Copeton Dam was the venue for round 3 of the Australian Yellowbelly Championship, when 46 teams gathered.
At 98% capacity, a massive expanse of water supplemented and a tough bite left a lot of anglers scratching their heads to try to crack a pattern. The yellas played hard to get and after three sessions only 49 fish had been weighed, the toughest comp in AYC history.
Coming out on top was Team Jackall, Harry Watson and Matty Anderson, who targeted large flats below Sepoy Knob and relied on their sounder to pinpoint fish.
Ghost black/red belly Jackall Mask Vibes and HL Black TN60s were the order of the day, accounting for 6/15 fish totalling 2.755m.
The winning technique involved holding the lures tight to the bottom with a twitching retrieve of very short, sharp snaps of the rod tip, while trying to hold the lure in the strike zone close to the shut-down fish.
Harry and Matty fished light 6lb main line with varying leaders. Harry said that the dirty water did not warrant light leaders. The boys won $1500, which was kindly donated to Ronald Macdonald House.
Second was the ever-consistent JMH Spinnerbaits, adding to their previous first and second places. The Moree pair moved around a lot to find their fish, targeting individual sounder arches in the main basin, Woonulla Bay and up the river.
Jamie Hardman said he could not pin down any precise pattern but landed their four fish for 2.012m on black/gold Ecogear ZX40s in 17’-22’ depths, taking home $1000 to bump their 2012 earnings to $3500.
Third place went to Supercharge Yellas, who lost an early lead after landing all their fish in the first session. Jamie Charlton and Paul Bussel fished up the river arm and vertically jigged black Jackall Masks in 20’-30’ for their $500 prize.
The Dobyns rods, courtesy of EJ Todd, went to fourth-placed Team Samaki, Daniel Quarmby and Shane Taber.
The Mullet Gut Marine Big Yella award went to Duffrods’ Steve Duff., whose 585mm cracker fell to an Ecogear ZX40 in the main basin near the wall. A Duffrods Bass Stix TBS-70135 did the damage.
At Round on Burrinjuck Waters a 35-team field saw a recent influx of water which upset the yellas but there was still good fishing to be had.
Scrub Boys scored their second win of the year. Daniel Finn and Stephen Schradar fished up the Murrumbidgee Arm and used their sounder to locate yellowbelly holding in 15’, where they employed a vertical approach with black and gold Ecogear ZX40s.
Daniel said the fish were inactive so they had to be antagonised to bite. The boys used 10lb line on 2kg-4kg Samaki and Daiwa Spellbinder rods.
They managed 15/15 fish for 6.125m and picked up $1500 and jumped to third on the champions ladder.
Second was the Temora based Kelly Gang, Colin Hargrave and Dan Baker, who targeted a rocky outcrop towards Wee Jasper and used a variety of techniques including casting, jigging and trolling purple Jackall TN60s. They secured 12 fish for 5.210m plus $1000 and a grand final invitation.
Third was Bromar Engineering of Grenfell, Justin Hoy and Josh Liebich, who put in a solid performance to secure 10 fish for 3.705m and a $500 cheque.
Looking for Sponsors ran fourth to pick up the Dobyns Rods with 8/15 and 3.517m.
In total there were 108 fish bought to the marshals for a respectable average of 413mm.
The 2012 competition is getting to the pointy, with only rounds at Windamere and Pindari on October 13-14 and 27-28. Then there’s the Grand Final at Copeton Dam.
For more information or to view full results visit www.yellowbellychampionships.com or join us on Facebook. – Chris Frith
AYC CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER
|1||JMH Spinnerbaits||298 GF Qualified|
|2||Team Hardman||289 GF Qualified|
|3||Scrub Boys||280 GF Qualified|
|4||Casino Outdoors and Disposals||278|