Eungella lived up to its reputation
for less than perfect weather and red-hot fishing at the 2010 The Meng Group World
Sooty Championships, 2/3rd May.
The major funding raising activity
for the Mackay Area Fishing Stocking Association (MAFSA), the World Sooty
Championship saw 87 keen anglers hit the water for the three angling session
tournament and a chance to do battle with Eungella’s infamous sooty grunter.
For event winner Daniel Grech it
was a continuation of his hot tournament form with the 21 year old Engineering
Cadet from Mackay claiming his second World Sooty Championship crown thanks to
his 6/6, 2519cm limit.
Tied on points with event runner up David Certfield
(6/6, 2519mm,) Grech claimed victory on a count back with the 2010 champion
once again opting for deeper water lipless crankbait to fill his tournament
Fishing standing timber in 40-50
feet of water Grech keyed in on the smaller trees as the go-to locations, a
pattern in contrast to the generally held big tree best fish thought process.
“The bigger trees generally hold the
best concentrations of fish, but they become the obvious places to fish and get
hit hard”, explained Grech.
Hitting the denser of the smaller
trees Grech focused on the top ten feet of the water column, casting his lure
through the alleys and gaps in the timber and working the lure back with a slow
“The best retrieves were the ones
where the lure swam past as much timber as possible, the more timber it went
past the better your chances were of getting a fish”, explained Grech.
Using a trio of lipless baits,
Grech started out with a 6cm Rapala Clackin Rap in copperhead colour, before upsizing
his lure size to a Daiwa TD Woofers in gold and a Megabass Vibration X, also in
gold, to seek out upgrades.
“Gold toned lures were one of the
keys to success. You’d catch them on other colours, but not with the same level
of consistency, nor the bigger fish”, explained Grech.
The tackle he used to muscle the
fish out of Eungella’s forest of timber included a Daiwa Steez Machinegun Cast
Type 2 rod, matched two a Daiwa Steez 103 reel, spooled with 20lb Sunline PE
and 40lb Black Magic leader.
“The Machine Gun is weighted more
like a barra rod but in Eungella you need it to be able to muscle the fish out
of the timber”, explained Grech.
With only a handful of fish lost to
the timber it’s an approach that only requires a look at the scoreboard to
determine its worth.
Claiming his second event win in
only three years Grech becomes the first person to have won the tournament
“I love sooty fishing and I love
Eungella especially, to win this event twice in a field full of very talented
anglers makes it that much more special”, explain Grech.
Hot on Grech’s heals was 33 year
old Fitter and event runner-up David Certfield of Collinsville. Opting for a deep bite like
Grech, albeit somewhat shallower, Certfield fished a timber strewn weed edge in
about 20-30 feet of water near the island in the middle reaches of the dam.
“My fishing partner and I found the
weed edge with our Lowrance HDS sounder and it was here that we spent most of
the tournament fishing the weed edge and the standing timber scattered along
it”, explained Certfield.
Using a combination of lures,
including a 3/8th oz TT spinnerbait, Cotton Cordell Super Spot, and
Rapala crankbaits and Clackin Raps, Certfield varied his retrieve between a
slow and steady slow roll and a rip n’ burn.
“We found in the morning the fish
wanted an aggressive retrieve, and in the afternoon after they’d been hit a bit
that wanted something a bit more subtle and less in your face”, explained
The horses for courses approach
paid dividends with the Sunday morning session the standout delivering him five
fish for the session and ultimately his best event result to date.
The biggest fish for the tournament
waited until the last ten minutes of the final session on Sunday to make its
presence known, with Peter Price
landing the 476mm fish on a chatreuse coloured 1/2oz TT Vortex spinnerbait in
about 20-25 feet of water.
“With fishing getting tougher as
the tournament progressed, we went deep and started targeting the biggest
nastiest trees we could find”, explained Price.
It was a cast past the tree and
wound back through the timber, bumping the structure as it went that the big
fish bit. Eating the lure just a couple of metres under the surface Price’s
initial thought was that it might be a barra.
“It powered away and I thought oh
no this could be a barra, so I was relieved when it came into view next to the
boat and showed itself as a sooty. To come so late in the session and then turn
out to be the biggest fish for the tournament topped off the weekend”,
For the field of anglers it was one
of the most product events to date with 230 fish weighed in for the event and an
impressive average length of 362mm highlighting the quality of fishing on offer
MAFSA would like to thanks all
those involved in the event including event sponsors, The Meng Group,
Andergrove Store, Team Toyo, North Jacklin’, Nashy’s Compleat Angler, Tackle
World Mackay, Barra Pro, Reef Marine, BCF Mackay, Opposite Lock and ABT, event
volunteers and all anglers. For information on next year’s event stay tuned to www.australianbass.com.au .