TOUGH TO BEAT: Sam Keeping with Xanthe Keeping, 4, reeled in an impressive mackeral, 9.28kg.
TOUGH TO BEAT: Sam Keeping with Xanthe Keeping, 4, reeled in an impressive mackeral, 9.28kg. Mike Richards

Haul starts early at HookUp with festival aura filling air

BRAY Park was lined with camp chairs on Friday afternoon, with anglers out making the most of great fishing conditions.

Large crowds flocked to the HookUp to witness the safety demonstration and to secure enviable positions on the lawn for last night's ANZAC test match on the big screen.

The first of the weigh-ins at 2pm boasted an impressive array of species and sizes.

Mangrove Jack, snapper, fingermark, red emperor and mackeral dominated the scales.

Sam Keeping and daughter Xanthe, 4, weighed in a massive 9.28 kilogram mackeral on the first day of the Boyne Tannum HookUp proceedings.

The biggest haul of mackeral for the day belonged to Jeff Warland who weighed in at 12.31 kilograms.

A notable catch also went to Wayne Watson, who managed to land a 6.11 kilogram salmon in Gladstone Harbour.

"I use a timer hardbody lure," he said.

"Not a bad start to the comp."

Lures seemed to be attracting the scaled sorts, although the hot tip also went to live baits and pilchards.

The Boyne Island park had been transformed into a festival atmosphere with fairy floss, woodfire pizza and entertainment throughout the afternoon.

The XXXX container bar was a popular destination for weary fishers at the end of their day.

Damian De Giovanni and Taryn Johansen from XXXX were getting amongst the crowd and checking out the best catches of the day.

"We're here to promote the good life," said Mr De Giovanni.

"We love the mateship that the HookUp promotes, going out on the water and creating some good fishing yarns," he said.

There was a high prescence of children showing off their skills with a rod, including eight-year-old Baylin Grills with his flathead.

The first day of the biggest family fishing competition is Australia has set a high precedent for days to come.

Make sure you pick up Saturday's paper and The Observer's special Sunday edition for a stack of photos from the Boyne Tannum HookUp.



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