The North Coast Fishing Bonanza, in only its second year, was a resounding success over the October long weekend with close to 300 competitors and over 3000 visitors to the fishing competition and marine show held at the Ballina Seagulls rugby field. Gamakatsu and Evinrude were the major sponsors of the NCFB and again provided competitors with mountains of fun and a wide array of prizes including Lowrance sounders.

Some lucky anglers included Thomas Hart, who as a cadet, managed to pick himself up a Quintrex tinnie provided by Ballina Marineland and Sam McKnight who was brought to tears on the podium after picking up the lucky door prize of a 4.9m Stessco tinnie and engine package for the adults.

Despite some testy weather over the duration of the competition with hail and rain both making an appearance on Saturday afternoon, competitors had a ball with many picking up multiple prizes. The fishing tank display was also popular with Michael Starkey and Jay Morgan from Frogleys Offshore conducting talks for visitors on some of the finer arts of fishing with lures in the local waterways. Many learnt something new, with some even rushing off to the local tackle store to pick up some goodies. In addition there were incredibly realistic fishing simulators and tonnes of prize packs given away in the main tent.

Notable catches/photographs were also brought in with a 1.34m Amberjack and 96cm snapper both caught on the first day. In addition a stargazer image was brought in as well as one unlucky angler whose boat tangled with his Nissan X-Trail before it had even hit the water. Fun is the aim of the event so even he even won a prize!

The NCFB has a facebook page, www.facebook.com/fishignbonanza and website,www.fishingcomps.com.au for competitors to keep up to date with next years event, so if you are in the area next October, or simply planning a holiday, check it out. The entry fee alone could see you pick up a boat as the lucky door prize.

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The tank was filled with bream and flathead for the duration of the event.

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Organiser Michael Starkey keeping the kids happy at the 2011 NCFB.

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The fishing simulator attracted quite a crowd as visitors battled tuna and sailfish.

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The main tent was at capacity for the main draw.

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David Jenkins was the proud winner of the Hobie kayak lucky door prize.

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Sam McKnight managed to compose herself for a photo with the organizers.

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Thomas Hart, soon to be on the water in the Quintrex cadet prize boat.

Main Random Draw Results:

Adult Boat Package

$32,000 Goodtimes Marine fitted out Stessco Boat with Evinrude ETEC 75hp fully fitted out with Lowrance HDS5, Undercover Canvas Canopy and safty gear.

Winner: Sam McKnight

Cadet Boat Package

$10,000 Ballina Marineland boat 3.9m Quintrex and trailer with a 25hp Evinrude ETEC. Perfect for the complete eastury package. All safety gear included with Lowrance Mark 5x sounder.

Winner: Thomas Hart