THE 18th Observer Boyne Tannum HookUp festival has been declared a resounding success with the best weather conditions in at least five years.

HookUp committee member Patrick Laws said the annual event 18th Observer Boyne Tannum HoookUp was more successful than expected, with this year's festival held a month earlier than normal.

Despite entrant numbers being down, record crowds and top notch seafood again confirmed that the Gladstone region is hooked on HookUp.

An estimated 30,000 community members flocked to Bray Park to soak up the action over the three-day event.

With cooking and casting demonstrations, rides, delicious food and plenty of great entertainment, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Mr Laws said seafood caught at the weekend proved waterways in the region were healthier than ever.

"The fish were beautiful and healthy," he said.

"We had a lot more live fish weighed in this year probably because of the rougher conditions on Friday and Saturday."

"People tended to stay in the sheltered creek areas on the first two days."

Mr Laws commended boaties' behaviour over the weekend.

"We had very few incidents on the water," he said.

"We got great feedback the police and the water police as well."

As preparation for the 19th Observer Boyne/Tannum Hookup commence, Mr Laws said the committee is eager to gain feedback from sponsors and community members.

"We're not sure about the date yet," he said.

Regarding next year's festival he said: "We'd like to get everyone's input so we can make the next one bigger and better than ever."

The final day winners from The Observer Boyne/Tannum HookUp were as follows:


  • Spanish mackerel Parker Dance 16.6kg.
  • Snapper: Harrison Newitt 2.080kg.
  • Coral trout: Adam John Romagnolo 4.585kg.
  • Parrot/tusk fish: Bradley Preston 1.31kg.
  • Red emperor: Kahla Jane Button 9.735kg.
  • Red throat sweetlip: Brayden Pearce 2.8kg.
  • Salmon: Lachlan Childs 1.2kg.
  • Live fish: barramundi Ethan Bates 713mm.
  • Whiting: Bailey Zielke 0.22kg.
  • Mangrove jack: Liam Neil 1.435kg.
  • Bream: Jessica Zielke 0.850kg.
  • Flathead: Thomas Schmidt 1.215kg.


  • Spanish mackerel: James Eccles 17kg.
  • Cobia: Hudd Jaauo 9.325kg.
  • Snapper: Robert Lindley 4.22kg.
  • Coral trout: Robert Petrie 4.915kg.
  • Parrot/tusk fish: Jessica Walmsley 1.57kg.
  • Red emperor: Mark Thomas 10.425kg.
  • Red throat sweetlip: Douglas McCardle 2.725kg.
  • Salmon: Andrew Davis 3.385kg.
  • Live fish: barramundi: Bob Boss 1.172mm.
  • Whiting: Gregory Lowcock 0.425kg.
  • Grunter: Gary Colthorpe 1.865kg.
  • Mangrove jack: Luke Clow 1.650kg.
  • Bream: Chris Wood 0.940kg.
  • Flathead: Greg Schmidt 2.605kg.
  • Fingermark: Lachlan Achilles 1.990kg.

See Saturday's winners here.


THE Observer's Boyne/Tannum HookUp's 18th birthday was a fun-filled event, which the The Observer provided rolling coverage of so to keep the community up-to-date with the action.

  • The event schedule can be found here
  • A list of newsagencies where the free copy of the The Observer Boyne Tannum HookUp Sunday edition was available can be found here

UPDATE 9.30PM: GLADSTONE resident Chris Andersen rivalled Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt as he raced against the clock to claim the major prize of this year's HookUp competition.

The crowd roared as the lifelong local leapt onto the stage to secure the $74,000 Cruise Craft Explorer 575 before the two-minute clock ran out.

Chris Andersen and wife Sonia were elated to be the winners of the $74,000 Cruise Craft Explorer 575 at The Observer Boyne/Tanunm HookUp.
Chris Andersen and wife Sonia were elated to be the winners of the $74,000 Cruise Craft Explorer 575 at The Observer Boyne/Tanunm HookUp. Christopher Chan GLA050513BOAT

Mr Andersen and his wife Sonia were lost for words as they stepped aboard their new boat.

