Just under four hundred competitors enjoyed the perfect weather conditions to spend their Easter Saturday beside the Wimmera River at Jeparit, attempting to land the ‘big one’ in the annual fishing competition.

A majority of the 388 entrants registered online, which was available this year for the first time. Amongst the healthy number of locals from all corners of the Wimmera, many travelled from further afield including Avoca, Ballarat, Bendigo, Belmont, Great Western, Penshurst, Seymour, Swan Hill, Tyabb, and Wyndham Vale.

After a flurry of fish weighed in during the first hour after the 7.30 am shotgun start, there was just a trickle of fish caught during the day, and it was a 1.378 kilogram Golden Perch caught in the last hour before the competition finished at 3 pm that won Matthew McConnel (above) of Ballarat the $2,000 for the major prize.

Billy Greig won the major prize in the Junior division of $500 and swag, and the biggest carp weighed in at 3.7 kilograms.

A total of 25 prizes were given out, including ten each in the Senior and Junior divisions for the heaviest non-carp fish, two in each division for the heaviest carp, and one Kevin Humphreys Memorial mystery weight prize.

The 64 fish weighed in included 16 Golden Perch, 12 Redfin, 8 Catfish, and 28 European Carp.
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Due to recent changes in Coronavirus restrictions, the awards presentation was able to go ahead on the lawn outside the Anglers’ Club headquarters at the Jeparit Golf Club in front of a smaller than usual crowd, instead of the planned live-streamed ceremony.

During this part of the day, Easter Bunny paid a visit and handed out Easter eggs to the children.

As with any such event, there was a large team of volunteers who have worked since last year’s competition was cancelled to make it all happen, and there is a significant group of generous sponsors who continued with their support despite the pressures of the last year.

A raffle and other donations raised over Friday and Saturday amounted to more than $1,000 towards the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

Full results and a list of competition sponsors can be found on the Jeparit Anglers’ Club website.