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Celebrating 50 Years of Sportfishing

In 1967 fourteen “barefooted yobbo’s” under the stewardship of Vic McCristal and George Bryden met in Cairns North Qld. Determined to promote sportfishing under the motto “sport, conservation, integrity”, that initial meeting gave birth to the Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA).

Five decades later, ANSA returns to its birthplace to celebrate its 50th birthday at the Aussie Sportfisher Conference 2017. Hosted by the Australian National Sportfishing Association Queensland Branch (ANSA Qld), the event will attract sportfishers from across the country to come and enjoy what the event has to offer.

Running from the 22nd – 24th September, the conference kicks off with the “Barefoot Yobbo’s” barbeque on the Friday evening, in memory of those fourteen founding members.

On Saturday, the Aussie Sportfisher Conference officially starts, offering participants the chance to hear from guest speakers who will be presenting on a range of topics related to the ANSA ethos of sport, conservation, integrity. The conference is followed by a dinner, which will include the presentation of awards to recognize the achievements that some individuals have made within the sportfishing community.

On Sunday morning the doors will be thrown open for everyone to come along and experience the Aussie Sportfisher Fishing Expo. Open from 10am – 2pm, for the cost of a gold coin donation, visitors can walk around the many stalls and listen to guest speakers talk on a range of topics related to sportfishing.

To capping off a great weekend of activities, the crew from ANSA Qld will be holding a Cairns Sportfishing Competition on the Monday. The competition is open to all interested anglers and will be based on the promotion of sustainable fishing through catch & release. Held in Trinity Bay, it celebrates the establishment of the new Trinity Bay net free area and the Cairns Sportfishing club’s monitoring program, which has been developed to monitor the fishery in the area.

ANSA Qld extends a warm welcome all recreational fishers interested in joining the festivities of the Aussie Sportfisher Conference but numbers are limited so be sure to register early!

For more information on what will be a great event email or visit

Sportfishers Trek North for Homecoming

A convoy of sportfishers led by the Southern Brisbane Sportfishing club will head north on a week long trek from the South East Corner. The group will fish, camp and tell tall stories about the one that got away until arriving in Cairns on the 22nd September. The trek is part of the Australian National Sportfishing Association’s (ANSA) 50 year celebrations where members from across the nation will converge on Cairns; the birthplace of the ANSA and the sportfishing movement in Australia.

For more details on the trek and associated 50 year sportfishing celebrations visit

Cairns Homecoming Convoy

On Friday Afternoon 22nd September a convoy of cars towing sportfishing boats will complete the last leg of a pilgrimage back to Australian National Sportfishing Association’s (ANSA) birthplace to celebrate 50 years of sportfishing in Australia.

Anglers from across Australia will meet at Tingira street ramp, Portsmith in Cairns and then drive through the Cairns Esplanade before checking out the North Queensland Sportfishing Museum at Bransfords Tackle at Clifton Beach.

The sportfishing pilgrims’ next destination will be Yorkey’s Knob, where the first formal sportfishing meeting that resulted in the formation of ANSA took place some 50 years earlier in 1967. Last stop for the convoy is the Yorkeys Knob Boat Club, which is also the venue for a formal dinner and awards being held the following night.

After the convoy, conference delegates will catch up at a barefoot yobbo’s BBQ dinner in recognition of the founding members to usher in a weekend jam packed Aussie Sportfisher Conference activities.

The conference is being hosted by the Queensland branch of the Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA Qld) and will take place between 22nd and 25th September.

For more details on the convoy and associated 50 year sportfishing celebrations visit

Homecoming Convoy Media Opportunity

On Friday 22nd September, there will be a media opportunity at 1:45PM, at Tingira street ramp, Portsmith in Cairns get interviews, photos and video footage with conference organisers, attendees and officials. This will be followed with opportunity to secure footage of the convoy leaving the ramp and making their way to Yorkeys Knob via Cairns Esplanade at 2:15 PM

Cairns Sportfishing Expo Celebrates 50 Years of Sport, Conservation & Integrity

On Sunday 24th September, Cairns locals will be treated to an Aussie Sportfishing Expo taking place in Tank 3 of the Tanks Art Centre adjacent to the Cairns botanical gardens.

The expo will open its doors to the general public from 9AM to 2PM and offers a number of exhibits, presentations, demonstrations and activities that promote 50 years of sportfishing history in Australia.

The expo is scheduled to coincide with the local monthly Sunday markets held at Cairns Botanic gardens, making this a great family day out all at one location. For the entry cost of a gold coin, the expo will showcase over 15 exhibits each displaying sportfishing items and memorabilia including lures, flies and tackle, rods and reels, boats, publications and much more. Visitors will also be able to test their skills at the indoor lure casting competition.

