Hello, I’m happy to be back home in Queensland and enjoying our state again. I’ve spent the past 12 years working in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and western Queensland, which was fantastic.
When I could, I fished in a lot of bucket-list places and not only fishing but seeing what’s out there… the scenery was definitely worth a look. It is a great country we live in, so if you have the opportunity, organise to go on an Aussie adventure.
But for me now, it’s great to be home and I’m again enjoying fishing the fantastic freshwater dams we have in this state. I grew up near Bundaberg with Lake Monduran just down the road.
Back then, I had a bit to do with the early days of stocking the dam for future fishing, so seeing how that has paid off is very rewarding. Eventually, we put barramundi in the dam, which attracted anglers from all over.
I reconnected with the Monduran Anglers and Stocking Association after a call from new president Kevin Charteris and am happy to be a part of this stocking group once again.
The Family Fishing Competition was held October 21 and 22 and was a great event, run by a passionate group of fishos who simply love this dam.
Over 510 people from both near and far nominated for the event, and even a few of the grey nomads camped at the Lake Monduran Holiday Park joined in on the festivities.
It’s such a friendly welcoming event, with woodfired pizzas, coffee van, ice cream van, Pristine Lures, Nudicover outdoor wear, Brian Charteris and his popular sharpening steels, Adrians Marine Centre’s boat display and FFSAQ’s freshwater fish display all on offer.
As well as raffles, kids’ casting competition, junior selfies with painted barra banners ‘hidden’ up the dam and viewing tanks with barra to look at – there was plenty to see and do.
Bundaberg Sportfishing Club catered for the weekend from the huge kitchen, with food available all day.
And they were up early with pre-ordered brekkies ready for collection by anglers on their way to the ramps.
On the fishing side, an overall total of 274 fish were weighed in for the day and a half of fishing.
Here’s the rundown on who got what.
Barra were the main species and a total of 120 very healthy solid barra were caught, recorded and released, with heaps over the 1m mark.
The best senior barra, worth $1000, measured 107cm and was caught by Nick Parkyn on Sunday.
Other barra winners on Saturday were first Colin Bruss with 105cm, second Deanne Gersekowski 103cm and the mystery length winner was Andrew Gatt 88cm.
On the Sunday, second was Kyle Woodrow with 105cm and the mystery length winner was Aaron Pryor 96cm.
Local lure maker Adam Turner from Pristine Lures – using his relatively new PT range of plastics – was the first angler to bag out on barra.
He went on to win the Barra Buster award for the weekend with his five best fish.
Bass weren’t as plentiful, but they were big and healthy.
Best bass for a senior angler and $1000 was 53cm and caught by Kelli Eyles.
She also won first and the mystery bass on Saturday, and Sunday first, second and the mystery weight on bass.
Kelli had a great weekend, also winning the Bass Buster category, with the biggest weight of bass.
Other bass winners were on Saturday in second place, Steven Binney.
Dean Pym won the Brian McCarthy prize for the best three species and the overall biggest bag of catfish at 19.095kg.
In the junior section, the overall winner for longest barra was Josiah McKeough with 102cm.
Other winners on Saturday were first Brayden Charteris 98cm, and second and mystery length of 65cm Kale Osbourne.
Junior heaviest bass overall winner was Thomas Eyles with a 35cm bass.
On Saturday, Thomas also won first and the mystery weight – there was no second place bass caught.
He also caught enough catfish for a bag of five for a weight of 2.94kg.
On Sunday no junior bass were caught.
Jewfish were quite plentiful over the competition weekend for both senior and junior anglers.
Overall heaviest senior winner was Stephen Wolski with 2.24kg and junior was Kolbie Hadwen with 2.19kg.
For Saturday, first was Kolbie, second Karda Berthelsen and mystery Zack Dayag.
And for Sunday, first was Aaliyah Dayag, second Zayden Croucher and mystery Karda Berthelsen.
Catfish were plentiful, and those big ones sure can put up a fight.
Not everyone’s cup of tea, though you can’t say they don’t have you thinking twice when you hook one up.
Senior overall heaviest catfish was 5.249kg caught by Paul Wedel.
Junior overall heaviest was 5.176kg caught by Lincoln Wedel, who also got the best bag of five for a total of 16.352kg.
A couple of tilapia were also caught over the competition weekend – they were a fair size at 40cm and 41cm and were disposed of quickly.
For 20 years now, Adrian from Adrians Marine has supported the club and sponsored a registered Stacer tinnie with Mercury motor, trailer and safety gear that can be won simply for nominating.
This year, Wally London walked away the winner of this great prize.
Congratulations to all the winners.
Seven bass, 120 barramundi, 58 jewfish and 60 catfish went towards the total of 274 fish recorded by anglers, with junior and senior bags of catfish making up the difference.
Rob and Kelly from the Lake Monduran Holiday Park – who look after the grounds, two amenity blocks, the camp kitchen and fully stocked shop – are an integral part of the weekend and can be contacted via their website for bookings.
If you’re interested in more information, get in touch with Monduran Anglers and Stocking Association via Facebook.
So many sponsors have helped make this event what it is today and most have been with the group for many years – all so special and very much appreciated.
See you next year on October 18-20, 2024 for the twenty-fifth Tackle World Bundaberg Lake Monduran Family Fishing Classic.
We may even see you at Monduran over the Christmas break.