North Coast Fishing Bonanza organiser Michael Starkey is ready for the three-day fishing fundraiser in Ballina that starts tomorrow.
North Coast Fishing Bonanza organiser Michael Starkey is ready for the three-day fishing fundraiser in Ballina that starts tomorrow. Doug Eaton

Fishing bonanza wants new anglers

THERE are two things Australian Fishing Tournaments director Michael Starkey wants to happen over the next few days.

The first is for the weather to start improving. The second is for a lot more people to register for the inaugural North Coast Fishing Bonanza.

As the event organiser, Mr Starkey hopes to hold the event each year as a fundraiser for the Ballina flotilla of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard.

But as of yesterday, just 50 people had signed up for the three-day fishing competition.

“We want to get about 250 people,” Mr Starkey said.

“The weather isn’t being kind to us right now. If it wasn’t for that, I think everything would be going along pretty smoothly.”

Raining or not, the fishing bonanza is still going ahead.

It starts tomorrow and continues until Sunday, with a total prize pool of about $75,000.

Even if you don’t catch a fish you can still win a prize.

Everyone who enters the competition goes into the draw to win a Tabs 4.9m Master Series Runabout with a 75hp motor, sounder/GPS, safety gear and trailer. It isvalued at $35,000.

A boat package, worth $11,000, is also up for grabs in the random cadet prize pool.

For those people set on landing a big one, Mr Starkey has a few tips.

“It’s going to be difficult for people offshore from Ballina, but because we’re allowing people to fish anywhere from Tweed Heads to the Clarence, you could try getting out at Evans Head or Iluka,” he said.

“In the estuaries, try for mulloway in the dirty water. There’s also some flathead and bream around.”

Mr Starkey’s main aim is to raise as much money as possible for the coast guard.

To register for the Gamakatsu North Coast FishingBonanza, visit www.gamakatsu.com.au.


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