it is expected over 300 participants will take part this year”, Brett said.

“Our two major sponsors being Inverell Fishing and Hunting and Compleat Angler and Camping World Inverell have combined with our day sponsors to enable us to put on one of the premier inland fishing competitions on the calendar”.

“Nominations so far have been strong and anglers are encouraged to sign up so they can get on the water early Friday morning with the competition officially commencing at 7am.

“Committee members will be at the Copeton State Park on Thursday afternoon so people are able to sign on ready for the next day”. “Nominations can also be completed before this Friday at Tourism Inverell” Brett indicated.

“The champion angler throughout the competition will walk away with $1000 cash (including $500 bonus if they are in attendance at the presentation) plus trophy with the champion club getting $1500 worth of fingerlings courtesy of Gwydir Fish Native Fish Hatchery to bolster their local water ways”.

“The Festival Committee this year will also be placing strong emphasis on participation with a great range of mystery prizes to be given away at the presentation for those that may not have been lucky enough to be in the prize money” said Brett.

Friday December 6 is Day 1 of the competition and is sponsored by Copeton State Park with flag boats and bank stations operating between 7am and 6pm.

Day 2 of the competition is sponsored by Sapphire City Steel and Pipe and again fish can be measured over the 11 hour period between 7am and 6pm.

The Final day of the competition is sponsored by Clarence Holiday Coast Real Estate again with a 7am start and finishing up at 10am to allow points to be tallied for the lunch time presentation on the lawn area in front of the Northcott Centre at the State Park.

“A large crowd traditionally likes to hang around for the presentation and the drawing of the Fisherman’s Dream Raffle which this year includes an electric kayak, custom rod and reel combo and other great prizes”, Brett said.

“Whilst Murray Cod is always viewed as the trophy catch in this competition, prize categories also exist for Golden Perch, Catfish & Silver Perch”.

“Some people target a particular species whilst others are happy just to try their luck and enjoy a long weekend at the dam”. “This year we will also have a $300 cash prize for the biggest Cod of the competition sponsored by New England Fishing and Fossicking and a $300 cash prize for biggest Golden Perch of the competition sponsored by Wooli River Lodges.

“As there have been a few Redfin about there will also be daily prizes for the largest Redfin which will be the only non catch and release category of the competition” said Brett. The competition has a wide drawing area bringing people from south east Queensland, over on the coast, as far inland as Walgett and to the south from areas like Bathurst and Orange.

Inverell local Tim Mutimer who was the 2011 champion has been in good form on the inland competitive fishing circuit and would have to be one of the early favorites for the event. He is sure however to get some stiff competition from previous champions such as Jim Buxton, Dave Martell and David Glenn.

The catch and release competition is in its 15th year and is a major draw card for Inverell and the surrounding region. “Many see it as a great opportunity for a family weekend away and concessional nominations are available for families, children and Pensioners”.

“Anyone wanting further information regarding nominations or the competition format is encouraged to log onto our web site www.inlandfishingfestival. com” said Brett.

Brett would encourage all anglers to spend some time and read their rule sheets they receive when they sign on and ensure they are aware of all current NSW Fisheries Regulations which will be strictly adhered to.

This year the upstream limit of the competition waters will also be marked with yellow buoys. Anyone requiring any last minute information can contact Brett on phone 0429 446551.