Bendigo Legion Angling Club held their annual golden perch angling competition at Lake Mokoan, near Benalla, over the weekend of 15 and 16 October.
There were 112 competitors fishing from 53 boats as well as several keenly sought after shoreline locations, where anglers fished over steadily rising water that encouraged fish into the shallows to feed over new ground.
A good number of women and children were involved in all fishing events and campsites at the Lake Mokoan Caravan Park were packed solid with tents and vans spread over a wide area.
Everybody was keen to fish from first light on Saturday to dark on Sunday in the perfect weather.
Competitors travelled from Maryborough, Tatura, Bendigo, Boort and further a field to fish in the event, and according to reports, nobody went home disappointed.
Wayne Symons from the club reported that most yellas were in pre-spawning mode but had not yet schooled up, a scenario that probably affected the total number of fish caught. In addition, many anglers thought that the water temperatures were still a bit too cool, making fish even harder to catch.
Despite these setbacks, or perhaps because of the skill of anglers involved, many golden perch in the one to two pound range were captured and took the major prizes.
A total of 23 winners were announced, with prize money totalling $1,630. There were also trophies awarded and sponsor’s donations raffled over the two days.
The winner of the Ian Phillips Memorial perpetual trophy for the heaviest fish was Ken Hicks of Maryborough who caught the heaviest fish on Saturday. He was also the overall winner of the competition with his Saturday yellowbelly that went 1.119kg.
Craig Cameron and Murray Stephens were equal winners in the Sunday event, each catching a fish that weighed in at 1.076kg.
Most goldens were caught on worms, then shrimp and lastly yabbies.
Many wonderful prizes were donated by sponsors, the major one being a flyfishing weekend for two with all accommodation and a professional guide included. This was the first time such as prize had been offered in the competition.
The sponsors’ donations raffle raised a total of $1,150 for the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
Heavily timbered waters around the shallows provided ideal terrain for the yellas and boats were constantly in danger of hitting underwater snags with their propellers.
There was more than a few undersize Murray cod caught and released over the course of the event, with the largest measuring 63cm. Most cod were taken on worms fished on or near the bottom, which is good to know with the opening of the cod season on 1 December.
The lake has been heavily stocked with juvenile cod in recent years and it appears that this investment will pay off this summer if fish of that calibre keep coming out.
To become a participant in next year’s competition give Wayne Symons a call on 0418 500 327.Reads: 1486