FISH PROMO: Lindsay Dobe of Barra World with Tourism Whitsunday's Natassia Wheeler, Proserpine Chamber of Commerce's Karen Vloedmans and Merv Hughes.
FISH PROMO: Lindsay Dobe of Barra World with Tourism Whitsunday's Natassia Wheeler, Proserpine Chamber of Commerce's Karen Vloedmans and Merv Hughes. Peter Carruthers

Big Merv chases barra

AFTER a number of false starts, the big man finally made it out on the water of Lake Proserpine this week.

Star of his own fishing and lifestyle show, Merv Hughes, took to tranquil Proserpine waters with local tour guide Lindsay Dobe in search of the iconic big barra.

The episode will be broadcast on the Channel 10 network's Channel 1HD, on July 1.

Merv said he was happy to be in the Whitsundays after the original filming of the show was postponed in the immediate wake of Cyclone Debbie, and even if the barra weren't playing the game.

"Anyone who fishes knows you either get them of you don't but being here at Lake Proserpine in a beautiful part of the world is fantastic," he said.

Marketing manager at Tourism Whitsundays Natassia Wheeler said the organisation, together with Mackay Tourism, "put in" to get Merv up here and to showcase fresh water barra fishing.

Ms Wheeler said Merv's fishing program was just one promotion in a campaign that also included paid trips for national journalists to attend the Bowen River Rodeo in Collinsville and trips to Bowen.

Mr Dobe said despite "Big Merv" not catching what he came for, to have such a high profile character in Proserpine was "certainly a positive at the end of all the negatives from Cyclone Debbie".

"It was the first time he'd spent any time in the area and he'll definitely be back," he said.

"He's got to catch that metre barra so he has to come back to the home of the Holy Grail."