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Dawson Foden’s winning 62cm saratoga.

Moura Muddy Water Classic 2024

The Moura Muddy Water Classic lived up to its name this year, with the mighty Dawson River having a minor flood and sending some brown water down for the weekend.

Absolutely great for the river, though it did make finding the fish a bit challenging, with heaps more food flowing through.

All of this didn’t put a dampener on the spirits of the fisher people and campers who, despite there being a lot of events held on the same weekend in the surrounding district, still came and had a great time.

This year we had anglers from Brisbane, Toowoomba, Dalby, Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Emu Park, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Kabra, Blackwater, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Childers, Rolleston, Taroom, Miles, as well as the local district and Trangie in NSW, which covers quite a large area.

It’s a popular little spot and such a great camping area, right on the water and a cement boat ramp for easy launching, with toilet and hot/cold gold-coin shower amenities.

A big shout out to Deb and the kitchen staff who, as always, do a massive job supplying food all day with a menu to rival a lot of restaurants, including sweets.

No need to bring food when you come to this comp.

On the Friday night this year, we had live music from Deal’N, sponsored by Moura Tavern, who played all the old favourite songs that had everyone singing along too.

Making his way down from Townsville again was Dave ‘Hodgie’ Hodge, ‘the barefoot fisherman’, who entertained the crowds with his casting skills and tips for catching fish – showing different casting outfits, how to rig them and answering multiple questions from the ever-interested crowd.

He ran two casting comps – the junior winners were Grace Taylor and Jackson Sorrensen, Milton McGechin and Billy Davidson, Tai Marianetti, Declan Mitchell and Clancy Eyles, and the senior winner was Mark Hutchinson.

Both groups had tips from Hodgie, who picked up on different casting styles and advised how it could be done a little better.

The main thing was practice, and having a target to aim for.

Peter Delaforce and senior male best black bream at 36cm.

 

Another welcome visitor representing FFSAQ was Charlie Ladd, who bought along the fish display trailer containing native and pest species for viewing, which is consistently popular.

And Charlie is always informative with the rules and regulations that seem to elude a lot of people.

With the dirtier water coming from way upstream, catfish were the most abundant species caught, using mainly bait such as worms and prawns.

Saratoga were the main species targeted and, even though no one caught one of the three tagged toga worth $1000 each, five were weighed in.

The best at 62cm was caught by senior male Dawson Foden, with the second largest hooked by Coen Saxby.

This group got onto a patch of toga right up in the drowned grasses early and threw in hard-body lures that were floated – twitching these was enough to entice bites.

While getting the fish out was a bit of a battle, they did very well.

The best black bream (or barcoo grunter) was 36cm, caught by senior male Peter Delaforce on his first trip to the Dawson River.

Best saratoga, as mentioned, was caught by senior male Dawson Foden and second was Coen Saxby.

Best sleepy cod for senior male was caught by Chad Eyles and second was Ken Green.

Best sleepy cod for senior female was caught by Kaylee Reading.

Best catfish for senior male was caught by Grant Burns and second was Shane Degier.

Best catfish for senior female was Christy Phillips and second, Sherry Strandquist.

In the junior section, the catfish winners were Eliza Drysdale and Aurora Tolliay.

Black bream winners were Khobe Millen and Thomas Eyles.

Spangled perch winners were Flynn Hoare and Jyah Saltner.

Best female senior catching saratoga was Tiffany Foden and second was Kaylee Reading.

Congratulations to all the winners.

Khobe Millen and the best junior black bream.

 

Stocking this section of the Dawson River is done by a very passionate group of locals called the Moura Fish Stocking Group, who are not on the stocked impoundment permit scheme, so every fingerling put in the river is bought by money raised by this hard-working group.

The main fundraising event for the year is the family fishing competition and everyone who supports this event has not only a great weekend catching up with friends new and old, they win a prize or two and help to buy fingerlings for future stocking.

As for every event, sponsors are so important.

We would like to thank Hutchinson Ag, Apex Moura, Mining and Energy Union, Secure Well Services, Banana Shire Council, Moura Australian Manufacturers Workers Union, Santos Limited, Mitre 10, Yarraboldy Briquette Company and Queensland Cotton Corporation, as well as Anaconda, Anglo Coal Dawson Management, BDS Mechanical Repairs, Bush ‘n Beach Fishing Magazine, Cornetts Supermarkets, Country Atmosphere Café, Dawson Valley Tilt Tray Services, Theodore Home & Garden Café, Hourn & Bishop Qld, Macmahon Holdings Limited, Melwood Pastoral, Moura Accounting, Moura Backhoe & Plant Hire, Moura Bus Service, Moura Meet, Moura News, Moura Real Estate, Moura Post Office, Moura Tavern, Moura Tyre Centre & Fabrication, Queensland Nitrates, Ron Tarry Transport, Theodore Family, Ventia, WestSide Corporation and new sponsor Geteminya Spinnerbaits.

The sponsors and locals who chip in and help Zelma, Ken and Graham, and all the stocking group members, are why we have such a popular event.

You can catch us on Facebook by searching for ‘Moura Fish Stocking Group’.

Also follow Hodgie on his YouTube channel – search for ‘hodgie the barefoot fisherman’ and see some of his highlights from the weekend.

Hope to see you there next year.

Keep safe and happy fishing.

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