Upcoming & Past Weekends

Mother & Son Fishing Weekend Review May 06

Fishing in the majestical setting of Hinze Dam with a group of dedicated mums and their kids; it was only a matter of time before special things happened.  Early last month Sports Tuition conducted a Mother & Son/Daughter weekend. The weekend started after lunch on Saturday and the group was joined by a howling wind from the North West. When it blows like this at Hinze, one of the best options is to head down the Eastern arm of the dam and fish around Paul's Point, which is basically opposite the southern intake tower. This was the group's first point of call and Nic, fishing with his mum Carol, managed to land the first bass of the day. It was a 43cm bass, which wasn't a bad start to the weekend. After a quick photo, Nic returned the bass to the water to fight another day. On these weekends, we do keep a few fish, for a couple of reasons, but it was decided that we would only keep bass that measured between 32-35cm. The first reason is that all the mums are able to run through a fish filleting course at the campsite. The second is that we get all the kids to peel potatoes and breadcrumb the fillets and we sit down for fish and chips for dinner. The larger fish are great fun to catch and, although there are plenty of big fish in Hinze, I figure those ones will still be there for others to enjoy. Another reason to return the big bass is that they do eat the banded grunter which is a pest fish that breed in the dam.

There were a couple of kids who had been before, with their dads, on a Father & Son or Father & Daughter weekend, and this time the husbands sent their wives to experience the action. The other mums in the group were just dedicated mums who knew they had kids passionate about fishing and they wanted to share the experience with them. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the combination. We had so many laughs. If weekends are about the vibe...the vibe was good. I plan to run more of these weekends.

One of the great things about fishing Hinze Dam and running fishing weekends at this location is the amount of fish caught by everyone. As usual, every participant managed to catch an Australian bass. At the start of the weekend I heard that there was one young boy who had been on four previous fishing trips and never managed to catch a fish. It was a good thing that he possessed good perseverance skills, because it must be incredibly frustrating for kids to go fishing, and sometimes all day, and never catch a fish. I would imagine it must turn a lot of youngsters off the sport. However, I was pleased to see Jarrod and his mum Tanya catch their first ever fish. When I see the kids so excited, it really makes it all worthwhile. Every canoe that passed Jarrod could hear him holler, I caught a 38! And then after a little while it was, how big was yours? I caught just caught a 35...and it continued.

Over the weekend there were a number of bass caught which measured between 38-43cm. However, one memorable moment was when Linda managed to land a bass around the low 30cm mark. I was going over to get a photo, and as Linda was removing the hook from the bass, she managed to tangle her line through her daughter Emily's rod. As I was approaching to take the snap shot, Linda's rod went overboard and holding the bass in one hand, she tried to grasp the falling rod, but it sank too quickly. So one rod down. It was a little disappointing...but hold that thought...Emily wasn't holding on to her rod. Make that two rods...gone. Mum had to bite her lip. I know she wanted to curse. About 20 seconds passed. It was enough time to contemplate the loss of two very nice Wilson Foreshore rods, when, about 5m away from the canoe, we spotted the butt handle of one of the rods. I motored over as quickly as possible and grabbed the rod. Fortunately, the line was still tangled around the other rod and I managed to pull both rods in. I handed Emily's rod back to her and she managed to wind in a 39cm, big fat bass! It was an incredible moment. Considering that the rods, together with the weight of the reels, don't float, the only factor that helped to get the rods back and to land the bass was the fish's run. It must have taken off to the bottom first, and then had another run towards the surface.

So how do you top that for a story! Well, young Peter, 6 years old, was fishing with his mum Maria. Both had been on a weekend before, and I knew Peter would have control of the Minn Kota the whole weekend. He is the type of boy who really enjoys driving the canoes. He always amazed me with the number of fish he managed to catch, because most of his time was spent on the move. I saw Peter driving around with his landing net in water for quite a while. I thought to myself, he is not going to get a fish that way. I should have known better to underestimate a child. Peter came back to the group very excited when he saw a bass feeding on the surface late in the afternoon and he manage to net it as quick as a flash.

It was a weekend of many firsts. We have been operating the canoes for over two and a half years now, and nobody has ever fallen out...until Cate, who had Warwick and Isobel in the canoe with her, thought she would stand and try to untangle the kids lines. The lines where tangled at the rod tips and it is not the ideal way to try to untangle lines by standing and working the lines above your head. So in she went! If I had reflexes as quick as Peter, I would have got a photo.

Peter managed to land this bass in a conventional manner, but he also scooped one up in the landing net late in the afternoon.

Jarrod with his first ever fish, a 38cm Australian bass.

Mums and kids on the move.

Linda and her daughter Emily with a couple of nice bass. The 39cm bass on the left was the one that nearly got away...with the rods!

Nic landed the first fish of the weekend. A 43cm Australian bass.

Isobel, fishing with her mum, Cate and brother, Warwick caught this very healthy Australian bass.