Hosted over the weekend at Black Rock Park Lake Moondarra just North of the iconic mining city, the 2015 Moondarra Fishing Classic saw 450 nominated competitors weigh in a total of 235 fish and approximately 3,800 spectators take to the shores for 3 days of fun and entertainment.
Attributing the success to newly extended fishing hours, ideal water levels and perfect weather a weary eyed George Fortune summed up the weekends success.
“2015’s Fishing Classic could only be described as a ripper success. From both a behind the scenes and public perspective things went fairly seamlessly and it was great to see competitor and spectator numbers well and truly up” he said.
“After a tough couple of years for the event and the organisers Mount Isa Fish Stocking Group due to drought the atmosphere for this year was truly one of family fun and relaxation. Numbers entered in support activities such as the Commerce North West Dragon Boat Regatta and Buffs Club Beach Volleyball were also higher resulting in better competition for participants and viewing for spectators.”
Renowned as Queensland’s richest freshwater fishing event due to a prize purse including the $50,000 Mount Isa Water Board Tagged Barra ‘Fat Albert’ as the tagged fish was dubbed eluded anglers once again but thousands of dollars in prizes, cash and trophies were awarded for the 22 other prize categories up for grabs.
Bill Rigby took out the coveted Champion Senior Angler title with a points total of 1,550 and Nicholas Thinee went home with the Champion Junior Angler title.
The coveted Heaviest Overall Barramundi title went to senior competitor Joshua Isaacson with a Barra weighing in at 22.43kg, brought in within the first couple of hours of competition on Friday night.
With competitors nominating from as far away as Thursday Island and the Gold Coast Weigh Master and Co-Event Manager Steve Farnsworth was also chuffed to see a good number of Barramundi weighed in.
“15 Barramundi were weighed in over the 48 hours of competition making it level with last year and higher than the 5 years previous.”
“While this was the first year we extended the competition by 6 hours all of the Barra were in fact weighed in over Friday and Saturday meaning it really was a good year for Barra.”
“It was also good to see a good level of junior and female competitors in the mix this year as we really try to promote the event as a family friendly event which shows our efforts are working”.
On the shore a team dubbed ‘Orca 3.1’ in an impressive fibreglass based vessel took out the top honours of overall winners in the Dragon Boat Regatta, closely followed by naming rights sponsor Clancy Corporation’s team ‘The Dragon Warriors’.
‘Team Oaks’ also took out the Beach Volleyball title for a second year in a row in a close match against Queensland Police’s Mount Isa Mates.
Crowds in their thousands flocked to see the Saturday night Ausure Insurance and Finance Fireworks Spectacular coordinated by Far North Queensland based Pyrotechnics firm Five Star Fireworks.
With full results from the fishing action to be available from the Fishing Classic website and social media in the coming days, hats goes off to the volunteer Mount Isa Fish Stocking Group for another memorable and iconic Outback event for 2015.