Claiming Rocky's biggest, best tourism opportunity
I'VE never caught the fishing bug.
I prefer "you hunt, me cook". I'm happy to go to the beach, in the boat and can stay on the water all day, just don't put anything in my hand.
Clearly that's not the view of millions of Australians who love to fish, who love the peace and quiet of the outdoors, the escape from life's complexities, the thrill of the chase and the barra on the barbie with a coldie or two as the sun goes down.
The temperatures are rising among the anglers who are counting sleeps until barra season kicks off on Friday, February 1 at noon.
And more and more, those fishers are coming from elsewhere to catch the infamous metre-plus Fitzroy monsters.
Rocky isn't the only place you can catch the big ones, but I don't know of anywhere else you can catch them almost from the balcony of your five-star accommodation.
Rocky is the home of the Big Barra and now is the time to claim the title, build the statue and an industry around big barramundi.
Other places may feel they have a claim on being the barra capital of Australia, but without the statue, it's just a cry in the wilderness.
If we want to encourage people to stop and stay a while as they pass through Rockhampton, I can't think of any more productive marketing dollars than the Big Barra.
Once word is out, it's out.
Fishing is a universal language.
It doesn't discriminate.
Fishing tourism is big, huge, massive, enormous and so far we're just scratching the surface of its potential.