Bill Storch lands his 67cm Saratoga at the Bedford Weir on Saturday.
Bill Storch lands his 67cm Saratoga at the Bedford Weir on Saturday. Sam Woods Emefish

Fish not the only catch of the day

BILL Storch couldn't believe his luck when he reeled in this meaty 67cm Saratoga off a lure at the Bedford Weir on Saturday.

The local fisherman was one of many who spent the weekend combing the river from top to bottom, in search of the elusive prize catch that was going to net them the $500 first prize at the 2012 Saratoga Spectacular.

But it wasn't just the fish the competitors were after, with the Nomad boat, trailer and safety gear prize worth $7500 also generating keen interest among the Bedford anglers.

Fortunately winning the boat didn't require anywhere near as much skill as the fishing itself, as the lucky recipient was decided through a lucky draw raffle.

Other fish species on the radar included a $250 first prize for the biggest barramundi and a $200 cheque for the largest sleepy cod, yellowbelly and black bream.

But as hard as they tried, the only fish many hooked throughout the two days of competition was the dreaded catfish.

One young angler, not at all concerned what sort of fish she caught, was two-year-old Mia Goodman.

Kitted out smartly in her bright pink life jacket and matching two-toned pink reel, Mia was right at home reeling in whatever she caught… twig, leaf, branch - it was all the same to her.

"You would think she would get bored of it but she just keeps throwing it out and reeling it in," mum Hayley said.

She even got an entry into the $100 redclaw and catfish lucky prize draw for her efforts.

Not so lucky was the tale of another fisherman whose rod was dragged into the drink moments after snaring a ripper of a bite. That fish lived to see another day.


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