IT'S HookUp time and what do ya know the weather hasn't changed a bit!
Judging by the forecast for the next three days if you aren't out on the water today chasing the reef fish out wide, I reckon the opportunity might have gone.
Although tomorrow might not be too bad.
Being the 20th year of the incredible event which we started thinking about creating back in 1994/5 while in the Boyne Tannum and Benaraby Chamber of Commerce and we wanted to create something that the Boyne Tannum community could call its own.
On that committee we had Zac and Paul Simmons, Robyn Shepherd, Ned Beaumont, Don Collier, the late Tom Mulder and myself.
At that time Grant Cooper was a brash young announcer for 4CD (now 4CC) at the time and he along with Robin Grundon, did all the announcing from the back of a semi-trailer.
The major prize we bought with borrowed money from the Chamber of Commerce was a 4.5m Stessel centre console with a Johnson on the back all valued at $11,000 and the total prize pool was $20,000.
Gee how times have changed and this event has grown into possibly the largest family fishing event in the whole of Australia boasting a total prize pool of over $300,000 and the major prize worth around $90,000!
It has won many awards from Australia Day awards through to Tourism awards in the Capricorn, Gladstone, and Southern Barrier Reef regions.
Over the years there has been hundreds of thousands of dollars donated directly back to the community.
There is nothing like fishing to energise a local economy from accommodation, to fuel, bait, ice, tackle, food, and subsequently many love to move here so real estate does tend to flourish.
Plus there's nothing like fishing to bring people together either wetting a line or over a beer or maybe even a coffee.
As for the fishing predictions for this weekend I reckon that today it'll be standing room only out on the reef.
Those places like Douglas and Guthrie Shoals will be tossing up some very nice fish.
Alan Murray and his mates slipped up to Morseby Banks, and Goodwin Shoals last weekend, and did extremely well, although the conditions were a tad ordinary overnight only glass out on the way home.
Terry Hayes experienced the same out at Douglas as he called the sea conditions "confused".
In close come Saturday afternoon and Sunday the fishing will be excellent as many will be looking for the three tagged fish worth $5,000 each!
Let's not forget about Pat O'Reilly's Memorial trophy for the live fish trifector for a family to win but the junior must catch at least one of the three species (bream, flathead and whiting I think) to be in the draw for $1,000
This weekend is set to be an awesome time and those chasing the fingermark, barra, and other live species will certainly have their work cut out for themselves as others who would've been going off shore might be limited to inshore.
Saturday morning does have southerly breezes though which should keep the sea state down and those chasing mackerel around Sable Chief, and even up at Rundle should be okay but don't leave your run home too late in the day as the wind will swing around to the south east.
I'm helping out with the proceedings on Saturday evening so make sure you come down and say gidday, I am sure it will be fantastic.
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