HookUp 2019: By the numbers
THE numbers have been crunched and they have revealed some interesting statistics from the 2019 Boyne Tannum HookUp.
Positive feedback for the May 3-5 fishing competition was almost unanimous with 86 per cent of almost 500 survey participants indicating they would recommend the event, while 58% of those surveyed scored the event a perfect 10.
A whopping 80% of people thought the event was better than last year with only 3% thinking the event was worse than 2018.
Car parking issues in and around Bray Park was the main, albeit very small, negative listed by survey respondents.
Participation numbers, prize money, social media and accommodation statistics increased from last year, although the numbers of live and non-live fish weighed in decreased by 18 and 81 respectively.
Boyne Tannum HookUp president Jennifer McGuire said the reason for a decrease in weighed-in fish came down to anglers being more sustainable with their catches.
"On the HookUp website we've published the Infofish survey and what that survey talks to - and these statistics support it - is that anglers are becoming more environmentally concious and more sustainable," Mrs McGuire said.
"The rules have always been set up to say weigh in your best fish first. We don't encourage people to bring in five whiting, we encourage people to bring in their best whiting and to keep it alive for it to be released again.
"The drop in those statistics we don't see as a negative because it means that it supports the sustainable, environmentally concious approach that anglers are taking.
"They are going out there to target their fish species, catching the best that they can and only weighing in the best that they can."
Mrs McGuire said the sustainable approach was one undertaken by a number of local professional anglers.
"There is a minority that get upset if a prominent local angler like a Johnny Mitchell or Clayton Box catch a big fish but those anglers know how to target the big fish.
"They target a species for that time of the year so they can fish in the competition," she said.
Another pleasing statistic was participation was up from last year with 3074 coming, an increase of 19 people.
Participants from outside Gladstone increased from 916 to 964, while participants from outside Queensland increased from 43 to 46.
Mrs McGuire said it was a sign the competition was heading in the right direction ahead of its 25th anniversary next year.
"We do have a strategic plan and a sponsorship arrangement with Gladstone Regional Council and support from Tourism and Events Queensland, were we've made some predictions in how we will attract tourists to the Boyne Tannum area, to our event and to the Gladstone region as a part of fishing tourism," she said.
"So it's fantastic to see in year one (of the strategy) we've met those KPIs in regard to those increases in tourists outside the Gladstone region and also from outside of Queensland.
"It can only get better as we continue to implement that strategic plan and work with TEQ to deliver that."
Mrs McGuire was also pleased junior numbers had increased from 734 to 758.
"As a mother of four children for me it's about the junior participants," she said.
"When you see an increase in juniors that means there is more families fishing.
"The management committee are really proud those junior participants keep entering and they keep going up.
"That's the future of our event and the future for the sport of fishing."