Bounty fishers reel in the big barramundis
ABOUT 450 fish were caught and released during the 2019 Rocky Barra Bounty which ended on Wednesday afternoon.
Running for two and half days, 79 teams took part in the catch and release event.
Based on a sliding point scale, the size of the fish determined points and ranking for the competition.
The biggest barramundi at 1.19m was caught on the first day on Monday by Ben Williams.
Another big fish was caught on the last day on Wednesday but was just shy of winning the record when Martin Rayner reeled in a barra at 1.185mm.
Rocky Barra Bounty committee member Bill Sawynok said it was a good event but numbers were down slightly due to the weather.
"It was pretty good, the only downside was the wind was blowing very strong on the three days making conditions tough," he said.
Co-team member Cale Archer of runner up team, Archer Bros, was pleased to hear he won and was secretly chuffed to beat out the other locals.
His third time entering the competition, he came third in individual last year and fourth for teams.
He also commented that the wind made it very hard this year.
"It made the fishing tougher and harder to get the bites," Cale said.
The team caught mostly barras and one threadfin and a fingermark they didn't enter.
The fish were caught mostly on hard body lures.
"I don't have a preference, more of what works at the time," he said.
But Cale was tight-lipped on where his secret spots were to go in the river for the fish.
He took the week off work to enter the competition with his brother who came up from the Gold Coast especially for the event.
"It's just the strive to compete against the best people out there," he said.
A Rockhampton local, Cale said the quality of fish coming out of the Fitzroy River since the net free zones were introduced was "crazy".
"Just the drastic increase in size and to be able to chase the big fish now is good," he said.
A presentation dinner was held last night at the Gracemere Hotel - the major sponsor - with $55,000 worth of cash and prizes.