Fishing fans angling for a prize catch

RECORD numbers are expected to take part in the south-west’s major fishing contest which gets under way on Saturday in aid of Peter’s Project.

The Shipwreck Coast Classic, which will run from March 1 to 10, has attracted more than $50,000 in prizes.

Organised by the Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game Fishing Club, the public event is likely to attract more than 600 participants.

Spokesman Ben Pohlner said the competition was fast cementing itself as a “must-do” with district residents and visitors.

Fish weighed in must be caught in fresh waters between Yambuk and Peterborough or from boats launched and retrieved from ocean ramps between Port Fairy to Port Campbell.

The classic begins at 12.01am on Saturday and finishes at 11.30am on Monday, March 10. Daily weigh-ins will be held at the Warrnambool breakwater boat ramp from 7pm-7.30pm.

Mr Pohlner said the entry fee, of $25 for adults and $5 for children, aimed to cater for all fishing groups, from dedicated offshore enthusiasts to kids and families.

The competition covers a wide range of species including marine, estuarine and fresh water fish and there are more than 100 prizes on offer for both junior and senior anglers including two boat packages.

“The event also provides free educational activities for kids with a focus on fishing, environmental awareness and sustainability of our marine resources,” Mr Pohlner said.

Free clinics for children with giveaways and a barbecue will be held at the breakwater from 5pm to 7pm each Saturday of the competition. The main prizes will be awarded during a presentation event from noon to 2pm on March 10.

The 100-member strong club decided to donate proceeds from the 2014 event to the Peter’s Project $5 million fund-raising campaign for a south-west radiotherapy centre.

Entries can be lodged on the club’s website at anytime until the classic’s final day.

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