SHARPEN up those hooks, shine the lures and start stocking up on bait because the MadFish Fishing NSW Yellowbelly Championships will be contested at Lake Keepit on May 4-5.
The championships are one of four state titles contested throughout Australia, with the top 20 qualifiers from each going through to the national finals, which will also be held at Lake Keepit in November.
The Queensland championships will be fought out this weekend in the Balonne River near St George.
Other rounds will be held at Lake Eildon, in Victoria (September), and Berri, in South Australia (April).
Unlike many fishing championships around the country, the MadFish Fishing concept allows anglers to use both lures and bait.
The Lake Keepit tournament will comprise three sessions – two on Saturday, May 4, and one on Sunday, May 5.
All fish will be photographed on specially crafted and numbered brag mats and released during each session before an official photographic log-in back at base camp in the main area.
More than $20,000 in prizemoney and trophies will be up for grabs.
Prizemoney will go to the angler with the longest fish caught in each session.
The overall winner will be the competitor with the longest fish over all three sessions.
The top 20 qualifiers from each tournament around the country will then be permitted to choose their partner for the Australian final, even if their partner didn’t fish in one of the four state events.
Roma’s Paul Tyson is the proprietor of MadFish Fishing and is the instigator of the national yellowbelly championships.
“I’m expecting more than 400 anglers to compete in each state event, and then 80 teams to contest the national crown at Lake Keepit,” Mr Tyson said.
“I’ve had a great response to this weekend’s Queensland titles on the Balonne River and I’m looking forward to making the concept an annual event.
"The titles are open to amateur and professional anglers and the fact you can use bait or lures has been very well received.”
For more information about the Lake Keepit tournament, call Mr Tyson on 0427 234 993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Peter Lorimer on 0407 061 333.