There is a fantastic line-up of presenters who will provide tips, tricks and information on everything sportfishing including improving luring skills, how to interpret sounders, tying better flys, knot tying, taking that perfect fishing photo and more.

“The Aussie Sportfisher Expo will have something for everyone no matter what your level of fishing skill or interest in sportfishing” explained Nathan Johnston, president of ANSA QLD.

“ANSA QLD extends a warm welcome to Cairns and North Queensland locals as well as those travelling in from further afield and interstate for the event” Nathan said.

The expo has been organised to celebrate 50 years of ANSA and sportfishing in Australia, with the Queensland branch of the Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA QLD) hosting the event. For more details on the expo and associated celebrations visit


Cairns sportfishing competition lands school holiday fun

Trinity Inlet in Cairns will become a hive of fishing activity on Monday 25th September as keen anglers descend local waterways to try their luck at a one day Cairns Sportfishing Competition.

This is a family friendly event which is being held on the second Monday of the September school holidays and hosted by the Queensland branch of Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA QLD).

The day provides opportunity for both juniors and seniors to get outdoors and reel in great prizes. Local anglers and families and encouraged to test their skill alongside those from out of town and interstate who are attending the Aussie Sportfishing Conference and will also join in for the fishing fun.

“The competition is open to anyone wanting to get out on the water, have fun and maybe win a prize or two if they catch a big enough fish” said ANSA QLD vice president and competition organiser, Adam Royle.

“The competition is one of the many ways our organisation is celebrating 50 years of sportfishing and also gives us a reason to enjoy Trinity Bay, which has recently been declared a net free area.” Adam explained.

“We’d really like to encourage the Cairns locals to join in our celebrations by coming along and having a fish. We’re even offering free Cairns Sportfishing Club membership to the first three Cairns locals who register for the fishing competition as a sweetener”, Adam said.

“This is primarily a social competition, but we do have some great prizes up for grabs thanks to our sponsors, including great Aussie companies like Halco, Alvey, Platypus and Fish & Boat” Mr Royle explained.

The competition represents great value at only $20 or complimentary entry for full conference registrations. The event includes over $1,000 worth of prizes along with a sausage sizzle at end of day presentations. The Cairns sportfishing competition is limited to 100 anglers, so get in quick to secure your spot.

To find out more and register for the competition or associated 50 year sportfishing celebrations, visit and follow the links to the online registration page for either the fishing competition or conference.

Hinchinbrook Fishing Expedition on the Cards in Cardwell

The Cardwell Sportfishing Club in conjunction with ANSA QLD will host a social multiday fishing expedition centred around one of Australia’s fishing Meccas – Hinchinbrook Channel. The fishing expedition runs for five glorious days, kicks off on Tuesday 26th September and follows on from the Aussie Sportfisher Conference and 50 year celebration in Cairns.

The conference goers will relax, socialise and – most importantly, enjoy several days of fishing as Cardwell clubhouse becomes the fishing headquarters. The informal tagalong event includes evening talks from local anglers who know Hinchinbrook inside out. Interested anglers will be able to tag fish as part of the Hinchinbrook Sportfishing Club Recreational Fishery Monitoring Plan. There will also be sundowners on the Cardwell jetty to view the memorial to fishing legends Eric Moller and Vic McCristal – founding members of ANSA.

“The fishing expedition will round out a great week of celebrations and ensure we spend time enjoying sportfishing as well as talking about it” ANSA QLD President, Nathan Johnston explained.

“ANSA QLD and our associated clubs are focussing on offering members an assortment of fishing opportunities and experiences, including annual tours like this Hinchinbrook expedition and a Cape York trip in the June/July school holidays next year”. Nathan said.

“Our objective is to enrich and deepen angler experiences, offer something for every walk of life and give members opportunity to connect, learn and exchange ideas around the common theme of sportfishing” Nathan said.

“We have used the 50 year milestone as an opportunity to reflect and reassess the fishing opportunities and experiences we offer against all life stages for an angler”, Nathan explained.

“What you will see coming out of ANSA QLD in the coming years is a conscious move to ensure there is something for everyone”; said Nathan.

“In terms of offering fishing opportunities and experiences, the market is saturated when it comes to young adults and tournament competitive anglers and while ANSA QLD will maintain offerings for this demographic, we are also going to hone in on nurturing angling families and retirees.” Nathan explained.

“I can definitely say that there has never been a better time to get involved in an ANSA QLD club or consider starting your own if there isn’t one in your local area.”

To find out more and register for the Hinchinbrook expedition or associated 50 year sportfishing celebrations, visit