None of the 24 Bingara anglers who took part in the 2010 Roy Parsons Marine Centre Great Inland Fishing Festival had much luck catching fish, and even less in the prize stakes.
“With the wind, the rain and the rising water, we just couldn’t find them,” Steve Apthorpe told the Advocate. “Altogether, we caught four legal sized fish, and one undersized cod,” Steve said. “We had a good time though.”
Steve said that on Saturday waves were breaking over his boat. “There were white caps, you could have surfed on the dam,” he said. He said the water in the dam rose quickly, adding about four feet to the depth of the water.
Despite the trying weather conditions throughout the event, the festival has been hailed a success by the organising committee. Committee Publicity Officer, Mr Brett McInnes said “a total of 357 competitors signed on with 255 fish caught and released throughout the competition.
“We had anglers from as far a field as the Northern Territory, Wollongong, Bathurst and South East Queensland all come and try their luck at Copeton Dam”.
Whilst the competition attracted competitors from far and wide it was the fisherman from the local region that took out the major prizes. “Robbie Lynne from Glen Innes took out the honour of Overall Champion with 2938.5 points, closely followed by runner up Paul Simpson from Inverell” Mr McInnes said.
“Robbie stamped his authority early on in Day 1 and was never really headed although with the likes of Paul Simpson, Jack Urqhart and Tim Mutimer in the top four it was always going to come down to the last days fishing.
“Robbie Lynne managed to land a couple of nice Catfish on the final morning which provided him with an unassailable lead” Mr McInnes said.
The competition was also hot amongst the female anglers with Melissa Pellow of Dubbo taking out the title with 1095 points. “Melissa landed a nice Cod on the final morning of the competition which certainly helped boost her points tally.
“Melissa was followed by Jodie Lynne from Emmaville who had total of 856.5 points” Mr McInnes said.
“It was also great to see a local with Curtis Anderson from Inverell claim the Junior Male title with a very commendable 1130 points”. “Runner-up in the Junior Male section was Jaiden Wilson from Moree with 695 points.
“Emily Hoffman from Warwick led the charge in the Junior Girls with a total of 327 points followed by another Warwick girl, Bonnie Baguley with 76 points”.
Despite the testing weather conditions and lack of cooperation from the fish, a number of bigger species were landed.”
The Wooli River Lodges $300 cash prize for the biggest Cod of the competition went to Melissa Pellow with a 71cm specimen”. “Melissa was also presented with the Ian Johnstone Memorial Shield for the largest Cod of the Competition.
“The Westlawn Investments, Insurance & Finance $300 cash prize for the largest Golden Perch went to local angler Mark Bryant with a 62 cm fish” Mr McInnes said.
The weekend concluded with the presentation and the drawing of the much anticipated Fisherman’s Dream Raffle which saw Adrian Youll of Albion Park take ownership of the major boat and motor prize proudly sponsored by Roy Parsons Marine Centre.
Mr McInnes said “planning has already commenced for next years event and we value the contribution that was made by many in staging such a successful festival this year”.
The Great Inland Fishing Festival Committee is a Section 355 Committee of Council and the support offered by Inverell Shire is critical to hosting the event each year.
“Many local businesses also offer fantastic support by way of sponsorship and we would also like to thank them for their contributions” Mr McInnes said.