Upcoming & Past Weekends

Churchie Year 5 & 6 Father & Son Fishing Weekend Sept 2010

When large groups work together as a team to locate bass at Hinze Dam, it certainly is a big advantage over the angler who heads out by themselves. Sports Tuition recently hosted Churchie's Year 5 & 6 boys on a father and son fishing weekend and with 15 boats on the water, it meant the group could work the points and banks together, with some fishing shallow and some fishing deeper, and when boats starting catching at a particular depth, the other boats moved to the same depth. And if nobody wasn't catching in a particular area, you know the fish weren't there and the group could move on quickly. Bass feed at different depths throughout the day. As we head further into summer, bass and Saratoga will actively feed off the surface. Using surface lures will entice plenty of fish at dawn and dusk and in between those key times, the feeding patterns change, so diving lures, spinner baits and soft plastics come into play. During summer the bass tend to go very quiet in the middle of the day and the most success comes from using live bait, with shrimp being the best bait.

For this particularly fishing weekend, the fathers tried a few different lures but the majority of the time was spent bait fishing to give the boys the best opportunity to land as many fish as possible. Even though the group was armed with plenty of shrimp, it was still a matter of locating the bass. The other advantage this group had was that they were on the water for a day and a half. During that time they covered plenty of territory, which is often needed because the dam is currently at 91.7% capacity. The Saturday was a full day on the water and once the group launched from the Numinbah boat ramp they worked their way up well into the dam. There were a few fish caught on both days in the far upper reaches, but it appears that area isn't holding many fish at all. The most success came from heading much farther into the dam, with the keys spots along the steep rocky drop off of Roy's Run. The back of Ian's Island also produced plenty, and then the group moved across to the inlets of Banjo's Bay. Working just off the point in this area produced a bass on every shrimp. As the afternoon progressed, the bass came on in a feeding frenzy, which has been the feeding pattern for quite a few months now.

It was during this time in the afternoon that the group reached a point where they had kept enough fish for their dinner, so they were just having fun catching some big, hard fighting bass and putting them back in the water to fight another day. The catch mainly comprised of Australian bass, but there were a couple of huge eel-tailed catfish caught around Ian's Island. These catties are certainly getting bigger, and so too are the yellowbelly. Yellowbelly are quite a rare catch at Hinze, but the one caught during this weekend was massive. It was caught in shallow water off the point of Lark's Landing.

After an enjoyable day on the water, it was back to the campsite where the group started preparing the evening meal. All the boys peeled the potatoes whilst their dads got involved in the filleting of the fish. Mick and Brad, Sports Tuition staff members, led the workshop and normally do the majority of the filleting. These two staff members have been with me for about eight years now, and when you work with people for that amount of time, you know when there is something wrong, they will always tell you. I started hearing the same complaint for a while, and as the guys often say, it just takes a few times for it to sink into my head, but when it was coming to the filleting part of the day, sharp knifes were an issue. Using a steel just wasn't cutting it. So I've just added an electric knife sharpener to our equipment list and with it being in use for the first time on this weekend, the complaints were quickly replaced with a glowing endorsement of the machine. The sharpener worked a treat, and it only took a couple of minutes preparation time to have razor sharp blades for all the knives. The machine in use was the Nirey Recreational KE-198, which is available from Total Knife Care. For further information visit www.totalknifecare.com.au. So with the filleting done in record time, the fish fillets were handed back to the boys in the group who went through the breadcrumbing process. The group then sat down for a beautiful meal of fresh fish & chips.

After dinner it was time to light the camp fires for the boys to toast some marshmallows, it was a great way to cap off an excellent day's fishing.

Brothers, Christopher & Sam were onto some nice bass in the morning, and the fishing only got better in the afternoon. Sam pulled in this one from behind Ian's Island.

Lachlan, fishing with his dad, Colin picked up this solid bass along the steep rocky drop off of Roy's Run.

Yellowbelly are a rare catch at Hinze and Jonno & Jack were stoked with this beauty.

Craig landed this nice bass using live shrimp along Roy's Run.


There were plenty of Australian bass caught.

Late in the afternoon, there were quite a few double hook ups.

The boys also set some red claw traps and picked up some good sized ones.

A great day's fishing was capped off with a couple of awesome fires where the boys toasted some marshmallows.