Mitch Deep and Luke Levett
A fishing competition raising money for Beyond Blue has raised over $17,000 on Friday and Saturday at Woolgarlo, with prizes offered for the biggest yellow belly and redfin. Woolgarlo has for decades been a sanctuary for those who want to break away from the hustle and bustle, go fishing, spend time with the family or maybe head out in a ski boat. Renowned for its fishing, it played host to the competition and has added much needed funds to the Beyond Blue cause. It was a fun day out for sons, dads and daughters who wanted to go out for a catch but it also did a good thing, donating plenty money to mental health organisation. Beyond Blue using the entry money and the day also boasted a free BBQ.
On the Friday before the event, there was a live Q and A with Dan Webber, a NSW fishing legend who gives fishing trips, tricks, tips, hacks, reports and videos of exciting fishing moments. He boasts quality content without all the smoke and mirrors, he calls it fair dinkum content.
Following the Q and A a live talk from charity organisation 42casts was followed by an auction. After that came the big Saturday event which ended at 6:00 pm. Entry tags were given at the marshalling area and were placed in a barrel draw of lucky door prizes. Those at the competition were treated to free sausage sandwiches as well as Zooper Doopers for the kids.
Founders of the competition Luke Levett and Mitch Deep both spoke to the Yass Valley Times about what it meant to raise this money for such a good cause. Luke said, “It’s great, we also raised $3000 for the local charity 42 casts. It was very successful.”
“Three years ago, Mitch and I were sitting around having a beer after work and decided to have a little fishing comp between a few mates with our sons and dads.
“We started a group chat which had a lot of people added and interested. We held it the first time with 77 entrants. Everyone said they had a great time they’d tell their friends. Last year we ended up with 142 entrants, so it doubled in size.
“This year we ended up with 320 entrants which was really good to see.”
Luke said originally, they weren’t raising money for Beyond Blue, but it eventually became an important part of the event going forward.
“Last year, the person who won the biggest yellow belly comp got to donate to a charity of their choice. A young 16 year old won and he decided to donate the money to suicide prevention and mental health and send proceeds to Beyond Blue. Reports we got back said it was such a great cause and everyone was overwhelmed with the support so we stuck with it and made it an event to raise money for mental health and suicide awareness.
“So many people have been touched by that in their lives so we thought, what a great opportunity to raise some money for a charity like that.
“It means the world, not only raising money for the charity, but seeing the enjoyment everyone has catching up with their mates, going for a fish. It’s a chance to kick back and forget about the things in their life and have a good weekend.
“Thanks Lisa and Andy Matthews for their help. They went above and beyond and we couldn’t have been as successful as we were without them.” Mitch Deep agreed that it was a great cause to raise money and awareness for.
“It was unreal. Last year was our first year donating to a charity and we raised a bit over 6 thousand, we well over doubled that. It’s only our third year running and we are already over 300 entrants,” he said.
“It was bloody awesome. Everyone came up with their kids and had a great time. Everyone said they’d be back next year.” Mitch said the Woolgarlo location was the best fishing experience they’ve had in the three years.
“There would have been hundreds of fish caught. Everyone cleaned up which was good. We promoted a catch and release this year, trying to get everyone who caught a yellow belly to put it back so it’s better fishing for the young fellas when they get older.”
Vladimir Nikolyc won the biggest yellow belly competition which was 60 cms. Biggest redfin was 35cm won by Lee Woods.
“Thanks everyone for the support, it will only get bigger from here. All the people helped, big or small, it makes the comp easier to organise and cruisier, looking forward to next year.”
Everyone enjoyed a day out in the bright sun sparkling in the beautiful dam, spending time with the kids and raising money for a cause as good as Beyond Blue.