Glenn Churchill and Greg Realf, from GAPDL, ready for action at the Brisbane Tinny, Tackle and 4x4 Show.
Glenn Churchill and Greg Realf, from GAPDL, ready for action at the Brisbane Tinny, Tackle and 4x4 Show. Contributed

Gladstone attracts plenty of interest at fishing show

IT looks as though the Big Fella hasn't finished sending us some rain yet with plenty forecast for the next week.

It is meant to begin on Saturday, and on Monday the predictions are that you'll need to anchor the kennel down.

That certainly wasn't the case last weekend when GAPDL's Glenn Churchill, Greg Realf, myself and my lad Matty manned the stand for the Gladstone and Banana regions at the Brisbane Tinny, Tackle and 4x4 Show at the Brisbane Showgrounds.

We've been doing this for a few years now and each year interest in our awesome region grows.

Top three glamping spots around Gladstone

This year more than 400 people stopped, talked, gathered information, took brochures, and then gazed, drooling at the pictures of the fish which had been caught in this region over the past few weeks, some from my collection and others from the likes of Johnny Mitchell.

I even had Owen Richards's pictures up over the Heron Island aerial banner showing that huge long tom one minute with the beaut colours in the background and then the next he is catching a wave out at Sykes!

It's those sorts of things which make this region so great, and Neil Mergard, who has the LARK at 1770, used to take folk out on fishing and surfing cruises on the MV Cpt Cook for many years.

There were many asking about the Discovery Coast especially around Baffle Creek, and what people could do and see there.

Turkey Beach has drawn some attention too, for its mangrove jack, flathead, and whiting and also the holiday feel it has.

As you can imagine there are loads of "wannabes" in the big smoke, and when they see the size of the barra, the crabs, the mackerel, they reckon they have caught bigger, to which I reply "wow!" in a disbelieving sort of a way.

Many were asking about the Boyne Valley, and what the fishing was like at the top of the lake, which I have to admit has been rather good, and this weather I reckon will only make it better.

We met the likes of Paul Worsteling from IFish, who is really keen to visit our region and maybe even be at the Boyne Tannum HookUp next year.

Peter Rosentreter, who looks after Engel Queensland, is a major sponsor of the event and has been for many years, is keen to try and facilitate this visit.

The likes of IFish have 20 programs a year, and they try and split it evenly around Australia.

I have to say, this chap is a superstar and very good for recreational fishing in Australia, with a very warm, happy disposition, incredible knowledge of Australia, and most of the species, a family man, and someone who just about everyone can relate to, and whose personality is infectious.

Looking close to home, I doubt that many will be out fishing this weekend apart from those aiming to target those species heading to the saltwater away from the fresh.

Remember that saltwater is heavier and the likes of those crabs will be sitting in the bottom of those deep holes.

Once this runoff really gathers momentum those species will be pushed further out into deeper water, so it's important to know what is going to happen.

On a final and sad note, Ross and Michelle Pearce have been operating the Lake Awoonga Boat Hire for many, many years, and late last month Ross passed away, leaving Michelle no option but to close the business down. 

Ross and Michelle Pearce of Lake Awoonga Boat Hire.
Ross and Michelle Pearce of Lake Awoonga Boat Hire. Luka Kauzlaric

Ross and Michelle involved themselves in everything to do with the promotion of this incredible impoundment over the years, with being involved in the very first Pro Am, where we saw the likes of the late Jack Erskine, Rod Harrison, Neil Schulz, Dave Hodge and many others turn up.

Ross had come from a background of flying 747 cargo planes all over the world, and just loved the serenity of Lake Awoonga.

From my perspective, being the owner of the Caltex at Benaraby for over 20 years, Ross was always down there fuelling up the hire boat tanks, and ready for a good chat, and that wiry old face, and personality, is certainly going to be missed.

Our condolences and support go out to Michelle and if there is anyone out there keen to buy a houseboat then give her a call.

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