Families the winners at fishing festival

THE Champion family from the Putt Bennett Family Fishing Festival were the Renwick family and runners-up the Larcombe family.

Overall champion angler was Ian McLauchlan.

The winner of the major prize draw was John Leslie of Bellingen.

Champions: adult female Winner, Teresa Larcombe; adult mMale winner, Ian Mclauchlan; Master male, Richard McCabe; Master female, Christine Poynter; Junior male, Toby Francis; Junior memale, Sara Renwick; sub-junior male, Samuel Renwick; sub-junior female, Tamika Brook.

One of the nominated species winners, Sunday flathead winner, Neil Baillie, a non-boating angler from Armidale, caught his flathead in the Catch and Release Section (all flathead over 70cm must only be entered in this class).

He caught the fish while fishing from the bank of the Bellinger River approx 1.5km from the boat ramp and walked and swam around trees to keep the fish alive to bring to the weigh-in. The flathead weighed 2.575kg and was released successfully after the competition.

Another flathead caught by a local angler weighed over 6kg was caught but he had not entered the competition before close of entries. However it was on display in the catch and release tank and all fish were released back into the Bellinger.