Upcoming & Past Weekends

BFO 2009 Bass Friendly

Hinze Dam is still sitting at 100% capacity, but there hasn't been significant rain of late, which has allowed the dam to settle, and as a result, the fishing has really started to fire. Throughout the year, Sports Tuition regularly conducts fishing competitions with Brisbane Fishing Online (BFO) and the timing on this occasion could not have been better. On 28 Feb - 1 March the BFO crew converged on Hinze to test their skills, but more importantly, to relax and enjoy the magnificent environment of Hinze Dam. The comp was called the BFO Bass Friendly and the title certainly encapsulated the spirit of which the weekend was conducted. It was great that the group was made up of expert and novice anglers, with both male and female competitors. There were informal, individualised workshops conducted throughout the course of the weekend and by having so many like-minded individuals grouped together for the weekend, it certainly was a great opportunity to share knowledge and I'm sure everyone involved in the weekend learned something. The format of the weekend allowed for the use of lures and live shrimp was also provided as bait for day one, but the rules stipulated it to be a lure only fishing on day two. Having the option of using live shrimp on day one was a fishing guarantee for those that needed it. As it turned out, everyone caught plenty, but surprisingly, most major prize categories were claimed with lures as opposed to the live shrimp. It was interesting to read on BFO's forum after the event about the theory of smaller bass schooling together and demolishing plenty of live shrimp which resulted in large catch numbers, and the larger fish hanging on the outskirts and being loner fish and being more susceptible to lures. The BFO guys really do put some thought into their fishing, so it's no wonder some great fish were caught. There were plenty of techniques employed and plenty of fun had testing methods and then landing fish. There was plenty of casting and trolling but jigging with blades produced some of the biggest fish of the weekend which included some nice yellowbelly and some monster eel-tailed catfish. The jigging was conducted on the edges in around 5-6m of water. Over the course of the weekend, the major catch rates were in the far upper reaches of the western arm. Bass were taken off the surface using surface poppers both on the first afternoon session and again the following morning. There were plenty of anglers keen to be on the water at first light on day two and it was great to hear the excitement in the voices of anglers who had just caught their first surface bass. This really is an exhilarating way to catch bass and it certainly justified the early morning start.

L. Wilson & Co provided tremendous support for the competition and covered all the major prize categories with a SureCatch Ghost Graphite 7' Rod combined with a SureCatch Ghost SSG225 Front drag spinning reel which was pre-loaded with braid for every fish category in the dam. Thank you also to BNB for chipping in with a couple of subscriptions to the magazine and to Adrian from Xtreme Anglers who donated a BFO custom rod. All the prizes were greatly appreciated by the BFO mad-keen fishing enthusiasts. The SureCatch combo which was provided for every prize category is a great little outfit for freshwater fishing and I know former prize winners who have come back and tested the combo out have picked up a heap of bass and they love the outfit. During the course of the weekend, there wasn't a Mary River Cod or Silver perch landed, but every other species was caught. The unclaimed categories reverted back to the next largest combined bass totals. The first fish of the weekend was actually a 58cm saratoga which was landed by Richard Allt just minutes after hitting the water. He was trolling a purple jackal just out from the Numinbah boat ramp. This great fish signalled the start of the comp. It was amazing how quickly word spread on the dam. Anglers were pumped and it was game on!

After a great day's fishing, the group moved back to the campsite to prepare dinner. As well as the regular meal of fresh fish & chips and salad, a couple of the BFO members also brought along a range of meats for everyone to enjoy...it ended up being quite a smorgasbord and nobody went hungry. Special thanks to Jeff Flynn for coordinating all the fish filleting. There were quite a few who learned some new skills in that area.
The overall prize winners were...
Winner Overall Combined Two Bass (Sat/Sun): Paul Czarkowski with 75cm (35cm + 40cm).
Winner First Day Longest Bass: Tom Lazlo with 43cm.
Winner Longest Saratoga: Richard Allt with a 58cm.
Winner Longest Yellowbelly: Henry Do with 43cm.
Winner Longest Banded Grunter: Ellen Wren with 20cm.
Winner Longest Catfish: Paul Czarcowski with 50.5cm. Paul Kindly donated his second prize to John Barclay who had the next longest bass. It was a maximum of one prize per angler. Nigel Stokes & Jeff Flynn also picked up prizes for their longest combined bass totals due to the fact that there were no silver perch or Mary River cod caught.

BFO will also hold a Winter comp with Sports Tuition and the date has been set for 4-5 July. For those anglers who don't have their own fishing gear or boat, everything is provided. To be eligible to enter this comp all you need to do is become a member of BFO by logging onto www.brisbanefishing.com.au. Registration is free and it's a great fishing community to be associated with.

The BFO comp finished at Midday on Sunday with a prize presentation and once the group packed up and left, it was time for a young boy's birthday party. What better way to celebrate turning 12 years old than having a group of mates, with their dads, out on the water catching bass, yellowbelly and some big eel-tailed catfish. L. Wilson & Co also made the afternoon memorable for this young angler by presenting him with a SureCatch Ghost Graphite Rod and SureCatch Ghost SSG225 Front drag spinning reel pre-loaded with braid.

The party group started the session with a BBQ lunch, quickly followed by some birthday cakes, before hitting the water. Having BFO on the water for a day and a half prior to the boys hitting the water was a huge advantage. The group found large schools of bass in the far upper reaches, virtually only 100m for our launching site. It meant everyone in the group managed to catch a heap of fish, in very quick time. The group even had time to go on and exploratory canoe drive. The boys all took control of the Minn Kota electric motors and drove their father on a tour to view more of the dam.

Tania Gorrie with a 42cm first day bass on the BFO weekend.

Henry Do & Nigel Stokes with a couple of nice yellowbelly on the BFO weekend.

The BFO prize winners were wrapped with their rod & reel combo courtesy of Wilsons.

Greg hooked this excellent yellowbelly, and he couldn't believe it wasn't big enough to take out the major yellowbelly prize!

Alex's birthday party crew fished in the canoes and found plenty of bass in the sheltered far upper reaches of the dam.

Alex with a nice Australian bass. He managed 13 fish on his birthday...not a bad present!