RIGHT: Graham Duffy, from Corlette, near Port Stephens, didn’t win the day with this tailor, but had more luck with his teraglin, landing the biggest catch of the week.
RIGHT: Graham Duffy, from Corlette, near Port Stephens, didn’t win the day with this tailor, but had more luck with his teraglin, landing the biggest catch of the week.

Evans hooked on Classic cash

WITH keen fishermen andwomen spilling into town from all across Australia, the coastal town of Evans Head has experienced a business boom.

The annual Evans Head Fishing Classic has been held now for the past 15 years and for a small town of about 3000 people in the midst of the cold July school holidays, tourists are warmly welcomed.

“Every business benefits,” Evans Head LJ Hooker sales consultant Brody Aleckson said. “All holiday accommodation is booked out and it wouldn’t normally be like that this time of year.”

While some commented that a lot of the holiday-makers and classic competitors are purely focused on the fishing aspects of Evans Head, Illawong Hotellicensee Peter O’Connor said it didn’t matter as long as they kept coming.

“I’ve been here since 2001 and I get the regulars coming back, as well as a few new ones, every year,” he said.

“You ask if so and so is here this year, and if they’re not they say they’ll be back next year.”

The Woodburn Evans Head RSL Club, which is ideally located close to the Evans River and Silver Sands Caravan Park, experiences such a boom inbusiness it has to operate twolicences for the Classic week.

“Our income swells to about double,” club chief executiveofficer Daniel Fox said.

While Mr Fox said his wages bill for the week also doubled, the increase in economic activity certainly was a huge positive for the town.

“The fishing classic is held at just the right time because we are busy at Easter, but then there is a large gap until the Christmas-New Year period. The town relies on it,” he said.

This year, the fishing classic has attracted 764 competitors and their families, stimulating the usually tranquil town and creating a positive buzz for local businesses.

Fishing classic presidentPeter Leeson anticipated more entrants this year, but said the weather might have discouraged many fishers.

 

Cobia is catch of the day

IT’S NOT over until the last fish bites, which is exactly what happened yesterday afternoon at 2pm with thefinal weigh-in marking the end of the annual Evans Head Fishing Classic.

In its 15th year, organisers couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome of the week, despite the dangerous swells which threatened outside anglers and overturned two boats on Tuesday.

“It shaped up very well,” fishing classic president Peter Leeson said.

“We had very good conditions for the contest, except for the one day.”

The largest fish was a cobia weighing in at 20.34kg, caught yesterday by Brian Arthur. Local fisherman Paul Johnson, of Federal, said this year was just as good as the past 10 years and he would definitely be coming back.

For the competitors there was no better way to finish off the week than enjoying their fresh catch and a cold one.



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