“2018 Yellowbelly ‘Biggest Ever’ – southburn

Blue, the Sunwater water drop, was very popular with the kids at this year’s Lake Boondooma Yellowbelly Fishing Competition, as his appearance usually heralds free giveaways.

As February temperature records were broken across the South Burnett at the weekend, the Boondooma Dam Fish Stocking Association broke its own record.

The Association’s annual Boondooma Dam Yellowbelly Fishing Competition broke last year’s all-time record of 832 competitors by almost 25 per cent.

In total, 1013 keen anglers – 208 juniors and 805 seniors – packed the Lake Boondooma Caravan Park for an enjoyable weekend of fishing.

Yellowbelly spokesman Terry Allwood said the lake was fishing very well for this year’s competition, with 260 fish going through the catch and release section and another 329 in the gilled and gutted section.

Cash and other prizes are presented at the end of each of the three weigh-in sessions, with trophies awarded to the overall winners at the end of the event.

This year, the longest native Catch and Release category – targeting Australian Bass and Yellowbelly – was won by Sheldon Free from Palmwoods, with a Yellowbelly measuring 540mm.

Sheldon took home a $300 cash prize and trophy, sponsored by Thug Lures.

Jye Gilmore walked away with the win for most fish (Bass and Yellowbelly) caught and released in the entire competition, with a total of 11 fish presented to the weighmaster.

Jim took home $410 cash plus a prize and trophy sponsored by Corey and Nikki Goldie from the Lake Boondooma Kiosk.

The winner of the heaviest Bass section was Russell Gscheidle with a Bass of 1.270k, earning $370 plus a trophy sponsored by Wondai Accounting and Tax Services.

The Hanwood Fish Hatchery champion junior angler for Yellowbelly was Nicolas Holmes from Mt Rascal, who landed a 1.985kg specimen.

The Bass section of the junior competition was won by Jake Richter from Toogoolawah, with a fish weighing 1.38kg.

The 3.4m Bluefin Boat motor and trailer package was won by Matthew Wyvill from Yarraman, who has been a regular Yellowbelly participant for many years.

The prize is sponsored by Lake Boondooma Kiosk and South Burnett Regional Council.

Many book their place in the competition months in advance, and prepare for a week of camping, fishing and family fun activities regardless of the weather.

Lake Boondooma manager Corey Goldie thinks the biggest problem facing the weekend’s organizers is keeping recreational boats away from anglers.

Profits from the event – estimated to be more than $20,000 this year – we use to supplement fishing permit funding from the Queensland Government to keep the lake stocked with fish.

To date, the Fish Stocking Association has stocked approximately 4.9 million fingerlings in Lake Boondooma.

Terry passed on the Association’s congratulations to all the winners, as well as a big “thank you” to everyone who attended and made this year’s competition a success.

Next year’s Yellowbelly will be held on February 10-11.

Yellowbelly Weekend Breaks Record (2016)

Big Weekend In Boondooma (2013)

Corey Goldie of Lake Boondooma presents the trophy for the largest Yellowbelly to Jim Dunn from Wondai, who landed a 2.405kg specimen

Russell Gscheidle will have his name on the perpetual trophy for landing the biggest Bass this year, a 1.270kg catch

Jye Gilmore won the trophy for catching the most fish in the Catch and Release

Sheldon Free from Palmwoods caught the longest fish – a 540mm Yellowbelly

Junior Bass winner Jake Richter, from Toogoolawah

Junior Yellowbelly winner Nicolas Holmes, from Mt Rascal

The winners of the major prize draw display their winnings under the awning outside the Fish Stocking Association headquarters.

The usual large crowd gathered for the announcement of the winners of this year’s Yellowbelly and the final prize drawing, but it is not surprising that most wanted to find a place in the shade.

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