February 10, 2015
Boondooma Dam was awash with visitors over the weekend for the 27th annual Boondooma Dam Yellowbelly Fishing Competition.
Keen competitors came from all over south-east Queensland and as far afield as Roma, Singleton in NSW and the ACT to test their fishing skills.
This year – for the first time in several years – the competition was expanded to include a Catch and Release section.
But the traditional dead weight catch competition for Jewfish, Bass and Yellowbelly continued as usual in both Senior and Junior divisions.
This year’s competition attracted a total of 649 entrants – 526 in the senior division and 123 juniors.
They were competing for a prize pool of $25,000 donated by generous sponsors, including three major prizes of a 3.6m Bluefin tinny donated by the Lake Boondooma Caravan and Recreational Park and two Dragon kayaks.
Weather conditions over the weekend were nearly perfect, organisers said, but fishing conditions were a trifle tougher than last year.
Rainfall the week before boosted dam levels by about 4 per cent and washed a lot of nutrients downstream, which took the edge off the some fish appetites.
As a result, catch numbers and weights were down a little bit on last year with the winning 2015 Yellowbelly – a 2.755kg specimen caught by Darryl Rutch from Mooloolaba – a little bit down on last year’s 3.095kg winner.
Similarly, Dan Bauer’s 1.450kg Jewfish was a smidgin below his 1.455kg winning haul last year.
But Bradley Cecil’s prize-winning Bass (1.185kg) was well up on his Spangled Perch win in 2014 (which he won with a 0.2kg tiddler).
As was the case last year, most weigh-ins occurred on Saturday.
But there was still a healthy queue at Sunday morning’s final weigh-in which was followed by the announcement of winners and the prize-giving.
South Burnett fishing identity Matthew Mott compered the prize draws and trophy presentations, while Cr Kathy Duff – who is also the major sponsor of the Senior Jewfish section – assisted by drawing tickets.
One of the three major prizes, a Dragon kayak, was won by Fish Stock Association president Glenn Munro.
He immediately donated the prize to the Wondai State School to assist with their fundraising drive to replace the school library, which was destroyed by fire during the Christmas break.
“Their need is more important than ours,” Glenn told the audience.
Later, Glenn also won another smaller prize in the draws, which he also donated to the school.
The competition is the Boondooma Dam Fish Stocking and Management Association’s major annual fundraiser and is one of the largest dam fishing competitions in Queensland.
The group uses the proceeds to restock the dam with fingerlings to ensure good fishing at the dam all year round.
This year’s Yellowbelly was sponsored by Allround Angler, Dragon Kayaks, Austackle, Bass to Barra, Bill Hull Car Centre, Bob Jane T-marts, Bush n Beach, Carrollee Hotel, Clifton Motors, Smak Lures, Datawave Wondai, Ergon Energy, Eva Kool, Golden Spurs Motel, Goodyear Kingaroy, Greg Mitchell Plumbing, Guse Transport, Hanwood Fish Hatchery, Haymans Electrical Kingaroy, Hivesville Hotel, Hobbs & Associates Accountant Wondai, Huston Motors, J and R Crumpton Peanut Processers, Jeff Seeney MLA, Murgon Betta Home Living, Kingaroy Body Works, Kingaroy Camping, Stihl Shop Kingaroy, Lake Boondooma Kiosk, Mark Smith Menswear, Munro Plumbing Wondai, Murgon Fruit Mart, Patton Painting / Resurfacing, Pidgeon Transport, Proston Country Bus Service, Qld Fishing Monthly, Ransen Timber, Ryan’s Butchery, South Burnett Regional Council, Smithfield Feedlot, Snowy River Seeds HSR, Stanwell Corporation. Sun to Sea UV Protection, Sunshine Mitre 10, Tackle Box Murgon, Tonic Eyewear, TT Lures, Wondai Diggers Club, Wondai Electrical, Wondai Hardware, Wondai IGA, Wondai Post Office, Wondai Tax & Accounting, Wooroolin Hotel, Yesberg Earthmoving, Club Marine, Ecogear, Cr Kathy Duff and Shimano Australia.