With stable weather conditions and temperatures pushing up to 30°C in recent weeks, the fishing should only improve as water temperatures continue to rise.
The Copeton Cod Classic was held the weekend of 19-20 September and attracted 53 teams with 135 anglers pitting themselves against each other and Copeton’s cod.
Although the event attracted some of the country’s best cod fishers, it was local angler Josh Usher who took the title with a magnificent 120cm fish on Sunday morning trolling a Bassman Spinnerbait. Copeton was challenging over the weekend of the competition with only about 40 fish being caught, the three biggest fish were all well over a metre.
The weekend produced very little surface action and what most competitors found was that the fish weren’t committed to their surface attacks, soft or short striking.
What did work very well over the weekend were spinnerbaits, both cast and trolled. The great thing about spinnerbaits is their versatility. As a casting lure, spinnerbaits can work all levels of the water column and at all speeds, from helicoptering down to slow rolling or a lift and drop retrieve. The other advantage of spinnerbaits is their snag resistance. If you do happen to snag a spinnerbait it will often only be the head caught. Don’t jerk the rod trying to dislodge it, instead slowly load the rod by grabbing the line between the reel and first runner and pull away from the rod then release it. This will often flick the lure backwards enough to free it.
Trolling spinnerbaits was also very successful during the comp. This technique allows the use of lures that are on the limits of castability, with oversized blades and up to 2-2.5oz in weight. Remember that willow blades will always run deeper than Colorado blades.
The format for this comp saw anglers take to the water after the briefing on Friday night, with the option to fish all through the night and the next day. A BBQ on Friday night and fully catered dinner at the Northcott Function Centre on Saturday night were included in entry fees. Lucky draws and raffles on Saturday night saw $10,000 worth of tackle given away. For more information go to www.yellowbellychampionships.com or visit www.aycfishingtournaments.com .
The following weekend (26-27) saw 80 anglers in 35 teams battling for the top spot in the Australian Yellowbelly Championships at Copeton Waters. The weather was good and the fish were on the bite. Nearly all the teams caught fish, with many teams bagging out in each session. The average length over the 283 fish measured was 484mm, with the biggest for the comp going 620mm caught by Team Landmark. The Championship was taken out by Team Ecogear’s Paul Simpson, Heath and Charlie Grills from Inverell, who measured a total length of 6151mm.
In second place was another local team, Bigyellatime, made up of Tim, Jayden and Dylan Mutimer. They were just 94mm short, with a total length of 6057mm.
The standout technique for the Championship was very slow rolling or trolling Mazzy Vibs or TN60 Jackalls in and around timber. The best scenario for success was to find trees with the tops coming up to around 20ft below the surface, as the fish were sitting in the tops.
A slowly worked Mazzy Vib just over the tops of the trees saw many good fish hooked but the proximity of the timber meant not all fish were landed.Reads: 971