G'day fishos. Well, I did my first Dart Cup last weekend and can now see why so many fishos go back year after year.
As Mason's Tackle and then Compleat Angler, I've been sponsoring this comp since it started about 24 years ago and it's a bit embarrassing that this the first one I've attended.
There's certainly a mixture of fishos up there with those that are super keen and are there to win, those that are happy to fish hard and see what happens and those that fish a bit and are simply there to enjoy themselves. One thing everyone has in common, though, is that they're all there to have a good time.
It was great to see quite a few ladies and kids about, and family groups as well.
The organisational side of a comp this size is massive and hats definitely go off to the Dart locals and other helpers who put so many hours to make it run as smoothly as it does.
Oh, and I've been threatened that I'll never get a beer in the pub again unless I mention the two local mermaids, Vicky and Elizabeth, who did a great job selling raffle tickets all weekend.
It's a great comp, great atmosphere and I'd certainly recommend you get up there yourself next year.
AT A GLANCE
Dartmouth (64.2 per cent) - was pretty hard work for most at the Dart Alpine Anglers Club-TBS Marine Fishing Classic.
A total of 443 anglers landed 696 trout, of which 104 were rainbows and 592 were browns.
Many of those were caught flat lining early, but there were also plenty picked up on downriggers at depths of between 10 and 30m. Casting and trolling in among the timber also produced a few good fish.
Biggest brown for the comp was 1.430 and was caught by Jack Hudson. Best rainbow was .935 and was caught by Josh Bergin. Best live trout was 1.450 and was weighed in by Craig Harnett.
In the juniors, the best bag of trout went to Mitch McMillan with five that went 3.950kg, and best live trout went to Zac Borbidge at .960. Ben Farrington won best junior carp with one at 1.195.
Champion team went to Bullet Lures with their 10 best fish going 8.5kg
Best club was won by Flogged Out Trout, with their 10 going 8.4kg
The big prize of the Seajay boat and Suzuki motor, valued at more than $19,000, went to David Green. Again, a fantastic comp.
Streams - all fished reasonably well, although those that headed up to the Snowies for a crack at the big spawners were generally disappointed.
I think there were a few fish about, but most weren't in great nick. Even though there were quite a few in the 1 to 2.5kg mark, the big fish the area is famous for just haven't shown up this season, more than likely due to lack of rain.
Lake Hume (18.5 per cent) - has been extremely slow on the redfin front and not much better as far as cod and yellas go.
There has been the odd trout showing up, generally flatlining Tassies or larger minnows. There might be a few hours between them, but they are pretty good fish on average with most being between 50 and 65cm.
Snowy lakes - have been dropping slightly but still producing a few for those brave enough to get out there in the cold. Jindabyne is the pick of them.
Crays - have been great in most areas, although some Fisheries boys tell me small sections of the river have been a bit slower than others.
They also said they'd seen some great bags of crays in some camps, but disappointed to also come across quite a few people not playing the game and having to pinch them for doing the wrong thing, particularly on the Bidgee. Too many crays, under and oversize crays and even berried females were being taken by some.
Apart from being expensive for those being caught, this sort of stuff jeopardises craying in the future for all of us. So, if you're down there and see something suss, ring Fisheries on 1800 043 536.
Mulwala - gave up a couple of big cod again last weekend, with Leigh Butler picking up a 1.180 and Tony Cleary nailing a fat 1.110, which they were both pretty stoked about. A lot of those bigger fish have been coming off lures such as Cod Crackers or Ganterellscup near or on the top.
Blowering (38.6 per cent) - is still rising and still going reasonably well. There's still a few people missing out, but there's still enough reports of reasonable cod for keen fishos to have a crack. That hour or so before and after daylight are definitely prime-time, though.
While the yellas and redfin remain virtually non-existent, there's a couple of reasonable rainbow trout being caught on Slim Minnows and Tassies up around the top end of the lake.