But Mr Andersen will be demoted to first mate as his wife is the only one of the pair who holds a boat licence.

The keen fisher said he loved being on the water.

"I go out fishing with my mates all the time," Mr Andersen said.

He has entered the HookUp several times, and did so this year because of his involvement with Men of League. He acknowledged the contribution made by all groups.

Here are photos from the final night, including more prize winners.

UPDATE 5.50PM: THE big question on everyone's mind at the moment is who will win tonight's grand prize.

Here's a few competitors who weighed in their fish this morning.

UPDATE 5.40PM: THERE'S nothing better than seeing smiling faces at a local community event and The Observer got a tonne of great snaps yesterday at Bray Park.

Here are social photos taken by Christopher Chan of people enjoying The Observer Boyne Tannum HookUp.

UPDATE 5.20PM: HERE are the results from Saturday's fishing at The Observer Boyne Tannum HookUp.

Saturday senior winners

  • Spanish Mackeral- Peter Salata (15.2kg)
  • Cobia- Brett Horner (7.8kg)
  • Coral Trout- Peter Hinz (5.6kg)
  • Parrot Fish- Damien Maahs (1.75kg)
  • Red Emperor- Anthony Keehn (11.18kg)
  • Sweet Lip Red Throat- Nathan Dodds (1.47kg)
  • Salmon- Grant Sellin (4.1kg)
  • Live Barramundi- Alan Graham (1,101mm)
  • Jew- Kyal Hardy- (26.65kg)
  • Live Whiting- Graham Hunt (0.34kg)
  • Live Grunter- Tony Stafford (2.98kg)
  • Live Mangrove Jack- (1.665kg)
  • Live Bream- Jason Watson (0.820kg)
  • Live Flathead- Gary Colthorpe (2.61kg)
  • Live Fingermark- Mark Boss (1.70kg)

Saturday junior winners

  • Spanish Mackeral- Edan Hemming (15.2kg)
  • Cobia- Carter Oliver (5.4kg)
  • Coral Trout- Dayne Turner (1.98kg)
  • Parrot Fish- Joshua Heath (1.035kg)
  • Red Emperor- Elizabeth Hemming (5.36kg)
  • Salmon- Blake Vickery (2.76kg)
  • Live Barramundi- Daniel Farrow (971mm)
  • Live Whiting- Toby Johnson (0.33kg)
  • Live Grunter- Hayden Barker (1.68kg)
  • Live Mangrove Jack- Georga Newitt (1.2kg)
  • Live Bream- Kirra-Lee Quinlan-Lovelock (1.025kg)
  • Live Flathead- Nick Ramm (1.9kg)
  • Live Fingermark- Cooper Price(1.66kg)

UPDATE 4PM: IF YOU look past the great catches, quality prizes and good atmosphere, you will find The Observer Boyne/Tannum HookUp is more than just a family friendly fishing competition.

It also takes pride in raising money for charities, foundations and organisations.

This year Men of League is the main beneficiary.

The foundation assists rugby league players, coaches, referees, officials and administrators from all levels of the game.

HookUp president Jeff Amos said he was proud to be raising money for the good cause.

"It's Australia wide, not just one town.

"They basically help everyone," Mr Amos said.

Men of League is this year's beneficiaries for The Observer's Boyne/Tannum Hookup. State Manager, Steve Calder and Treasurer Chris Anderson.
Men of League is this year's beneficiaries for The Observer's Boyne/Tannum Hookup. State Manager, Steve Calder and Treasurer Chris Anderson. Tegan Annett

He said that he liked the idea that the money can go anywhere.

"With Men of League, they don't discriminate."

They will receive funds raised from auctions held throughout the HookUp.

