Bowhill kayak fishing competition will bring in 100-plus tourists, progress association's Shane McGrath hopes

Business can be slow in winter in a town like Bowhill, whose economy depends upon river tourists for much of its economic activity.

But the Murray is still a beautiful spot, and there are fish to be caught all year round.

Enter Shane McGrath, president of the local progress association, who is planning a kayak fishing competition next month that he hopes will bring up to 100 people to visit.

"Tourism is a big thing for smaller towns," he said.

"If you don't get onto it, you miss the opportunity.

"Too many towns want to sit on their laurels and hope everything changes."

He said he invited people to come up for the weekend to camp and fish every couple of months.

About 25 came from as far away as Keith and Wallaroo to test the waters, literally and figuratively, on the weekend of June 2 and 3.

The callop were biting on the Saturday; at least one fisher caught specimens of 50 and 47 centimetres.

There was nothing much on Sunday, but the mateship they shared around a fire pit on the Saturday night made up for that.

The July competition – to be held from Friday the 27th to Sunday the 29th – will offer $12,000 worth of prizes.

The proceeds of a raffle will be donated to RSL Care Adelaide to benefit homeless veterans, a cause close to the ex-serviceman's heart.

He raised $900 for that organisation last year by selling home-made PVC rulers for measuring fish, decorated with military imagery.

Funds raised through entry fees will be spent improving the town's riverfront.

"I'm not a believer in grants," Mr McGrath said.

"I believe in getting the community together and raising money that way."

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