Upcoming & Past Weekends

Mt Carmel Father & Son Fishing Weekend 08

There have been some ferocious afternoon storms at Hinze Dam of late and unfortunately I had a group on the water during one. The storms have dumped 330mm of rain on Hinze in the past few weeks and the dam's capacity has risen to 98.4%. It is amazing how quickly the storms can roll in over the mountains and since Hinze Dam is an electric motor only fishery, it's hard to make a quick escape. We had virtually only just hit the water on a father & son fishing weekend. The weekend was a yearly event for a group who attend Mt Carmel College in Brisbane and it was the third year in a row for a few of them who had attended previously with other sons. All the boys on this weekend were six or seven years old. We had only been on the water for about 45 minutes and there was one fish caught. We had only just motored to our preferred fishing location, which was behind Ian's Island. However, with a look over the left shoulder, it didn't look promising. The storm was approaching, and quickly. There was no way we could return to the boat ramp, we would have just headed into the eye of the storm. The majority of the group left their raincoats in the car too, saying they didn't think it was going to rain at all. But within minutes, the group was soaking wet. We had to move to the bank and simply stand and wait for the storm to pass. The group commented that it was group bonding at its best, but I would have preferred to have been more prepared and had a full weather report before hitting the water. The strong winds made it hard to manoeuvre the boats to the bank and once the rain started, the boats filled with quite a lot of water, but after about 20 minutes, the rain dispersed and what it left was perfect fishing conditions. Prior to the storm it was quite windy, but afterwards, there wasn't a breath of wind and the dam's water surface was like glass. The barometer was up and all these factors combined to stir the bass into a feeding frenzy. Once the lines were baited with live shrimp, it was only a matter of seconds before fish were landed, and plenty of them. The catch comprised of some great bass and yellowbelly, but surprisingly, there were also a lot of smaller bass amongst them. The average size for a bass at Hinze is about 32-33cm, but shortly after the storm, the group caught a large number of bass about 20-25cm. With such young boys on the water it was great they were catching large numbers of fish and it wasn't long before the group landed their quota of legal sized fish and we decided to head back to the campsite for a hot shower and to prepare the catch for dinner.

It was a team effort preparing dinner as a few fathers filleted the fish, a few oversaw the kids peeling potatoes and then chopped them into chips. Once the filleting was complete, it was back to the boys with the job of bread crumbing all the fillets. Dinner came together very quickly.
The following morning's fishing was once again greeted with ideal conditions. On a glorious summer's day, the group mapped the same path from the previous day and headed toward Ian's Island, working the points of the inlets along the way. The inlets around Roy's Run on both sides of the dam produced plenty of good sized bass. There were some great bass over the 40cm mark and it was quite an experience for the young boys to be catching such great hard-fighting fish. There were a few occasions where fathers had to assist by holding the rods up for the youngsters while they madly reeled the fish in, but generally, the boys displayed their independence and thoroughly enjoyed their fishing experience. Even though on day one the boys were caught in the rain, it certainly didn't dampen their enthusiasm, there was not one complaint...they loved it!

It's going to be a great summer season of fishing on Hinze. When boats pull up to the ramp and you ask them how they went and they reply with, "I picked up around 50 on jackalls cast to the edges," you know the fishing is really starting to fire. Make sure you start early for the best results or leave your run for the late afternoon, but make sure you check the weather report at www.bom.gov.au and avoid those storms!

Jan 09 Pict 1 - Oscar, fishing with his dad, Phil, picked up plenty of good size bass like this one.
Jan 09 Pict 2 - Luca picked up a great sized yellowbelly after the storm.
Jan 09 Pict 3 - Sean and Cael had plenty of fun on the water, catching some Australian bass.
Jan 09 Pict 4 - Adam and Luke spent some quality father & son time on the water, catching fish that would later become their dinner.
Jan 09 Pict 5 - Young boys love the experience of being able to drive the boats and Isaac was no exception, but he also enjoyed catching bass like this one on the father & son weekend.