Men of League state manager, Steve Calder said the group was thankful the prestigious event has chosen them to receive the beneficiaries.

"I had no idea the HookUp was this size.

"It's been amazing, we've had a lot of support," Mr Calder said.

"We have a few well known footballers coming down too, which should attract a few more people."

He said within the first two hours he was astounded by the event.

"We fundraise and look after anyone who has been involved in footy."

"We try to assist them in any way possible by fundraising."

The funds raised by auctioned rugby league memorabilia will go towards the foundation.


  • This year all of the funds will not go to just one foundation.
  • Money raised from the auction will go towards Men of League and any other fundraised money will go towards other not for profit charities.

UPDATE 1PM: THE Observer is proud to have been the major event sponsor of the HookUp since day one.

Read what site editor Allen Winter has to say about the event here.

UPDATE 6AM: IT'S THE last day of The Observer Boyne Tannum HookUp.

Read what committee member for the event Patrick Laws has to say here.


UPDATE 6PM: WITH hundreds of people heading out on their boats at various times this weekend, boating safety is paramount.

Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) and Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) has had their tents set up at The Observer Boyne/Tannum HookUp.

Throughout the event they've been giving advice to mariners about how to stay safe out in the water.

VMR chief controller Jim Purcell said people need to be cautious while boating at such a busy time.

On Friday the weather was not ideal for reef fishing.

He was expecting the winds to ease off by Saturday afternoon.

"It's important to look at the forecasts on the internet and listen to the observations," he said.

He said there are safety precautions which must be followed while boating.

"It's important to go out on the right tide."

Mr Purcell had calculated the tide times for the weekend for keen fishermen.

One of the most common problems they come across is people running out of fuel.

He said people just don't take notice of how much fuel they have left.

They advised that all boats should be correctly equipped with all of the safety equipment for the planned location.

"People need to make sure they have all the info up to date on their EPIRB and have flares and other safety gear on board."

VMR radio duty Greg Klease said, "If in doubt, don't go out."

UPDATE 5.30PM: THE Observer is starting to lock down content for our free souvenir Sunday paper and there's plenty of local faces present, with photos taken over the two days so far.

Here is a photo gallery of people enjoying the lovely weather today at Bray Park.

UPDATE 3.00PM: TASTE buds were tantalised earlier on today as HookUp favourite Andy 'Phippsy' Phipps' annual cooking demonstration.

Using fresh seafood caught at the event, Phippsy showed visitors how to create a simple, delicious and nutritious seafood dish that's sure to impress.

On the menu was scorched cuttlefish with Asian salad.

Andy Phippsy' Phipps cooked up a storm at The Observer Boyne Tannum HookUp.
Andy Phippsy' Phipps cooked up a storm at The Observer Boyne Tannum HookUp. Tom Huntley

As part of the demonstration, the renowned television host and chef passed on plenty of tips when it comes to cooking great seafood.

The most important- a hot bbq plate.

"Seafood should be cooked at a very hot temperature, for a short amount of time," Phippsy said.

"With this cuttlefish, I'd give it about a minute on each side."

He also encouraged onlookers to cook to their own taste.

Phippsy's cooking demonstrations have become an important part of HookUp.

He's a got a soft spot for the Gladstone region.

"Of the 50-60 shows I do every year, this one's my favourite," he said.

"The people in this region are just fantastic."

Phippsy said the 6-8 hour drive from his home in Noosa is well worth it.

"It's a hideous drive, but when you get here, you're amongst family," he said.

"It's one of the prettiest places in Queensland."

"The seafood is first class, especially the reef fish."

Tony Wood and his family were keen to watch the filleting and cooking demonstrations.

"I've never done much filleting," he said."

"I usually just cook the fish whole."

The family said they were keen to test out Phippsy's recipe.

"We're going to try it out this afternoon," Tony said.

"It was really good."

UPDATE 2PM: THE Observer has a photo gallery up of all the kids having fun getting their faces painted yesterday.

