Numbers swell for Narooma's Reel It In flatty challenge

Event officials congratulate some of the winners during last year's Narooma Reel It In Flathead Challenge.
Event officials congratulate some of the winners during last year's Narooma Reel It In Flathead Challenge.

Around 250 anglers will descend on Narooma this week for the annual Reel It In Flathead Challenge.

Organisers Troy Eaton and Scott Wakefield said they were thrilled to see entries at capacity for the competition this year with Beyond Blue to reap the benefits of proceeds from the weekend.

"Last year we were able to raise about $5500 for Beyond Blue to support those that were affected by the bushfires and this year will again be for Beyond Blue," Mr Eaton said.

"With the prevalence of anxiety and depression, particularly given the challenges of Covid, they're a very worthy recipient."

The competition will run again as a brag-mat photo entry with Mr Eaton saying Reel It In events have had a focus on catch and release for almost a decade, which has also made adapting to social distancing less challenging.

"We don't look down on catch and weigh competitions but we believe in catch and release, you're putting less pressure on the fish."

Boat ramps are expected to be busy with the 80 teams contesting, but Mr Eaton said the competition was also about creating a family-friendly social vibe and all comers are welcome.

"There are some serious anglers, but flathead fishers are normally pretty laid back and you don't need a fancy boat to enter, you can fish from a kayak or a cheap little tinny," he said.

The Reel It In comp boat gets ready for a session chasing the flathead.

The Reel It In comp boat gets ready for a session chasing the flathead.

"It's a vibe we work hard to create, we want to build a family friendly vibe and having some things for the kids to create a buzz."

Unfortunately, with the field at capacity further entries are not permitted, but Mr Eaton said he was stoked to see the strong turnout to bring some visitor dollars into Narooma.

"The towns really benefit, we couldn't even get our usual accommodation because it has been booked out so it's great for the township at the end of the summer to get that extra bit of business he said."

There are a number of Reel It In flathead challenges around the country each year and anyone who missed entry for Narooma is urged to check out the Lake Tyers event coming up on Anzac Day weekend.

Entries are open now at the website www.reelitin.com.au.