For the first time, the Great Australian Pub Fishing Competition is set to lure a cast of hundreds – if not thousands – of social anglers to Newcastle NSW for an ‘unreel’ weekend of fishing and fun.
Dates for the inaugural event are February 11-13, 2022 and there’s nothing fishy about the rules, No.1 being that anglers must be members (or representatives) of a social fishing group associated with their local pub or licenced club.
That means they’ll potentially be coming from far and wide, even from across the Tasman as the event is partnering with travel specialists Ticket2Ride.com.au.
Iconic beer brand XXXX is a key partner and will promote the event through pubs and clubs, while City of Newcastle is also a key foundation supporter.
“The competition is designed for the typical pub or club angler who loves fishing as much as a quiet beer,” event director Dom Grundy says. “Like with golf’s Scramble, they can travel as a team of four and win trophies, prizes and bragging rights against rival teams.
“Mates against mates, baits against baits!”
There’s two days of fishing, social activities and the chance to check out displays of the latest fishing and boating equipment. Fishing hours are Saturday and Sunday, 6am to 1pm, which leaves afternoons free for social activities and a prizegiving presentation on the Sunday afternoon.
“Teams can fish from tinnies, runabouts, kayaks, a jet-ski, jetty, breakwall or even a surf beach within the Newcastle region – chasing a select range of fish species. Strategies will add a real level of intrigue to the competition,” Grundy adds.
Competitors will send photos of their catch on a brag mat, with frequent updates provided via the event’s social pages.
Convenor of Fishing is Tony Poole, organiser of the popular Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament since 1994 and long-time importer of Luhrs sportsfishing boats from the US.
Newcastle is a destination in itself for fishos, being wedged between Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens, two hours from Sydney and close to its own major airport. It has one of Australia’s highest per-capita ratios of boat ownership, and the Harbour and Stockton Bight are renowned for producing bream, flathead, whiting, jewfish and a mixed bag of other species.
The city is also renowned as a pub and club town, so teams will feel right at home. Many also offer affordable accommodation.
Another huge drawcard will be the many ‘lucky draw prizes’ that give everyone the chance to win fishing gear, fuel vouchers and a major fishing travel prize.
Entry is $85 per competitor ($340 per team).