The fourth annual Riverina Classic Catch and Release Fishing Competition was held over three days in February on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River at Darlington Point in the Riverina NSW.
The Riverina Classic is a complete family event weekend featuring helicopter flights, kids’ entertainment, lure casting competitions, boat displays, a major raffle draw, release of native fingerlings and much more. This year the Berkley super tank (a giant mobile fish tank) was part of the event, giving visitors a great fish eye view of lure casting.
The event was a great success again this year with $20,000 raised and donated to the Griffith and district NSW support group for Motor Neurone Disease who service a large section of the Riverina providing assistance to those living with the disease.
This year saw nearly double the previous year’s release. Over 13,000 Murray cod and golden perch fingerlings were released in order to help secure a sustainable fishing future in the Murrumbidgee River ecosystem.
Despite consecutive days over 45°C, the event still had a great turn out of keen anglers and a record 112 legal-sized fish entered over the weekend. All entries were sent in as photos in order to minimise any negative effects on the welfare of the fish and to ensure anglers have maximum opportunity to chase that elusive big one.
The number of entries and the sizes of fish paint a promising picture. The river system looks better than it has been in previous years, despite flooding and black water in the region last winter.
The Riverina Classic offers one of the largest prize pools for inland fishing competitions in New South Wales. Winning categories in the competition again included: Biggest Yellowbelly, Biggest Cod, Biggest Carp and Cumulative Length. Each category had both junior and senior sections and every single junior that entered the competition went home with a prize.
Kylie Ryan and Brody Kenningale reclaimed their titles once again as senior and junior champion angler respectively for 2017. Lucky Leeton local Lyndal Kirkup took home the major raffle prize, a $10,000 Flight Centre holiday voucher. Second prize was a platinum 40L Engel fridge package and third prize was a Weber Q BBQ. These were cleaned up by locals Brendan Scott and Dyni Weaven.
All entrants into the fishing competition went into the draw to win a complete Stacer 409 Striker Series boat with a four-stroke 30hp Mercury motor and trailer package. Paul Hicks took home the goods for the senior draw and young Makayla Newman collected a kayak package.
Thanks to everyone who entered, helped out, attended the weekend and had fun! The event was made possible by the hard work and dedication of volunteers and their partners and friends who help organize the weekend. The event would not have taken place without the generosity of all the sponsors whose support will help ensure the community and the event continue to thrive.
For more information on the Riverina Classic Fishing Competition weekend, like us on Facebook or visit www.riverinaclassic.com. – Riverina ClassicReads: 195