DON’T miss the 25th Bowen Family Fishing Classic and Wet Weekend, this year to be held on September 17 and 18.
This is Australia’s biggest family fishing classic, so come along and join in the fishing and fun at the top of the Whitsundays along Bowen’s Front Beach.
The Classic is about more than fishing. Entertainment for the whole family can be enjoyed throughout the weekend.
The XXXX Beach Party kicks off on Saturday from 12.45pm, following the blessing of the fishers and a performance from a Gospel band. Over the course of the weekend, seven bands from Bowen to Melbourne will play on Bowen’s Soundshell to entertain guests of all ages. As the night air gets cooler, so do the bands on stage, with local band 1984 to kick off an evening of perfect and powerful music.
Shannon Noll has captured the hearts and minds of music fans around Australia and overseas with his raw, gifted rock voice. He remains one of the most recognisable names and faces in the Australian music industry. The Australian Idol runner-up and household name will be sure to have everyone racing to the front row for the best show in town.
Hailing from Melbourne is Australia’s premier Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Montserrat. This group is well known for taking you on a musical voyage through the islands of the Caribbean with a unique style of country rock music. Everyone will be rocking and singing along to many old-time favourites.
Pop Standen, Phil Emmanuel and sax player Dave Hoffmann will combine to bring a different sound to the event, mixing country, rock, swing and blues. Christian Power and Lonesome Train have been delighting audiences across the world for over 15 years with their highly entertaining, original and interactive performances.
Lonesome Train plays a fantastic mix of originals and classics, all cooked up to an infectious, high-energy, rockabilly beat. The band loves to invite audience members up on stage too, so if you have a talent and are happy to share, it will make more fun for everyone.
Local band 1984 has been rocking Bowen crowds since the members were teenagers. Having reunited in the past couple of years, 1984 plays everything from old rock to new country. Always ready for a party, the group will have your dancing shoes on before you know it.
Don’t forget to look to the sky for the Grandview fireworks that are sure to delight the young and old at 9pm. And that’s just day one!
Come on down for brekkie beachside before a leisurely day of music, family fun, weigh-ins and wonderful prizes, all of which must go home with lucky winners.
Activities taking place over the weekend include a cake crunching contest, sand sculpting (new time this year due to tides), lolly drop, crawchie races, bush and beach craft for the kids, yabby pumping competition, cast net casting competition, dash for cash and kids’ handball competition.
Heaps of rides will be on offer for the young at heart as well as games, displays, food and three bars.
Two weigh-ins will be held over the weekend, with fish donated to the weigh-in team, filleted, packaged and delivered to Meals on Wheels.
This charitable organisation benefits from the competition each year. Proceeds from the Classic assist local and national charities, with a significant donation every year allocated for fish stocking.
Fishing categories and prizes
Sixteen fishing and crabbing categories include highest weight and secret weight prizes for senior and junior anglers.
A top prize for the heaviest fish weighed in by a female angler is sponsored by Centrepoint Traders. One of the senior lucky nomination prizes is seven nights’ accommodation at Montes Reef Resort valued at $1820 and the lucky weigh-in prize is a trip from Cairns to Cooktown thanks to Bowen Transit and Trans North.
Presentations will be held at 4pm Sunday, culminating in the senior and junior lucky nomination boat draws. Trophies and prizes for the champion junior and senior anglers will be awarded, along with tagged fish prizes for the juniors and tens of thousands of dollars in prizes and giveaways.
Entry forms are available from local tackle shops (check out the website for the full list of outlets) or online at www.bowenfamilyfishingclassic.com Senior entry is $28 and junior entry $15.
The senior lucky nomination prize boat is a Bluefin 4.8 Silver Edition valued at $39,700. This plate-sided hull features a centre console with screen and grab rail and is built tough with high sides and a full motor well. It is a tough, no-nonsense sportfishing boat that is at home in the estuaries and offshore and is fitted with the ultimate four-stroke motor in Honda’s BF80 with seven-year warranty. On the dash is a Humminbird Helix 5 DI sounder/GPS and GME entertainment system. The ‘Bowen Classic Silver Edition’ (in commemoration of the Classic’s 25th anniversary) is finished in a distinctive custom wrap and set up on a Swiftco 5.0 hot-dipped galvanised trailer.
The junior lucky nomination prize boat worth $6770 is a Bluefin 3.5 Blaze Bandit. A traditional V-bottom dinghy has never been simpler, more easily driven or stable at rest. Distinctive aqua/silver paint replicates the senior prize boat and keeps with the silver anniversary theme. This rig offers stability and is fitted with the portable power of a Honda 2.3hp motor with seven-year warranty. The Bandit features level floatation, ensuring it is very safe.
This great junior prize boat includes standard features such as an anchor shelf, grab handles, bow eye, transducer bracket, side pockets and two thwart seats as well as an optional drop-in floor and two rod holders, all sitting on a Swiftco 3.6 trailer.
The Classic attracts thousands of visitors to the Bowen region each year, so make sure you mark your calendar, book your accommodation early, tell your friends and bring the family. Make your way to beautiful Bowen and take part in Australia’s biggest family fishing classic in its 25th year. Keep an eye on the Bowen Family Fishing Classic Facebook page for all event news.