GIANT HAUL: Darren Box with his 11kg winning red emperor.
GIANT HAUL: Darren Box with his 11kg winning red emperor. Contributed

It will be hard to top 20th anniversary HookUp

TOP SPOTS: With the 20th anniversary Boyne Tannum HookUp done and dusted, what on earth do you call the next one to top that?

'The coming of age HookUp?' Make it a 21st birthday edition?

Who knows what the committee will come up with, but what I do know is that this year's edition was quite extraordinary, with way over 3,000 entrants, $300,000 worth of cash and prizes, massive crowds attended each day.

And such good healthy rivalry, and banter between many groups of fishermen, and none more than within the spanish mackerel category between Johnny Mitchell, Terrin Sharpe, Zane Reed along with one or two of the hafta fish team, and also the eventual winner being Joe McGuire.

All are extremely good fishermen, and this banter started a couple of weeks out.

The real intensity came to life on Saturday afternoon with Joe weighing in a +25kg monster.

There were murmurings of other fish which had been caught, and yet to weigh in, and even Ben Gudgen chimed in, with his very solid spanish on the Sunday, only to be pipped by Joe, who'd ventured back out in that stiff breeze on Sunday morning.

Then we had this uneasy wait for the hafta fish crew, with their two big eskies.

Right on 3.55pm, five minutes before the weigh in closed, Johnny and his crew jumped up off their seats, and charged off in the direction of the car.

Once out of sight, Johnny and his mates, peeled off and went to the bar, leaving Joe totally unaware of what was going on, and still packing it.

Then Zane and his team weighed their fish still leaving Joe in front, and Johnny was a very well planned "no show".

Another story is in the red emperor category with Darren Box from Boyne Bait N Tackle who had weighed a +11kg red in on Saturday afternoon.

My lad Matty was chatting with someone who hash tagged the HookUp with an enormous red which I reckon could've gone 16-18kg.

The word that I had was that it also was being weighed in on Sunday afternoon, but alas it didn't appear.

With regard to the live fish categories I have never seen such participation with almost 800 fish being tagged and released from the ramp.

The $5000 bream, flathead and grunter are still out there but certainly not worth that now.

Looking forward to this weekend it looks as though (at the time of writing) inshore is going to be the go, with strong winds, and big seas are forecast for the next few days, maybe dropping out a little on Monday, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

The likes of Wild Cattle and through the Collo, Mundoolin and Seven Mile areas, mangrove jack are certainly on the chew.

Baffle Creek is another haven for jack and with a little brewery down there head there for a fish and a refreshing ale.



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