Gone fishing? It's everyone's chance to wet a line

MAKE IT a date for Sunday, October 16 - National Gone Fishing Day, when fishos around the nation celebrate the joy of wetting a line.

And NSW Fisheries has kicked in by making a fishing licence unnecessary, so every kid and adult, regardless of skill levels, is encouraged to get out there and have a go.

There will be three local events, at Coraki (sponsored by the Coraki Fishing Club), Evans Head (Casino RSM Fishing Club) and at the new boat ramp near the junction of River Drive and Keith Hall Lane, South Ballina (OzFish Unlimited, Ballina).

Each event will include clinics on the how-to side of fishing for newcomers and a whole lot of fun stuff.

The OzFish event will also feature a donation to the fishing environment: the planting of 150 trees along the bank to improve the health of the waterway and provide shade and potential food for local fish.

All these events are funded through our licence money.

More details next week.

Bonanza catch

SOME great fish were caught at the Ballina Bonanza last weekend.

On a weekend when 580 Flathead Classic fishers combed the entire water- ways of the Gold Coast for a big brown fish (admittedly on lures only), the top three flatties in the Ballina comp were bigger, with Frank Jones, Mitch Lang and Robert Lynn each catching and photographing flathead more than 96cm long.

Glenn Banks' 915mm snapper was a top catch, as were Bill Steel's 464mm bream and Lucas Martin's 458mm whiting.

And the quality of the fish the junior and cadet anglers caught was a credit to those who taught them to fish.

Fishy app

THE NEW FishSmart app from NSW DPI was built to provide 24/7 access to essential information NSW anglers need to know.

It includes pictures of common recreational species along with their bag and size limits, closed seasons and gear rules.

It provides a real-time map to locate your nearest fish aggregation devices, artificial reefs, Recreational Fishing Havens and show where Marine Park zones are.

You can view local weather, tide, moon phase and barometric pressure information and there are also guides on spearfishing, fishing safely, trout fishing, regional fishing information and more.

Use the app to contact DPI to report illegal fishing, fish kills, pest species or to con- tact local Fisheries offices.

You can also view the Fisheries Facebook feed and pay your fishing licence fee.

The free app is for iPhone users only but an Android version is on the way.

Barra Bucks II

TWO lucky Top End fishos have already reeled in $10,000 tagged barramundi, just four days into the second season of the Northern Territory's Million Dollar Fish promotion.

NT residents Kelli Carroll and George Voukolos caught the first prize-winning barramundi, which are the 101 tagged fish released in Top End waters last weekend. One is worth $1 million and this year another 100 carried a $10,000 prize bounty.

The promotion runs until February 28.

The first season attracted more than 43,000 registrations from 62 countries, including 25,800 people from interstate and 14,600 Territorians.

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