REEL DEAL: Yamba Bait and Tackle owner Mick Leavey with Fish of the Year winner Brendan Cotterill.
REEL DEAL: Yamba Bait and Tackle owner Mick Leavey with Fish of the Year winner Brendan Cotterill. Ebony Stansfield

DEX Fishing prize for the one that didn't get away

FISHING: Brendon Cotterill would go fishing every day if he had the choice.

The keen Harwood angler is even in the process of starting his own fishing tackle business, Sink Sank Sunk, selling hand-poured sinkers and jigheads online.

This week he added to his own personal collection of fishing tackle when he claimed his $500 fishing prize pack from Yamba Bait and Tackle as the winner of the 2017 Daily Examiner Fish of the Year competition.

A bit of extra gear is always nice," Cotterill said.

"Free is my favourite colour.

"I thought I was on a roll so I also grabbed a lotto ticket, but it didn't do anything for me."

Cotterill's name was entered in the draw when he weighed in a fish at Iluka Bait and Tackle, and it was drawn out of the barrel by Gone Fishing correspondent Dick Richard and The Daily Examiner sports editor Matthew Elkerton.

"It was 870g, which is pretty decent for a tarwhine,'' Cotterill said. "It just so happened that the Iluka tackle shop was still opened. It probably would've been shut except there were people in there, so he said he'd quickly weigh the fish for me.

"I think it's the only one I weighed in this year.

"I do most of my fishing at Maclean but there's nowhere to weigh-in there anymore, plus I mostly fish at night."

Cotterill said he landed his prized catch at the headland between Iluka and Back Beach.

"It was the first time I'd fished there.

"The other thing was that the crosslock snap straightened. I caught the fish again with my hands on the edge of the rocks half in and half out of the water. I would never have known I'd dropped a $500 prize."

Have you landed a great catch? Be sure to check in to one of our weigh-in stations listed below. Each of our weekly winners can pick up a certificate from The Daily Examiner office at 55 Fitzroy St, Grafton. Every fish weighed goes into the draw for the $500 fishing prize pack from Iluka Boatshed. A photo of your catch might also appear on these pages if you sent it via email to


  • Brooms Head General Store and Units
  • Brown Rocks Caravan Park
  • BP Marina Service Station
  • Copmanhurst Rest Point Hotel
  • Iluka Boatshed and Marina
  • Lawrence General Store
  • Red Rock General Store and Post Office
  • Wooli General Store
  • Wooli Deep Sea Tours
  • Minnie Water General Store
  • Minnie Water Caravan Park
  • Yamba Bait and Tackle
  • BP Bait Place
  • Marina Boat and Tackle