I haven’t contributed an article for some time as the long dry period we endured meant the river level was constantly dropping and hardly anybody bothered going fishing. Those diehards who persevered had very little success.
The rain over the last few months has certainly changed things in the Surat area. The countryside looks spectacular with plenty of herbage and probably the best-looking wheat crop for many years. The river is still running and the fishing has improved significantly.
There have been plenty of yellowbelly caught throughout the river but the most consistent spot close to town has been below the weir. Many locals have been catching a feed and spreading the word. I went for a drive down to the weir recently and there were quite a few people fishing. If you do go for a fish in this area be sure to obey the signs that display the no fishing zone adjacent to the weir.
I recently had some visitors from Brisbane who were staying in the area for the first time. They asked if any fish lived in the muddy river water, and when I took them into the local Wagon Wheel Cafe and showed them photos of the giant cod that live in the river, they were extremely surprised.
Unfortunately, I haven’t heard of a lot of cod being caught recently, except for local, Peter Dangerfield. Peter is well known locally as being a top cod fisherman and during a recent cold snap he caught a number of fish weighing in at 10, 13, 33 and 44 pounds. One day I might catch one of my own, but so far I haven’t had any luck.
The Surat Fishing and Restocking Club continue to be very active. They have recently acquired the necessary accreditation to tag fish in the river. Ron Thompson has been catching, tagging and releasing as many fish as possible lately, to enable valuable data to be collected in the future. If you catch a tagged fish in the Balonne please take the time to phone in your catch details on the number listed on the tag. You’ll receive a certificate for your trouble and will know you’ve made a valuable contribution towards future knowledge and sustainability of our natural resources.
The Surat Secret Weight Fishing Competition was a great success with some interesting statistics. The overall number of competitors was down on last year with 182 seniors and 76 juniors. Fish numbers were up on last year with 66 golden perch, two eel tailed catfish and one Murray cod. Carp numbers were quite low in comparison to previous years with only 15 caught. Hopefully these noxious fish are in decline. The Surat Fishing and Restocking Club would like to sincerely thank their sponsors for ensuring the competition was such a success.Reads: 687