Cardwell Barra Bonanza


The Cardwell Barra Bonanza is a two day sports fishing competition held annually at the end of October to coincide with the close of the Barra season.  Fishing the waters off Hinchinbrook Island captured Barra are measured and released whilst Mangrove Jack, Javelin & Threadfin Salmon are measured.  The opportunity to visit picturesque Cardwell as well as great prizes and affordable nomination fees make this a competition that appeals to anglers from Cairns to the coal mines!!

Launched eight years ago to assist in attracting visitors to Cardwell at a traditionally quiet time of the year, the competition was planned to coincide with the opening of the Barra season, the first weekend in February.   Torrential rain, flooded roads and the threat of cyclones played havoc with the first 3 events.  In 2011, just 24 hours before the comp was due to get underway Cyclone Yasi blew in taking with it the contents of the clubhouse venue, and the $20,000 prize

Down, but not out and against all the odds, the Club rebuilt and in the process rescheduled the event to its current time slot, the last weekend before the barra season closes, and never looked back.   Numbers soared and for the first time nominations nudged the magic 100 mark.   The event in 2012 exceeded the Club’s wildest dreams when competitor numbers reached 164. 

In 2020 the Cardwell Sportfishing Club will be staging the 13th much-anticipated “Cardwell Barra Bonanza”.   Expected to attract more than 500 visitors to Cardwell, the town’s economy will receive a much needed “shot in the arm”.    Locals are encouraged to come along and enjoy the finale of the weekend – an open-air, live band entertainment following the Presentation of trophies. 

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