Easter hunt for fish
EASTER egg hunts and chocolates may have been on the minds of many locals last weekend, but one devoted community group were focused solely on catching fish.
The Charleville Fishing and Restocking Club held a four-day competition over the long weekend at the Ward River.
Over 140 fishing enthusiasts attended the event, some catching fish and others receiving awards that well surpassed the price of an Easter egg.
One of the major prizes - a kayak - donated by Charleville Refrigeration and Electrical was awarded to Bully Fisher in an open draw.
Children got their fair share of prizes too.
Club founder Judey Aiken said the organisation liked to hold youth competitions to keep children off the streets and involved in more constructive pastimes.
The fishing club also honoured life member, the late Steven Fox, by naming the event the Steve Fox Memorial Fishing Competition.
The Fox family also donated $250 and a trophy for the overall largest yellow belly.
Debbie Courtney said the Fox family felt honoured to be involved in the memorial, celebrating a man who devoted his time to the club bartending, lawn mowing and gate keeping.
"He had always said he has a secret fishing hole,” Mrs Courtney said.
The search continues to find it and the fish.
Ms Aiken said the memorial and trophy was testament to the Fox family's continual, long-term support of the club.
"They are a big asset to the fishing club,” Ms Aiken said.
James King received the first instalment of the trophy, with an overall yellow belly length of 141cm.
Al McKenna caught the longest individual yellow belly and his wife Sue McKenna caught the largest carp at 55cm.
While competitor numbers were down on years gone by, Ms Aiken said the event was still successful given recent blackwater running down the Ward River, drought and other Easter events in Augathella and Roma.
Fishing club president Mick Ward said everyone made an effort, from hauling in carp to catching yellow belly.
"For people who can't afford to go away we make this a family event for Easter,” Mr Ward said.
The competition saw 42 yellow belly, 165 carp, one catfish and 19 yabbies caught.
"It was an awesome effort and the biggest problem is getting carp out of the river,” Mr Ward said.
See page 8 for photos.