WE WERE THERE: HookUp is a major event on calendar

We Were There is a great series that revisits The Observer's in-depth coverage of the major events that have shaped Gladstone region over the years. Today, we look back at the Boyne Tannum Hookup.

THE Boyne Tannum HookUp is the biggest fishing competition of its kind in Australia.

And The Observer has been a major sponsor of the event since its inception 20 years ago.

The major prize at the first event was bought with borrowed money from the Chamber of Commerce; it was a 4.5m Stessel centre console with a Johnson on the back, valued at $11,000. The total prize pool was $20,000.

This year the event had a total prize pool of more than $300,000 and the major prize, a rather flash boat, was valued at $98,000.

The HookUp has won many awards including at the local Australia Day event through to tourism awards in the Capricorn, Gladstone, and Southern Barrier Reef regions.

Over the years hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to various charitable organsations.

Anglers come from far and wide to catch a great fish, but many people register for the event and don't even drop a line in the water - they are keen to help the cause, and they have a chance to win on the many prizes on offer.

The HookUp has, over the years, had some difficulty in finding committee members, and current president Jeff Amos this year announced that he would be standing down from the position, after being a part of the big event each year.

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