THE bait schools are massing; the seabirds are diving; and the game fish are biting.
That can only mean one thing - winter is here, and so is the Evans Head Fishing Classic.
And once again, die-hard and casual anglers from as far as Darwin and Melbourne will be descending on Evans for a week of indulging in their favourite pastime.
Classic president Peter Leeson said fishing conditions didn't get much better.
"They're getting some bloody nice cobia out at sea, and there was a 24kg jewfish caught on the beach at Evans this week," Mr Leeson said.
"The weather is absolutely gorgeous. The sea's flat; there's not a ripple.
"We would love to see about 700-800 people here."
The kicker of the Evans Head Fishing Classic is, not only might they finish the event with some decent-sized fish (or photos of); they may also walk away with some generous prizes.
For anglers who know how to reel in a big one, a podium place on the weight leader board beckons, guaranteeing them at least free entry to next year's event. For first place, there is $1000 in cash.
Then there's the lucky raffle prizes, which anyone who enters the competition can win - even if they don't even bother fishing.
The first prize is $20,000 or a brand new car, while the second prize is an outdoor pack worth $8000.
For the youngsters, the junior competition this weekend costs $10 to join, and runs from Friday afternoon until Sunday 2pm.
There's also a Shimano fishing clinic next Wednesday at 10am, free for all kids around the back of the RSL club.
The 13- to 17-year old cadet competition kicks off tomorrow and runs till Monday, with a similar setup, and the open competition is wrapped up next Friday.
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