Upcoming & Past Weekends

Churchie Year 3 & 4 Father & Son Fishing Weekend March 2012 Review

The recent rain at Maroon Dam has pushed the capacity back up to 100%.  The dam has been a hive of activity for the past few weeks.  A variety of groups and families have been utilizing the facilities at Camp Lake Fire.  There has been a fly fishing comp, father & son groups and plenty of families camping out and taking the opportunity to wet a line, catch a few red claw and to ski on the dam. 

Sports Tuition recently hosted a father & son group from Churchie for a fishing weekend.  All the boys were in years 3 & 4.  For this particular weekend, the weather on the Saturday was ordinary, to say the least.  The rain had certainly set in.  It didn’t deter the group though, who all ventured out in their rain gear in an attempt to catch a few fish for their dinner.  A few boats opted for an early hot shower at about 3pm when it starting bucketing down, but in true boy fishing spirit, the majority of the group persevered and were rewarded with some great fish.  The majority of the catch was Australian bass, but there were quite a few spangled perch caught as well.  Fortunately the rain cleared for the Sunday session which the group thoroughly deserved after battling through the rain on the previous day.  

Maroon Dam falls under the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme so there is nothing wrong with keeping a couple of fish for dinner.  Australian bass have a legal length of 30cm and a maximum take of two per person. The cost of a weekly permit is $7.20, which is used to buy more finglings to restock the dam.  There is a theory by some anglers that Maroon Dam is actually overstocked for the amount of food source in the dam.  I am yet to see a bass over the 40cm mark, but there have been plenty of massive yellowbelly well over 50cm caught.  A solid bass between 35-38cm still gives a good fight as they hit lures, flies, plastics and live bait hard.  You don’t hear many complaints from anglers who are catching plenty of fish.  It is particularly good if you’re fishing with kids because the constant activity keeps them interested.  

One method which can guarantee a few fish is the use of live shrimp.  On the Churchie weekend, the group began with 2000 shrimp and at the end of the Sunday morning session, there were about 100 left.  When you take into consideration that most shrimp account for a fish, it’s an indication that there were plenty caught.

The group also had some red claw traps out over the weekend.  The red claw is certainly getting bigger and they were on in good numbers during this wet weather weekend.  As usual, super guide Uncle Mick cooked them up a treat with his usual half done in garlic butter and half done in sweet chilli sauce.  We had a few too many and the group couldn’t eat them all on the Saturday night, but they went down just as well re-heated and with a cold beer for lunch on Sunday.

Camp Lake Fire was also the chosen location for a fly fishing comp in early March. It’s an annual event under the banner; Variety Children’s Charity Fly Fishing Competitions Bass & Saratoga. Judy and Jeremy are the coordinators of the event and they do an amazing job.  The weekend is fully catered and the atmosphere created is fantastic.  The sponsors who get involved are also well promoted.  All the anglers are willing to share their knowledge.  They are a great group of people.  If you’re interested in learning the art of fly fishing, you should get involved in their competitions.  If you’re an experienced fly fishing angler who wants to be surrounded by other fly fishing enthusiasts, this is the comp for you as well.  For a novice angler spending a weekend with these amazingly talented fly fishermen, it would put you years ahead.  They also hold an annual comp at Borumba which is scheduled for 20-21 October.  Go to www.varietyflyfishing.org.au if you’re interested.

There were quite a few fish landed on fly during the course of the weekend, all of which were released.  At dawn the surface action was white-hot, with Loud Mouth Surface Poppers and Grabham’s Gurglers gaining hook ups on virtually every cast.  The surface excitement was short lived though, lasting only about 20 minutes.  Targeting the alley ways of the weed beds proved to be the most successful method as the sun rose.  A large number of fish were caught in 5-6 metres of water, so some patience was required to get the fly down to the appropriate depth.  

Jeff Christoffel took out first place in the individual and also the team’s event.  Some flies that produced the goods for anglers over the weekend were the Small Black Clouser, Fuzzel Buggers and Andy’s Rabbit. The longest bass for the weekend measured 39.7cm. 

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