Tournament lures keen anglers to Awoonga
AWOONGA Dam was buzzing with fishermen and their prey over the weekend for the annual Australian Barra and Basstasstic Tournament.
Around 25 people competed in the three-day event, many travelling from around Queensland to compete at one of the best barra fishing lakes the state has to offer.
It was a catch-and-release tournament with fishermen and women able to fish around the clock.
Top anglers from all over Queensland tried their hand.
Trevor Crofts and Ken Gleith came from Muttaburra to cast a line.
"We started at 5am on Saturday," Trevor said. "It's the most fish I've ever seen here."
Mr Crofts said the barramundi were hovering above the trees on the lake, the heat was a good condition for catching them.
"I've had one bite and caught one fish."
Mr Gleith said he couldn't get enough of fishing.
"I was born with a rod in my hand. We used to use a stick and string around it as kids," he said. "I've been fishing all my life."
Winner of the most fish caught was Dustin Sippel.
"I am really happy. I just worked the line down until it hit the tops of the trees and let the lure float to the top," he said.
Mr Sippel used timber, fluoro-coloured lures.
He lost five fish and boated three, but the attraction was all about being outdoors for Mr Sippel.
"I love fishing because it's always a fun day on the water," he said.
Youngest competitor David Russell, 7, didn't catch a fish but had a great time at the dam.
"Fishing is fun, my dad taught me," he said.
"I have caught a catfish, bass, yellow belly and barramundi before."
David has been fishing since he was four, tagging along with mum Karen and dad Russell Nowland on tournaments around Queensland.
Mr Nowland, organiser of the event, said it was great to see competitors reeling in quality fish.
"It was a great success and the catches were all big fish," he said.
"We are trying to get the interest back at Lake Awoonga after the floods. It's a great little place just 20km from town."
Around 15 fish were caught in total. The overcast weather and humidity laid a perfect fishing ground for the competitors.
Mr Nowland has been running the competition for 10 years and said he plans on continuing the event in the future.
"We will run twice next year in January," he said.
"We need more juniors, though."
- Champion Senior Angler: Dustin Sippel. Three fish at 83, 84 and 85cm.
- Biggest Barra caught: Rick Napier. 89cm.