If you didn't get down there yesterday, there will be face painting on again today and tomorrow from about 4pm until 7.30pm.

UPDATE 11.15AM: THE filleting demonstration is about to start at Bray Park.

Questions are welcome and following the demonstration will be a cooking show with Andy Phipps.

Master Chef and well known fishing journalist Andy Phippsy' Phipps, left and Dave Hodge show the HookUp crowd how to fillet a fish.
Master Chef and well known fishing journalist Andy Phippsy' Phipps, left and Dave Hodge show the HookUp crowd how to fillet a fish. Tom Huntley

UPDATE 11AM: THE biggest catch yet to the weigh in at Bray Park has just come in.

Eighteen-year-old Kyal Hardy knew he'd caught a monster when he reeled the fish in.

"I actually thought it was a shark," Kyal said.

"It took me 25 minutes to reel it in."

At Saturday's weigh in, Kyal's massive 26.65 jewfish was the envy of all the most experienced anglers.

The Gladstone local and his two mates made the catch near Tide Island, around 11pm on Friday.

Kyal said he wasn't expecting to bring home anything that big.

"This is the biggest I've ever caught," he said.

"I hope it will win."

This year is Kyal's fifth HookUp.

He's always been an avid fisher and splends plenty of time on the water.

"I drive boats for a living," he said.

"HookUp's always a fun event to get involved with."

While Kyal will have to wait until Sunday night to find out the results, HookUp spokesman Pat Laws said he'll certainly be in with a chance.

"It's a very impressive catch."

Kyle Hardy with his 26.65 jew.
Kyle Hardy with his 26.65 jew. Rebecca Danslow

Here are some photos from the weigh in on Friday at Bray Park on May 3.

UPDATE 10AM: THERE are multiple families soaking up the sunshine and enjoying walking around Bray Park at the momen enjoying the atmosphere at The Observer Boyne/Tannum HookUp.

If you've been meaning to come down to the area for a day trip today looks like the perfect opportunity with a maximum of 28 degrees celcius and minimum of 16 degrees celcius predicted - what's better, there's only a five per cent chance of rain.

With a high UV index remember to have a sun safety plan in place.

There's still plenty of time to get down to the HookUp with the event going late into the evening as the entertainment section of today's schedule his planned to start at 7.30pm.

Here's some photos of last night's festivities.

EARLIER: THIS year is The Observer's Boyne/Tannum HookUp's 18th birthday, and it's going to be a great party.

The event kicked off on Friday and keen amateur boaties geared up for a day out on the river or reef.

HookUp president Jeff Amos greeted the crowd of about 500 with a general overview of the rules and what would take place over the exciting weekend.

The Observer Boyne/Tannum HookUp at Bray Park, Boyne Island. Cael Wimbus, 7 and brother Kahn, 8.
The Observer Boyne/Tannum HookUp at Bray Park, Boyne Island. Cael Wimbus, 7 and brother Kahn, 8. Christopher Chan GLA030513HOOK

Gladstone Water District police Sergeant Jeff Barnett showed how to properly set off a flare and shared a few critical tips for boating safety.

The first prizes were drawn of both the senior and junior categories.

Mr Amos said he was pleased with this year's turn-out on their first day.

This year has seen a few changes already too; the event being held in May instead of June.

Amos laughed. "We've changed the date and the weather's still like this.

"But it will come good."

Prizes will be drawn, rides will be operating for the littlies and auctions of some rugby league memorabilia will take place during the weekend.

Even before this year's event is over, the committee is already looking forward to the 20th HookUp.

"It'll be one of the greatest parties the town has ever seen."

They have began organising the event and are promising great things.

"We're going to bring people from all over central Queensland with what we have on offer."

Read about the first fish being dropped into the tank on Friday here.



