BIG CATCH: Dustin Sippel from Bundaberg with a Lake Awoonga barra. Sippel won the Barra and Basstasstic Tournament in 2015 and 2016.
BIG CATCH: Dustin Sippel from Bundaberg with a Lake Awoonga barra. Sippel won the Barra and Basstasstic Tournament in 2015 and 2016. Contributed

New species added to annual fishing contest

FISHING: Professional and recreational anglers will descend on Lake Awoonga on Friday for the annual Barra and Basstasstic Tournament.

This year's competition will take on a slight twist with different species of fish added to the list.

Organiser Russell Nowland is expecting a healthy turnout for the weekend event, with the Gladstone Area Water Board's continued stocking of the lake dispelling any fears regarding a lack of fish after the spills at the dam in 2013, and more recently in April and October last year.

"This year we're opening it up to other species such as mangrove jack, alligator gar, sooty grunter and the barra,” he said.

"We're going to have a size limit on forkies (forktail catfish) so people don't end up with a heap of them.

"There's no bait so basically people can trawl or cast and retrieve, which is what our competition is mainly based on, but it allows people to do whatever they want to do.”

Brisbane's Tim O'Dea won last year's competition.
Brisbane's Tim O'Dea won last year's competition. Contributed

The event is aimed not only at the seasoned pros, but the whole family with juniors welcomed.

"The tournament is based around anyone - you don't have to be a member of a Basstasstic group - it's open to the public,” Nowland said.

"Just come along, do the paperwork and pay the fee. There's prizes for men, women and the juniors. Everyone who joins up will win a prize so you'll go home with something.”

Dustin Sipple with another big barra.
Dustin Sipple with another big barra. Contributed

A photo of each fish is needed and an icon is given to you in a starter pack which has to be placed next to each fish you catch and photograph on a brag mat.

Camping discounts at the Lake Awoonga Caravan Park are available for participants.

For more info call Russell on 4167 8183.

DETAILS

WHEN: Friday 10am to Sunday 10am (January 12-14), presentation at 12pm.

WHERE: Lake Awoonga Caravan Park

REGISTRATIONS: Friday 10am - 9pm and Saturday 6am - 5pm.

COST: $70 adult, $25 juniors (15 and under).



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