Yellowbelly takes pride of perch in Isisford

Isisford catches the Big Fish


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NICE CATCH, ISISFORD: Cocky and his yellowbellyl, Photo by Dawn Bailey

NICE CATCH, ISISFORD: Cocky and his yellowbellyl, Photo by Dawn Bailey

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Little Isisford has a sight to reel you in.

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In central west Queensland, Longreach has the Big Stockman, Blackall has the Big Ram – and Isisford has landed the Big Fish.

Not just any fish either – a 12m yellowbelly.

It’s the creation of long-time Isisford resident Henry “Cocky’”Bignell, 85, and some oxy-welder-wielding mates who, over many weekends, helped create a catch that would not get away.

The 5m-high art installation on the banks of the Barcoo is made of scrap metal that Cocky, a former heavy-machine operator, salvaged from surrounding properties.

He hopes the sculpture will encourage travellers to stop by his beloved hometown, about halfway between Blackall and Longreach.

“I’ve had my fair share of good fishing in the Barcoo over the years, mostly yellowbelly and black bream,” Cocky said. “There are good times and not so good. They can be a bit elusive in the dry but sometimes it’s not about the catch. And this big fella isn’t going to be getting away!”

Isisford hosts an annual fishing competition in late July. The bush weekend attracts anglers from all over, trebling the town’s population of about 260 for a few days.

Southwest of Isisford, the Yaraka Hotel at the base of the Yang Yang ranges offers a sunset tour to lovely Mount Slowcombe Lookout. With 360-degree views of the plains. The only cost is a donation to the Flying Doctor. 4657-5526, yaraka.com.au/tours

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