Almost 1000 hit the river

By Olivia Duffey

Almost 1000 anglers took to the Edward River for the 23rd annual Deniliquin RSL Fishing Classic.

Deniliquin RSL Fishing Club’s event coordinator Fiona Petersen said while down on last year, it was pleasing to see so many families and young people taking part in the event this year.

She said of the 988 official registrations, 238 were juniors and 750 were adult entries.

‘‘We were only down by 72 entries this year, compared to last year,’’ she said.

‘‘With the economic climate, bushfires and flooding happening in Australia that’s still a great result, and we are ecstatic with the number of entrants and their families visiting Deniliquin for the event.

‘‘There was some negative feedback about moving all the social elements of the Classic to the RSL Club — including Saturday night’s family fun night and Sunday’s presentations — however we also had many come forward saying it was a great idea.

‘‘Families were grateful for the new safe space which hosted fantastic entertainment, stalls and opportunities over the weekend, with Duncan St closed off and the RSL Park able to be used.

‘‘Overall, I would say it was another great year and we are already looking forward to making the 2021 Deniliquin RSL Fishing Classic bigger and better.’’

The Golden Perch, more commonly known as Yellowbelly, proved to be the most elusive fish for anglers throughout the Classic weekend.

There were only nine caught during the competition fishing times — all day Saturday and until 11am Sunday.  There were no Yellowbelly caught at all in the junior female section.

The prized Murray Cod was a little less shy, with 141 caught during the weekend.  Of those, 72 were of legal size.

The prolific European Carp took most of the bait off hooks, with 352 caught and removed from the river over the two days.

Mrs Petersen said anglers also let the club know of 10 ‘other’ catches including mussels and turtles.

The perpetual Champion Angler trophy was this year determined by cumulative length of legal catches, with five cod with a combined measurement of 3.31m earning Echuca’s Roger Kolenaty the 2020 title.

For the fifth year in a row, the tagged cash cod has evaded fishing hooks in 2020.

Because ‘Jill’ was not caught, the $25,000 prize jackpots to $30,000 in 2021.

If ‘Jill’ is caught before the start of fishing at next year’s Classic, the angler that snags her can claim $1000.

While the other four tagged cod no longer have any value, Mrs Petersen said the Fishing Club would still like to be advised if they are snagged.

‘‘Unfortunately, you won’t win the $1000 unless you catch Jill, but we would love to know if you catch any of the other tagged cod.’’