James sets 30.3kg record for barramundi at festival

By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.com.au

RECORDS were smashed at this year's Lions Lake Awoonga Fishing Festival.

James Leach snagged the biggest barramundi ? a whopping 30.3kg monster ? and took out the prize for the biggest fish caught during the competition.

Lions spokesperson Rick Bichsel said the weekend was a huge success.

'We had 360 entries this year, one hundred up on last year,' Mr Bichsel said.

'The weather was perfect and the fish just kept on biting.

'Sadly no one caught the tagged barramundi so unfortunately the Quintrex Top Ender boat had to go back to the showroom.'

Mr Bichsel said the first barramundi was caught on Friday by Andrew Harwood and it weighed in at 15.7kg.

'On Saturday the first barramundi was caught by Dulcie Chapman and that weighed in at a respectable 13 kilos,' Mr Bichsel said.

'Sunday's first barramundi was caught by Tracy Knight who later went on to win second largest fish caught during the competition.'

Mr Bichsel said not only barramundi were attracting prizes.

'The heaviest catfish caught by a junior went to Stephen Myers who also caught the largest red claw,' Mr Bichsel said.

'In the senior category Col-in Keech caught the largest catfish and Graeme David Willis caught the heaviest red claw.

'The biggest banded grunter was caught by St Clair Hayes.' More then 200 people turned out for the weekend.

'It was a great opportunity for families to come and let the kids drop a line and catch a fish,' Mr Bichsel said.

Mr Bichsel said the crowds and the sponsors were fantastic.

'We wanted to promote this event as a great family outing and encourage family values,'' he said.

'This weekend showed that happened.'

Mr Bichsel said next year they planned to release two tagged barramundi before the competition to double the chance of winning the boat.

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