Upcoming & Past Weekends

Family Fishing Weekend Mar 07

Hundreds of Australian bass were landed on Sports Tuition's Family Fishing Weekend which took place on Hinze Dam recently. Launching the Quintrex 370 Travellers and the canoes from the Western boat ramp, the group of 47 fished well down the Western arm on the Saturday. The cruising time was around 45 minutes, and it provided a great opportunity for the kids to take control of the motors and drive their parents around. Not only is it a lot of fun for the kids to drive the boats and canoes, but it is well worth the trip because the bass continue to school around Ian's Island.

The group was catching bass at a frantic pace and it was a little difficult to keep track of how many bass were making their way into the esky. On these weekends, we always keep a few bass, so the adults can run through a fish filleting workshop at the campsite. After around 1½ hours fishing, the group had caught enough fish to feed the entire group, and hence, all fish landed thereafter were released.

The day's fishing on Saturday netted around 500 bass. Some boats managed up to 30 bass in their half day session, which is pretty good going by anyone's standards. The key to such a high catch rate was the use of live shrimp as bait. The group ended up using over 1000 live shrimp on the Saturday. Bass was the predominant species caught. However, there were 10 very large eel-tailed catfish caught, as well as one eel. These eel-tailed catfish are quite rare in Hinze, however, they are nesting behind the Island as well and have been caught regularly of late.

On this weekend, fishing on the water was only half of the program. The group was extremely fortunate to have the expertise of Leeann Payne who shared her knowledge with the group during workshops which covered a range of fishing topics and skills. The workshops are designed to be practical and very hands-on. It was great to see even the youngest participant fly-casting and being involved in every facet of the educational workshops.

After the first day of fishing and workshops, it was off to the campsite for the group to prepare dinner. It was a fantastic group and the meal came together very quickly. All the adults filleted the bass and all the kids peeled 25kg of potatoes which would later be cut into chips. The kids then made a production line for the bass to go through the flour, egg and breadcrumbs. It's hard to beat a meal of fresh fish and chips!

The four packets of marshmallows went down well with the kids after dinner as they sat around the fire roasting, but so did all the sample bags each received on the Saturday. The bags contained a cap, fishing DVD, fishing magazine, range of stickers, glow stick, etc. Special mention needs to be made of L. Wilson & Co, Bush n Beach Fishing and the DPI & F who are the sponsors who continue to contribute and support this quality educational program.

The following day, half of the Sunday morning was spent with Leeann where the group took part in learning to fly-cast, which is always a very sought after skill. And as the fishing was only around 1½ hours, some of the participants opted just to allow the kids to drive and to cruise around, exploring new areas of the dam and at the same time trolling lures behind the boats. Others that fished with shrimp didn't venture as far from the ramp and they were rewarded with some excellent bass. There were a few bass caught from the boat ramp down to Pelican Point. The other handy location that produced was the point at Patterson's Point and working down the western arm, the first few small inlets. Overall, it was a great weekend and it was enjoyed by all.

The fishing charters of late have also followed the same pattern as the fishing weekend. Most charters have headed down towards Ian's Island in the Western arm. On occasions, fishing the points working down towards the Island has netted very few, if any bass. If you are fishing in these areas, you will need to be more patient and persevere longer to attain the desired result. One area not far from the Western boat ramp though, which produced Saratoga on a shallow diving minnow lure, is the tip of Jason's Joint. Other lures working well at the moment, and that have caught excellent bass, are the lipless crankbaits which have been cast close to the edges. As the water temperature continues to rise, it is also well worth trying Mac's Lures Micro Mullets which dive to 6 feet. The Micro Mullets have caught a stack of bass lately. TT Lures spinnerbaits have also picked up quite a few bass lately. The spinnerbaits have produced both by casting and retrieving and by also being trolled. A few members of the Brisbane Fishing Online club fished Hinze and caught 7 Saratoga in the upper reaches of the western arm, mostly by casting and retrieving green/chartreuse coloured spinnerbaits, with a couple picked up on poppers. Bass are still surface feeding in the early morning and late afternoon and are being enticed by poppers. The SureCatch SuperBass popper has been the pick of the lures. The current capacity at Hinze is 76% and it's hard to imagine the fishing getting any better. It's a great time to get out and enjoy what Hinze has to offer.


Lock, 12, was receiving fly-casting tuition from Leeann Payne on the Family Fishing Weekend.

Sam and his dad Phil had plenty of double hook ups like these two behind Ian's Island. Sam's bass measured 40cm.

Paul, with his sons Matthew and Riley, enjoyed fishing from the Quintrex 370 Traveller on the Family Fishing Weekend.

Christina picked up several 40cm plus bass and a huge eel-tailed catfish during her ½ Day fishing charter.

Kelly, fishing with her mum Lisa, caught these bass using live shrimp.

The average size bass tends to be larger in the upper reaches of Hinze Dam. Justin pulled this one in well down the Western arm.