The week long carnival, now in its second year, brings together anglers from far and wide. Focus talks to Max Frost about this family event, which will be held later this month.
> When was the Forster fishing carnival started and why?
The inaugural Forster Fishing Carnival Inc. was held in March 2008. Approx 150 competitors braved some of the worst weather Huey could throw at us. At the end, out came the sun, and the overall feeling was that everyone enjoyed the concept we tried and will be back for more this year.
The idea of a carnival instead of a fishing comp is more designed for today’s anglers, working in with the environment and making this event one for the whole family.
> What are the different parts of the event?
The carnival runs for a week (2 weekends) and includes a wide range of angling events. Some events are for the beginners and some will test the skills of the best anglers in the country.
Anglers can fish in the general competition, 24/7. Prizes are given for the best of each eligible species on a daily basis, each evening. The major prizes are in a draw format. This means that the family can have a keen angler and others just here for the holiday, support and enjoyment, but all with an equal chance at winner a major prize.
The carnival will begin with a briefing at 6pm on Friday 20th March. Anglers will then start the first weekend’s competitions, being the Wallis Lake Hobie Cat Kayak Classic and the Squidgies Forster Flathead Classic.
The carnival starts on the Monday, and the week’s events include a 2 day light gamefishing tournament, a 1 day snapper on plastics event, 2 day AFC Hobie Cat Kayak Grand Final, culminating in a kids’ day on the last Saturday, 28th March.
The final weekend will see one of the country’s main angling events held in Forster each year, the ABT Bream Mega Bucks. This event brings with it most of the country’s best Bream anglers, who pay $1,000 per team in a skins event for over $30,000 in prize money. It also brings with it some of the best rigged boats on the water and the latest and best products the marine and tackle industries have to offer. Brands like Evinrude Etec, Skeeter and Quintrex boats, Shimano and Berkley tackle, and many more.
> Where did the idea for the carnival come from?
The concept of the carnival came from watching the crowds that flock to see the live fish weighed in, and the fact that Wallis Lake’s pristine waters can produce such quality fish, in this day and age. We will again have live fish on display, and the local school kids will enjoy an education lesson in marine life, safety and looking after their environment.
> What would you say to encourage entries from fishers who have never fished in a competition before?
The FFC is set up as a non-profit organisation, raising funds for the McGrath Foundation Appeal for research into women’s breast cancer, Ronald McDonald Forster Beach house, and local schools in the area.
There will be plenty to see and do for competitors, families, locals, and visitors.
A good variety of healthy foods will be on the menu each evening; there will be bar facilities, bands, and a jumping castle for the kids on kids’ day.
All up, the FFC is designed to promote the Forster Tuncurry area and its natural waterways – to bring people back to town again and again.
Fisheries and Marine Parks will be on hand to promote the awareness of the need for today’s anglers to work with our area and better understand resource sharing.
We are all here for great time, why don’t you come along and join us?
And don’t forget … bring the family!
> Thanks for your time.