A Cracking Weekend
I was invited along to my mates fishing shack for a friendly fishing competition located in a large creek system an hours drive north of Mackay. Our group consisted of 8 mates in 3 boats, Team Strikers (Busty, Vardy, Damo), Team Bream Reapers. (Steve and Josh) and I was part of Team Tuggers along with Mark, Stewy and Mick. Team Bream Reaper would be hard to beat as they had the home ground advantage and they had made up the rules but we were all up for the challenge!
Our base for the next few days was more like a resort than a camp with hot shower, ceiling fans and comfortable sleeping quarters. In our group we also had a fully qualified chef and the meals were devoured with grateful enthusiasm after every hard days fishing.
We arrived at camp mid morning on the first day and launched the boats immediately making our way to our various fishing spots. The weather was typical North Queensland summer conditions with light winds, high temperatures and a good dose of humidity. The fishing was hard on the first day for our team as we explored the area searching out new spots. We did catch a lot of fish but most were undersized including a lot of Grunter, a few Sicklefish and a small shark. We did however manage some points with a Blue Salmon and a Whiting. Team Reaper did the best for the day with 4 nice Grunter, we had to lift our game!
We woke to perfect conditions yet again on the second day and after a hearty breakfast cooked up by Chef Steve we decided to make our way out to the islands out the front. This however did not pay off with no decent fish being caught in the morning session. On returning to the creek and gathering some fresh bait of Yabbies and Prawns we headed to a junction of two creeks and this immediately paid off as Stewy’s reel screamed.This time it looked to be something other than a Stingray (which he is an expert at hooking!) A solid Blubberlip Bream came aboard and although not a great table fish, a quick brag mat photo and release would put our first points on the board for day two.
Not long after, while drifting a fresh prawn in the outgoing current, I was smashed by a solid fish that peeled the 6lb nylon off my little Shimano at an incredible rate. I could tell straight away that this was a quality fish and that maybe I was a little under gunned, so the call was to up anchor and give chase. The fight lasted an intense 20 minutes and we travelled nearly a kilometre but the fish finally succumbed and I was stoked when an 80cm 12lb Oyster Cracker was finally netted. A personal best for me and the biggest fish of the competition thus far.
Team Strikers did well on day 2 with the highlight being a 65cm Flathead landed by the youngest member of the group Damo. A passionate young fisho who is already fishing well above his weight.
Team Reaper extended their lead with a 60cm+ Blue Salmon and a couple more Grunter.
Due to other commitments I had to leave before the final weigh in but the scores at last count had Team Reaper well ahead with the Strikers and Tuggers fighting it out for second place.
I would like to thank Josh and Steve for organising this event. Great times with great mates in an idyllic setting, what more could you ask for?
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!