Upcoming & Past Weekends

Churchie Year 5 & 6 Father & Son Fishing Weekends Aug/Sept 09

One of the key factors to fishing Hinze Dam over the last couple of months has been the weather patterns and stability associated with those patterns. In periods of inconsistent weather, the bass have scattered from their schools and moved into deeper water, making them much harder to catch. During this time, bass have basically deserted the far upper reaches of the dam. However, in saying that, there are still a few good bass, yellowbelly and silver perch being caught in the far upper reaches, but anglers are working very hard to catch them. The catch rates in this region have been significantly lower than normal and the during the Sports Tuition fishing charters and fishing weekend groups, we have found the best fishing has been well into the dam.

It's quite a distance to travel to get from the far upper reaches to the main body of the dam, but it is well worth the effort. If you're in no rush to get there, a great lure to troll in covering some distance is the Jackall Mask Vib. There is a colour pattern that resembles a banded grunter. It is a light colour, with black vertical stripes. Bass have been very aggressive towards this lure of late and it is known the larger bass feed on the grunter as well, so it's not a bad lure to have in your tackle box.

Sports Tuition has hosted a couple of father & son fishing weekends recently for the grade 5 & 6 boys from Churchie. The fishing on both of these weekends peeked in the afternoon, mainly because of the distance needed to travel to get amongst the action. There were very few fish caught in the far upper reaches on both weekends, so the groups needed to venture farther into the dam. After working some points and inlets, we hit the heat of the day and the group took some time out for lunch. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, the fishing will be quiet in the middle of the day. It's always a good time to have a break from the fishing and on these father & son weekends, the groups gathered on one of the banks for a bbq lunch. It's a good opportunity to socialise and discuss the plan of attack for the afternoon session. After lunch on both weekends was when the majority of fish were caught. Both groups managed to catch enough fish for dinner and back at the campsite, the boys were involved in peeling all the potatoes and breadcrumbing the fish fillets. After dinner the boys used the fish frames to set some shrimp traps in the dam and in the creek that runs through the property. The boys were pretty excited to catch a few shrimp and freshwater yabbies. The freshwater yabbies aren't a bad bait, but the ones caught were too big for a hook and they were actually full of eggs, so they were always going to be returned to the creek.

Even though the same movements on the dam were followed for both of these weekends, the catch rates varied at the locations from week to week. During the first weekend the boys had the most success along Lark's Landing and behind Ian's Island. However, the following weekend, bass had deserted these areas and the best fish were picked up along the steep rocky bank of Roy's Run. There were also some great bass picked up off the point of Roy's Run. One of the advantages these large groups have is that they can hunt as a pack to find the schools of bass and the depth range in which they're feeding at. By having the group fish varying depths, it gives a good indicator of what range the fish are feeding at. The groups used live shrimp as bait and when you have that many shrimp in the water, and combined with the technology of the Humminbird 778c Sonar, you can be pretty sure the group is going to hook up to some great fish. And they certainly did on both of these weekends.

It's always a pleasure to host the Churchie boys. It's a fantastic school that strives towards excellence in academic, sporting and cultural pursuits, but it also holds strong family values, which is evident through continued support of these types of events. There were also a couple of grandfathers who participated in these weekends, which is always great to see. The young boys learn so much from them, and not just about fishing. Their participation is priceless.

Neill & Chris picked up this super silver perch using live shrimp as bait. It measured 44cm.

Greg & Jacob picked up this solid bass behind Ian's Island.

Brad, a Sports Tuition staff member, picked up this excellent bass off the point of Roy's Run. He caught three similar to this one in about five minutes.

Reilly picked up this great yellowbelly in the deep water along the rocky edge of Roy's Run.

Nick picked up this solid bass on the point opposite the Numinbah boat ramp. It was one of the few fish caught in the far upper reaches of the dam.

Not only did the Churchie boys have to go out and catch the fish, they had to peel all the potatoes and then breadcrumb all the fish fillets...and they loved it!

During the first weekend there was a total fire ban, so insead of toasting marshmallows by the fire, the boys set some shrimp traps in the dam as a night activity. Jeremy & Ben enjoyed catching a few shrimp and some freshwater yabbies.


Setting red claw traps in the dam has definitely added another dimension to the weekends. This was the first weekend the traps were set and judging by the size of this red claw that Bernard is holding, it's going to create a lot of excitement for everyone on future trips.