September 28-29 saw Pindari Dam host to Round 4 of the Jackall Australian Yellowbelly Championships. The 49-strong field was met with great weather and active fish which made for a record 458 fish measured and an average size of 454mm.
At the end of the weekend Loomzy’s Fish N Fix scored their trifecta for 2013 and wrapped up Team of the Year with 300/300 points. Paul Browne and Jamie Loomes employed a deep vertical presentation of Berkley Gulp on trees that they had identified as holding good numbers of fish with their Structure Scan units. Their technique involved slow rolling Berkley Gulp 3” Minnow Grubs up the timber in 40ft of water. They used a variety of colours on 1/4oz Atomic Seekerz heads on 10lb and 12lb main and leader. They rotated between a few trees to fill their bag for 15 fish of 7290mm.
Running in at second place was Goondiwindi based Team ‘Dreamin’ consisting of John Lowe and Richie Windon. Jamie and Richie targeted active fish schooled off points up the Severn River reaches of the dam. They targeted points using black gold Kokoda G Vibes to fill a solid bag of 15 for 7015mm. This automatically qualified them for the grand final to be held in November at Burrendong Dam.
Canobolas Marine Centre managed third place, adding to an impressive set of placings including a win at Burrinjuck for 2013. Daniel Finn, Jack Finn and Michael Schrader point hopped between a few points that were holding schooled fish throughout the dam. They primarily used Jackall TN60s and Mask Vibes in ghost black red belly with a vertical presentation, however they also managed to pull 2 large fish out of timber on Bassman Yellaman spinnerbaits.
The Jackall Big Fish award went to Mark Hardman of Hardman Outdoors, Moree who caught a 600mm specimen in session two. The fish was caught on a Jackall Transam 13g in ghost black red belly jigged through timber up the River arm of the Dam.
A strong turnout of 62 teams descended upon Windamere for the final qualifying round of the 2013 Jackall Australian Yellowbelly Championships. Windy upheld its reputation as Australia’s premier golden dam, with a total of 401 fish for an impressive 484mm average.
If there was any question that Loomzy’s Fish N Fix weren’t the number one team in yellowbelly fishing, it was certainly put to bed as the Forbes Duo scored their fourth win for the 2013 series. Browne and Loomes employed the same technique that won them Pindari: vertically rolling Berkley Gulp 3” Minnow Grubs deep on timber. The key to their success was a finely tuned pre-fish that focused on identifying trees that were loaded with fish. They fished deep timber towards the bottom end of the lake and rotated between a handful of productive trees that equated to a full 15/15 bag for 7430mm.
Team Bassin’ took out second place. John Hutchins and Dennis Pigott of Taree used their knowledge of the dam to locate and target shallow humps throughout the dam. These humps had well established weed beds, which were the focus of Bassin’s fishing. They fished black Ecogear ZX blades with the weight dependent on the wind conditions, and used a dead slow hopping retrieve to entice bites. A bag of 14/15 quality fish saw them finish on 7275mm and receive an automatic grand final qualification.
Third place was secured by team Drunken Sailors. Jason Hopkins and Tom Hocking fished similarly to Loomzy’s Fish N Fix by slow rolling Gulp 3” Minnow Grubs rigged on 1/4oz jigheads up timber. Hopkins and Hocking did not target specific trees but rather employed a ‘hit and miss’ approach as they worked their way up the dam from the lower reaches. Drunken Sailors finished with 15/15 for 7200mm and also received an automatic qualification on a count back.
The Big Fish Award went to team ILMS with an outstanding 585mm specimen.
The end of the qualifying season saw Loomzy’s Fish N Fix crowned as Team of the Year with 4 victories for 300/300 points, taking the crown from last year’s champions, JMH Spinnerbaits.
With 1 event left to go, the Grand Final is sure to attract a lot of attention, with $10,000 up for grabs.
Anyone interested in fishing the events in 2014 should check out www.yellowbellychampionships.com for dates and venues. - Chris FrithReads: 1208