|The 'Noosa Family Fishing Classic' is held annually on the Queen's Birthday long weekend. This year there were over 1100 competitors.
Sponsored by Davo's, The Villa Noosa Hotel and Toyota Australia, to mention just a few, this event has now become one of the biggest on the Australian calendar with a prize pool in excess of $80,000.00.
This particular tale unfolded during the 1997 competition when two local lads went down to Castaways Beach, south of Sunrise, in the hope of picking up a prize winning Tailor. Both had whole Pilchard for bait, set on ganged hooks.
This was the first night of the competition with all entrants hoping to post that prize winning fish early. Without knowledge of each other, Steve McCallum was at one end of the beach and Chris Brinkly at the other.
About 6.30pm Chris ( right ), a local solicitor, got a solid strike and it only took a few seconds for him to realise that he didn't have a Tailor on the line.
Chris's Snyderglas and Penn 850 Spinfisher combo didn't let him down and after a half hour battle he landed a monster Jewfish. Not believing his luck he packed up his gear and headed for home, chomping at the bit to weigh in the next day.
About three quarters of an hour later, Steve's line was hit hard and playing it safe he let it run and settle. Not striking until the second run he hooked, and finally landed his 'Prize Winning' Jewfish.
Steve was also using a Snyderglas rod although his old faithful Alvey reel held him in good stead. He too packed up and went home convinced he had the winner in the bag.
The next day at the weigh-in both men walked onto the podium 10ft tall, each unaware of the other's exploits. Considering the previous year's winning Jewfish was just under 12kg it's no surprise that each thought he had the prize.
Steve's weighed in at 14.4kg and he was just about to do a victory dance when the weigh-master whispered in his ear that Chris Brinkley had pipped him ten minutes earlier with a fish of 16.2kg.
Chris's fish held over the entire weekend to land him $2500.00 in cash and prizes while Steve took out a secret weight prize of $200.00.
Both were good mates after the comp and happy to share experiences with each other.
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