Upcoming & Past Weekends

Somerville House Father & Daughter Review 07

...our next weekend which was a father & daughter fishing & horse-riding weekend. The school involved on this occasion was Somerville House, which is based in Brisbane and is regarded as one of the finest all girls' schools in Australia. The School has consistently won acclaim for its achievements since it opened in 1899, with outstanding academic, sporting, and cultural programs. The School's strong focus on curriculum and pastoral care is instrumental in developing confident, well-educated and critical thinking young women. It is fantastic that the school administration has vision and supports these types of weekends and is aware of the numerous benefits to both the fathers and the girls. Even though this was Somerville House's sixth year that the weekend has been held, it was the first time the format included horse riding. The fact that the weekend filled to capacity very quickly, and another weekend had to be added to the calendar to cater for the overflow, proved that is was a popular combination. As it turned it turned out, the weekend was a success for a number of reasons, with one reason being that every person on the weekend managed to land fish, and quite a few of them at that.

On the Saturday, the group was split into two smaller groups and one started the morning fishing and the other started at the horse riding ranch. The groups swapped activities after enjoying a BBQ lunch at the campsite. One of the objectives for this weekend was for the group to catch enough fish to feed themselves for dinner. As it turned out, the first group manage to accomplish this task in the first couple of hours of the morning session. Once the quota of fish was reached, all the fishing thereafter became catch and release. There is no point keeping more fish than you need.

One of the pleasing aspects of the large number of fish landed was the diversity of the catch. In total there were hundreds of Australian bass landed with the best measuring 48cm, but there were also a handful of yellowbelly with the best measuring 45cm and a few great silver perch, which were of similar size. Also in the mix were a couple of eel-tailed catfish and the odd banded grunter.

Catching fish of this size is pretty exhilarating and the group was instructed at the start of their session to hold onto their rods. The bass in particular strike very hard and if the rod is unsecured, you can kiss your rod goodbye. It always tends to happen when people are pre-occupied with another fish in the boat. As all eyes are fixed on the fish in the boat and with the process of removing the hook or measuring the fish, another bass will strike and if the person fishing is not prepared, they end up requesting another rod. Bass tend to school up and if you're fishing an area and manage to catch a bass, you are more than likely to catch several in that area. We have lost a few rods lately and another one went swimming on this particular weekend.

I must say the Somerville crew on this weekend were simply awesome. It was teamwork at its best. The girls got in and peeled 20kg of potatoes for their chips and there were always 4 or 5 fathers at a time on the filleting boards and once the filleting was done, the girls did a fantastic job breadcrumbing all the fish. The dinner came together very quickly.

The horse riding component was conducted through the Numinbah Valley Adventure Trails. The girls rode with their dads on a three hour trail ride which broke mid-way to start a camp fire for billy tea and damper. Depending on the experience of each person, a horse was matched accordingly. It certainly was an action packed weekend and one everyone will remember for many years to come.

Every girl on the fishing weekend received a sample bag. L. Wilson & Co are the major sponsors who contribute caps, glow sticks, stickers, drink coolers, knots books and a range of other tackle items. Other contributors are Bush n Beach Fishing, McDonalds, DPI & F and a new sponsor, Fernwood Health Clubs. The items in these bags which also included the fishing magazine, the Learn to Fish DVD and vouchers are greatly appreciated by the kids. I am sure these kids will remember the company names as they grow and begin to purchase their fishing related products. A very special thank you to all those companies associated with the program.

Not only did the Somerville girls have to catch the fish for their dinner, they had to peel all the potatoes and then breadcrumb the fillets too!

Quality time at its best. Steve & Maeve with a healthy bass landed during the father & daughter fishing weekend.

The girls were eagerly awaiting for the heat to die out of the fire so they could commence the roasting of their marshmallows.

Megan, 10, leaving the gates and embarking on the three hour trail ride. The girls loved having the horses involved on the fishing weekend.