WELL after all the fun we had fishing round three of the Country Fishing Classics at Bjelke-Petersen Dam, we immediately signed up for round four at Maroon Dam.
We had never fished Maroon Dam before and getting to see new places is one of the benefits of fishing tournaments such as the Country Fishing Classics. You have the added bonus of being able to learn from your fellow competitors, either through observation on the water or conversation back at camp.
My two youngest sons Ethan and Riley and my cousin Brett joined me for this round. It all started well, with our group getting to Maroon in time to set up camp and make it to the briefing, raffle draw and first round of random lucky draws for the final Sunday prize draw.
Then came the rain. It absolutely bucketed down, and after leaving the briefing with our arms full of raffle loot we arrived back at camp to find the shade tent covering our swags and gear had collapsed.
Fortunately for the kids, their swags were closed and clothes still safely in the car. I on the other hand had my swag open to air out, so all my clothes and bedding were completely soaked. We managed to secure the shade tent with some bracing and plenty of zip ties to get us through the night. However I had to endure a long wet night with little sleep.
Day one began with a faulty Lowrance refusing to display Insight Genesis maps. With no experience in and little knowledge of the dam, we just had to wing it. We managed to snag a few spangled perch and Riley was the only one in our boat to land a bass.
By late afternoon we were hot, bothered and frustrated. We decided that if we couldn’t beat them we would join them, so took a break by jumping in the water for a very welcomed swim. After the cool-off we shot back to camp so I could hang all my wet gear out to dry and then hit the water again for another crack in the afternoon heat. Unfortunately we still couldn’t crack the code and had to call it a day with only Riley submitting a scorecard with an undersized bass.
Frustrated with the day’s lack of fish we sat down and had a couple of beers. Before we knew it, we had missed the raffle and random name draw. As we got to the briefing area everyone was clearing out with their raffle prizes in hand. A quick chat to a couple leaving the briefing area revealed that my name had been called out in the name draw but because I was not present it was redrawn. Even more frustrated now, we headed back to camp.
On Sunday we hit the water with a bit more confidence, now armed with information we gained after the previous day’s fishing. Well as it turns out that didn’t help us much either.
We caught a few more pesky spangled perch and I managed two undersized bass for the day. I caught my bass by slow rolling a soft plastic slider-style grub across the bottom.
We ended our day’s fishing with another refreshing swim before heading back to camp and making our way up to the presentation and random prize draw. The presentation began with the issuing of certificates to all the winners of the various classes.
A raffle sponsored by Austackle followed, with all proceeds going to the Maroon Dam stocking program, and then it was time to draw another four names out of the hat for the random prize draw. As they called out one, two and then three names, I sat sulking a little due to missing my opportunity by not being present when my name was drawn out on Saturday evening.
Then to my astonishment, I heard my name called out. Wow, how’s that for luck? So up out of my chair and off I trotted with a little spring in my step to the stage to take my place with the other 11 lucky people. In the end I won an Austackle prize pack consisting of a 6-10kg spin outfit, a spool of braid, a spool of fluorocarbon leader and a tackle bag. Looks like I’ll have to wait for round five to win those Tonic sunglasses. Thanks Austackle.
Round five was held on March 19 and 20 at Coolmunda Dam located between Warwick and Goondiwindi.