Organisers of the Deniliquin RSL Fishing Club Iron Jack Fishing Classic are gearing up for a massive weekend, with the famed event to be held this weekend starting Friday.
In preparation, ‘Ripper’ the tagged Murray cod worth $15,000 is now on the loose in Deniliquin’s Edward River.
Described by organisers as a fish that is ‘‘real easy’’ to be caught, up to 1200 anglers are expected to be vying for the chance to reel in the 59cm ‘Ripper’ and claim his price tag.
If snagged during the allocated fishing times over the Classic weekend, the lucky angler will walk away with $15,000 in cash.
If caught after the Classic weekend, the prizemoney is reduced to a handy $1000 for the next 12 months.
Deniliquin RSL Fishing Club member Troy Bright said ‘Ripper’ was caught and tagged last week in a ‘‘top secret location’’.
‘‘Ripper will definitely want to get caught; because he is very healthy it suggests that he’d be a good feeder,’’ Mr Bright said.
‘‘He was caught within the Fishing Classic fishing zone.
‘‘I can’t say much but he loved a good feed of shrimp.’’
Deniliquin RSL Fishing Club president David Hart said Classic organisers have placed a particular focus on making the event family friendly, which he said translates to more activities away from the water.
He said this is particularly the case for Saturday night’s fun at Classic HQ — on Edward River Oval at Deniliquin — which will include a children’s casting competition, fishing simulators offering their own prizes, yabbie races, live music and other entertainment and more.
With a total prize pool of more than $80,000 in prizes and giveaways as part of the weekend, the chances to win start on Friday night with the Prize-Arama at the Deniliquin RSL Club.
More than 30 prizes with a combined value of $16,000 could be yours just by buying some raffle tickets and enjoying the meals and entertainment on offer.
The prize giveaways continue at the fun night on Saturday when two $8,500 Clark 395 Predator boat with 30hp Suzuki Motor and Dunbier trailer packages will be won — one through an ‘earlybird’ entrant lucky draw and the other from those who bought raffle tickets for the major prize.
On Sunday, two more boats and a host of other prizes will be won by anglers.
It includes a $16,000 Clark 427 Estuary Pursuit with 30hp Suzuki motor and Dunbier trailer package for which every adult entrant is automatically entered, with more entry tickets earned for every legal-size native fish caught during the weekend.
Similarly, every junior entrant goes in the running for a Clark 340 Punt with 6hp Suzuki motor.
■More details on the opposite page.