11 May, 2020
Yellowbelly Classic fishes for hope
LONGREACH’S annual Yellowbelly Fishing Classic may be in jeopardy following the postponement of the Windorah Yellowbelly Hunt and the cancellation of the Isisford Fishing Competition due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The Windorah Yellowbelly Hunt committee said the health and
safety of members and guests remained its top priority and it was in their best
interest to postpone this year’s event indefinitely.
Windorah’s competition was scheduled for May 2 to 3.
Isisford Fishing Competition secretary, Lisa Littlewood, said the decision to cancel their annual event, scheduled July 24 to 26, was disappointing and she hoped to see lines in the river next year.
“Owing to the uncertainty of the future and the time and effort that goes into organising this event, our committee has made the sad decision to cancel this year’s competition,” Ms Littlewood said. “We feel that, under the circumstances, this is the only safe decision we can make so that it protects our communities.
“We apologise to our sponsors, competitors, exhibitors, and stakeholders. We are looking forward to seeing them all in 2021.”
The three fishing competitions were a part of the inaugural, and recently cancelled, Triple Crown Challenge, an event to see which fisherperson could accumulate the largest combined fish length across the three competitions.
Longreach Fishing Club President, Ian Grofski, said the committee had not made a formal decision regarding the Longreach Yellowbelly Fishing Classic, but remained hopeful the popular weekend would go ahead as planned.
“The Triple Crown Challenge will definitely not happen with Isisford and Windorah having to pull out due to the current situation,” Mr Grofski said. “We have put the challenge on hold until next year if all goes to plan. It would be impractical to hold now.
“At this stage, the Longreach committee has not made a ruling and we will make a decision sometime in June. We would like to hold the competition as it would be great for the public. At the moment, the competition is neither cancelled nor postponed.”
The 2020 Longreach Yellowbelly Fishing Classic is currently scheduled for August 28 to 30.