Carp muster brings in 76 fish
IF THERE is an Australian version of ‘Benson' in the Richmond River, he has lived to swim another day.
As part of the weekend's Casino RSM Social Fishing Club's carp muster, about 70 fishers were on the look-out for any relatives of Benson, in an effort to reduce the number of carp in the river.
Carp, an introduced species, are believed to contribute to the damage of river eco-systems by eating large amounts of riverbank vegetation, as well as preying on native fish.
So far from lauding the fish like the Brits do, the hunt for Benson in the Richmond River was on, as anglers sought to catch a fish similar to that pictured on the front page of Saturday's Weekend Star.
The picture featured the impressively oversized Benson – a 29kg carp that became the holy grail of amateur British fishing before dying in 2009.
It was believed Benson had been caught and released about 60 times before his death.
While not finding anything quite as obese, or famous, as Benson, Roger Bauttel, from near Coraki, did do enough last weekend to take home the $600 first prize, after he bagged a 5.76kg carp.
Mr Bauttel held off Casino's Mal Hancock, who was runner up with a catch of 5.15kg. Scott King took third place with a 2.38kg catch.
The juniors also got in on the environmental protection act, with Coraki's Nat McLean grabbing first place with a handy 3.31kg catch. Casino's Kerry Clark was runner-up with a 2.25kg carp, and Hayden Clark, also from Casino was third, bringing in a 1.95kg fish.
But beyond the prizes, it was a case of size doesn't matter as 76 carp were brought in, the smallest weighing in at just 0.13kg.
The Australian National Sport Fishing Association keeps records on its website, and lists the Australian carp record as 16kg, caught in the Nepean River in 2002.