  • 7am: Competition starts. Welcome and briefing, rules overview, flare demonstration, lucky draws. You must be present with an active card to be eligible to claim prize if drawn.
  • 9.15-10.30am: Live music.
  • 10.30-11.30am: Link Sea FM.
  • 11.30am-12.30pm: Live music.
  • 12.30-1.15pm: Marine polish display.
  • 12.30-1.30pm: Link Sea FM.
  • 1.20-2pm: Gamakatsu.
  • 1.30-2pm: Live music.
  • 2-4pm: Weigh-ins. Entrants wishing to weigh their catches must be in line by no later than 4pm.
  • 2-4pm: Link Sea FM.
  • 4-4.30pm: Live music.
  • 4.30-4.40pm: Leader board update.
  • 4-7.30pm: Face-painting.
  • 5.30-7.40pm: Friday draws.
  • 7.40pm: Entertainment.


  • 8-9am: Link Sea FM.
  • 9-10am: Live music.
  • 10-11.30am: Weigh-ins. Entrants wishing to weigh their catches must be in line by no later than 11.30am.
  • 11.30am-noon: Filleting demo.
  • 12.30-1.30pm: Cooking show - Andy Phipps.
  • Noon-12.30pm: Humminbird demo at Marine Centre stand.
  • Noon-1.30pm: Cast net demo.
  • Noon-3.30pm: Kayaks on the river.
  • 1.35-1.45pm: Live music.
  • 1.15-1.45pm: Sea FM radio.
  • 2-4pm: Weigh-ins. Entrants wishing to weigh their catches must be in the line by no later than 4pm.
  • 4.10-4.40pm: Engle show, with Dave Hodge.
  • 4.40-5.15pm: Cast net demo.
  • 4.05-4.30pm: Sea FM radio.
  • 4.30-5pm: Live music.
  • 4.40-5.10pm: Dulon demo, Gamakatsu simulators.
  • 4.45pm: Leader board update.
  • 4-7.30pm: Face-painting.
  • 5.30pm: Barrel and prize draws.
  • 6.20-6.25pm: Two minutes each, with guest Shane Webcke and Men of League's Ron Coote.
  • 6.25-6.40pm: Auctions.
  • 7.40pm: Entertainment.


  • 8-9am: Link Sea FM.
  • 9am: Live music.
  • 10-11.30am: Weigh-ins. Entrants wishing to weigh in their catches must be in line by no later than 11.30am.
  • 11.30am-noon: Filleting demo.
  • Noon-1.30pm: Cooking show and wine tasting.
  • 1.30-2.30pm: Link Sea FM.
  • 2-2.30pm: Cast net demo.
  • 1.35-2.30pm: Men of League show (meet the stars).
  • 2.30-4.30pm: Link Sea FM.
  • 2.30-3.30pm: Dulon demo, Gamakatsu simulators.
  • 2-4pm: Weigh-ins. Entrants wishing to weigh in their catches must be in line by 4pm.
  • 4-7.30pm: Face-painting.
  • 4.30-5pm: Live music.
  • 4.45pm: Leader board update.
  • 5.30pm: Prize draws.
  • 7.15pm: Fireworks.


TO CELEBRATE The Observer Boyne Tannum HookUp there is a special souvenir Sunday paper distributed by The Observer on May 5.

The special edition will include photos galore, news from the event and profiles on competitors.

To pick up your free copy of the paper visit one of these outlets:

  • NewsXpress Kin Kora
  • NewsXpress Sun Valley
  • Shell Toolooa
  • Unite Fuel
  • CQP Toolooa
  • Toolooa IGA
  • Airport BP Service Station
  • Clinton Park News
  • Park Street News
  • Rosella St Store
  • Gladstone Newsagency
  • Rods Supermarket
  • Dawson Highway Central
  • State Fuels
  • Nextra Valley News
  • Calliope Newsagency
  • Tannum Sands News
  • Boyne Island News
  • CQP Boyne Island
  • BP Boyne Island