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The Independent Voice of
Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland


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.

By Hamish Hart

Catch a break…The Thomson River may be void of fisherpersons this year if the Yellowbelly Fishing Classic fails to go ahead due to coronavirus 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.

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