The 2013 Xstrata Lake Moondarra Fishing Classic has come to a close with standout crowds and catches recorded over the three days.
Organisers, volunteers and exhibitors were run off their feet as spectators and competitors in their thousands reveled in the jam packed fishing and entertainment schedule.
Fishing aspects of the 2013 event saw huge numbers, with 426 competitors nominated and 333 fish (the 2nd highest number since records dating back to 2004) weighed in from 6:15pm Friday through to weigh station closure at 12pm Sunday.
Warm water temperatures saw 4 large Barramundi weighed in over the competition; along with numerous reports of missed hook-ups. The infamous $50,000 Mount Isa Water Board Tagged Barra once again eluded capture, leaving a $1,000 bounty on its capture if within the next twelve months. (Mount Isa Fish Stocking Group to publish the tag number in the coming week).
Luke North snagged the prestigious title of the Heaviest Barramundi with a 3.87kg beauty caught from the bank being, weighed in at roughly 9am this morning (Sunday). Other major category winners included Chris Kirikos taking out the Champion Senior Angler and Lachlan Winter the hotly contested Champion Junior Angler title for a second year running.
Numbers were up in the popular Champion Team and Kayak Angler categories with 86 nominations in total. “Team Anything” took out the team title; while Travis Chirio took out the kayak category with a 1.88kg Sleepy Cod.
Annette Swaine won the lucky senior nomination prize of a Skytrans and Parker Travel flight and accommodation package and Kerry Cronin took home a cool $750 for snagging the Mystery Weight Barra with a 3.08kg cracker.
For those who stayed on dry land throughout the weekend the entertainment schedule saw “The Rusty Trombones” take out the Buffs Club Beach Volleyball competition and crowds regularly lined up to view the Yamaha Supertank shows thank to Pirtek.
The GE Fireworks Spectacular was a huge hit; with Hook, Line and Sinker’s Andrew Hart and Nick Duigan conducting the count down for crowds of thousands lining the shores. In an awe inspiring display spectators were marvelled by Five Star Fireworks display lasting over ten minutes and including pink love heart special effects in recognition of the events Pink theme, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.
In a first for the long running event spectators and competitors were treated to hot and cold showers and a huge shade marquee, both proving popular with the weekends warm sunny weather conditions.
The major annual fundraiser of the Mount Isa Fish Stocking Group Co-Event Managers Jessica Bandiera and Lyn Holmes-Kidd were thrilled with the results.
“2013 has been a challenging year for our team with low Lake levels putting the event in jeopardy. As volunteers we really work hard in our own time for eight to ten months to make the event a stand out and successful fundraiser so it was hugely gratifying to see the competition and camp sites filled to the brim with smiling children and happy families.
With anglers nominating from as far away as Maffra Victoria and Atherton and Rathdowney in Queensland it’s good to see that the lure of the state’s richest freshwater prize purse overshadowed any doubts that may have arisen in the lead up.
We’d like to give a huge shout out to all of our sponsors, volunteers, spectators and competitors who made the event such a success and invite them all back for next year” said Jessica and Lyn.
Celebrity guest from national television program Hook, Line and Sinker Andrew Hart was blown away by the whole weekend, and although a big barra eluded him and co-host Nick Duigan they still managed to capture some great footage for their 2014 season.
“The Lake Moondarra Fishing Classic was so much more than we had anticipated.
The Fish Stocking Group (Mount Isa) should be really proud of what they achieve with the event; it’s a true testament to their dedication and to the city of Mount Isa.
With the help of our guides Trev and Carl we managed to land some great catches while out on the water and we look forward to coming back in the future and perhaps landing that $50,000 Barra!” said Andrew.