The 2011 Jackall Australian Yellowbelly Championships Grand Final at Windamere Dam in late November attracted 39 teams to battle it out for the $10,000 and their names to be etched into the AYC perpetual trophy.
Drizzling rain marred the Friday night briefing and grew into an 80mm overnight downpour.
Continuing rain and strong wind made for uncomfortable fishing on Saturday but most anglers were overcame the atrocious conditions and boated good fish. Clear skies and little wind rewarded them on Sunday.
Team All the Gear, No Idea clearly had some ideas, with Andrew Pulbrook and Damien Morgan mastering the conditions with 14/15 fish and a total length of 7055mm.
They fished towards the dam wall near the buoy line, where they had found good specimens in the pre-fish. They hopped Ecogear ZX blades and 13g Jackall Transams down the steep banks, maintaining contact with the bottom.
“They were very tentative bites and you had to pay close attention for a hook-up,” Pulbrook said. Morgan used an Egrell S2 7’ rod, Shimano Stradic CI4 2500, 10lb Power Pro and 12lb Yamatoyo leader, while Pulbrook fished with a Lamiglas XMG50 7225 spin with a Stradic CI4 2500, 6lb Power Pro and 8lb leader.
Second place went to Harry and Jamie Hardman of JMH Spinnerbaits with 14/15 for 6541mm. They also fished towards the wall in 20’ of water and hopped 19g Mask Vibes down the steep banks. Samurai rods with 2500 Stradics and 10lb Fireline were the gear of choice for the Moree boys.
The ever-consistent Inverell Fishing and Hunting team capped off an outstanding year with 13/15 fish for 6221mm and third place. The Inverell duo fished a small bay on the western bank that had water flowing into it from the recent rain.
They hopped Mazzy Vibes, MF50s and MF60s and Silent TN50s in dark colours down the banks. The pair used Shimano Raider rods and Okuma Epix 20 and Abu Soron STX 20 reels.
The average fish length was 450mm, quite small for Windamere, but plenty of good fish came in. The Big Yella award was split between Dan Clancy and Mitch Brown, who both landed 602mm fish, Dan’s to a Jackall Mask on 3lb line and Mitch’s on a Jackall TN60.
There were 240 fish measured for a total length of 108,097mm.
AYC team of the year went to Inverell Fishing and Hunting, who gained a first, a second and a third place in the preliminary rounds and were third in the grand final. The boys won free entry into all of next year’s events.
Tournament co-ordinator Bruce Anderson said, “It has been an awesome series; 2011 is our second year and we are growing rapidly. Our competitions cater for the experienced anglers as well as the novices and we gel it together to suit both.”
The six AYC events of 2012 kick off at Keepit Dam on February11 and 12.
Each round has more than $6000 worth of cash and prizes available and the chance of qualifying for the grand final and a shot at $10,000.
AYC events are family-oriented and fully insured and the safety of competitors is of paramount importance. For more info visit www.yellowbellychampionships.com or phone Bruce on 0419 011 333. – Chris Frith.Reads: 2532