Over the weekend of 12 and 13 November, the second annual Lake Hume Classic was held in Victoria’s northeast.
Thankfully, the weather was good, which made the competition far more enjoyable for anglers hoping to get their hands on some of the thousands of dollars worth of prizes on offer.
211 competitors came from across the state for a great weekend and for the major prize of boat, motor and boat package consisting of a 3.6m Makocraft boat, a 5hp Yamaha outboard and an Australian Trailer.
With the catch and release of native fish becoming increasingly accepted amongst the bulk of the inland angling community during competitions, it made good sense for the golden perch section to be catch and release only. As a massive incentive, every competitor who measured a fish at one of the five weigh-stations received a ticket for the major prize draw.
Lake Hume is a truly massive lake, home to a mixed fishery of native species, such as golden perch and Murray cod, and desirable introduced species, such as brown trout, rainbow trout and redfin. Consequently, prizes were awarded for species other than just golden perch, keeping in mind that the competition was held during the Murray cod closed season so they were off limits.
As was the case last year, competitors gathered midway through the competition on the Saturday night at the Lake Hume Resort barbeque pit and enjoyed a great meal and entertainment, all of which was included in the entry fee. The evening was a credit to the Bellbridge/Lake Hume Rotary Club and the staff at the resort.
The fishing for golden perch on the Saturday was relatively quiet, probably due to the strong southwesterly winds. Sunday was perfect, although fish were taken were over both days.
All up, 21 yellowbelly were caught and released. There were 8 brown trout to 59cm landed and cricket scores of redfin over 25cm, the largest of which measured 41.5cm. Quite a few not so desirable carp up to 69cm were also taken.
The largest yellowbelly that was caught and released was an impressive 59cm. It was taken by Craig Barber, who won a 3hp Yamaha outboard for his efforts. Who says lightening doesn't strike twice? Craig also took home the major prize of the boat, motor and trailer package in the catch and release draw. He’s still grinning!
The longest yellowbelly in the Juniors section went to Rhys Banbrook who took home a big Plano tackle box full of SMAK spinnerbaits and hard-bodied lures.
For the second year running, local young gun Ryan Eames took out the Juniors section major prize draw for his couple of yellowbelly. He took home a perpetual trophy, a collector’s edition boxed Swagman Lure for the mantelpiece and a box of assorted lures.
Also for the second year running, Cappers Pro Tackle Team One took home the team event. They won a weekend for four at The Great Aussie Resort on Lake Hume.
In one of several random prize draws, Beverley Ralph won a full day of guided fishing with Matthew Mott Sportfishing Charters southeastern in Queensland. Matt recently won the BASS Pro title and is a keen competitor in the ABT calendar of events.
All up, competitors enjoyed a good weekend of fishing and socialising, many walking away with prizes of some sort. Best of all, a percentage of entry fees will go towards stocking the lake, ensuring we’ll have plenty more fish to catch in the future.
Plans are already underway for next year’s event. Get in early, like Wayne Russell, who won the early bird entry prize this year of a Minn Kota electric motor from BLA.
- Ashley Barber
In addition to sponsors mentioned, sincere thanks goes to Bonegilla Boats, Aus-spin Lures, Bockman Batteries, Bush Wakka Swags, B.J'S TrophIEs, Coast Guard, Down Under Ice Boxes, Elk's Hunting & Fishing, Garmin Fish Finders, GME Radios, Halco Lures, Lofty's Lures, Mason Tackle, McGrath Lures, Merlin Lures, Ray’s Outdoors, Shimano, Spotters Shades, Viking Lures and Willoughby's Outdoor World.