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Newcastle to lure a cast of fishos for inaugural competition

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For the first time, the Great Australian Pub Fishing Competition is set to lure a cast of hundreds to Newcastle for an “unreel” weekend.

Dates for the inaugural event are 10-12 February.

And, there’s nothing fishy about the rules, number one being that anglers can compete individually and also be members of a social fishing group associated with their local pub or club, forming teams of up to four.

Organisers want the event to be equal parts fishing and fun.

From front bars, back bars, beer gardens, bistros and VIP rooms across Australia, they will come, brandishing tackle boxes and bright fishing shirts.

Iconic beer brand XXXX is a key partner, as are City of Newcastle (CN) and AHA NSW Newcastle-Hunter.

More than $20,000 in prizes and trophies are on offer, including holiday packages, Mako eyewear, keg-and-food parties, Pure Fishing tackle vouchers and more.

“The competition is designed for the typical angler who loves fishing and a quiet beer,” event director Dom Grundy said.

“Most pubs and clubs, even those hundreds of miles inland, have a social fishing organisation.

“If they don’t, that’s fine, too – everyone’s welcome.”

Anglers can fish from tinnies, runabouts, kayaks, a jet ski, jetty, breakwall or even a surf beach within the region – chasing seven nominated fish species.

Competitors will send photos of their catch on a Pure Fishing brag mat, with updates provided via the event’s social pages.

So, strategies add a real level of intrigue as well.

Convenor of fishing is Tony Poole, organiser of the popular Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament at Port Stephens since 1994.

He has drafted the competition rules and will oversee judging.

There’s two days of fishing and social activities in a destination that remains something of a well-kept secret in angling circles.

Newcastle Harbour itself has abundant bream, flathead, tailor, jewfish and whiting, among other species.

There are ample spots to cast a line along the waterfront as well, while the waters off the city are laden with large reef systems and gravel patches, producing all kinds of table fish.

  • Mark Rothfield

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