Canberra’s tournament season started in September 2015 with the Big Burley Bash, continued with the Pride of Perch and wrapped up with the Native Cup in March 2016. Each event took place on Lake Burley Griffin.
These three events were created by Adam Samios the host of My2Hooks and these tournaments receive significant sponsorship from Shimano, BCF, Native Kayaks, The Compleat Angler and Noxious Spinnerbaits to name a few. The prize pool is therefore enormous with anglers competing for cash prizes as well as spin combos and kayaks.
The Big Burley Bash, a lure only competition, was an eight week event where anglers spent Thursday nights chasing golden perch and redfin due to Murray cod closed season. Each angler was provided with a numbered brag mat and were then asked to photograph their catches on the brag and send them in via SMS. The top 10 anglers from the first eight weeks go through to the final.
The tournament attracted some of the ACT’s best anglers including Adam Le Dieu, Mick Kochy, Chris Troth and Dane Osman, so the competition was fierce from the outset with kayak anglers and land-based anglers catching good numbers of golden perch and redfin during the opening weeks of the competition.
That said, the action started to slow as the water warmed up making the final weeks of competition difficult.
Ultimately, Mick Kochy took out top prize after a consistent tournament and strong effort in the final.
The Pride of Perch, which took place on 29 November 2015 attracted a similar number of anglers, but unlike the Big Burley Bash, was run over one day and was again, a lure only event. Prizes were awarded for largest golden perch and redfin in both the male, female and junior categories.
The tournament proved tough for land-based anglers, as the fish had moved to deep water after a run of hot days but those in yaks caught some good fish. I spent the day fishing with Dane Osman and Chris Troth. Both anglers quickly realised that a finesse approach was needed to connect with the good fish so both switched to plastics with instant success.
However, it was Kristal Priestly who took out the competition after producing the goods in the final few hours of the competition. Kristal decided to donate half her winnings to restocking Canberra’s lakes.
The Canberra Native Cup closed out the tournament season last month and again, this competition was run over eight weeks. But this time, anglers could use bait or lure. Points were awarded for captures of Murray cod, golden perch and a pest species chosen on the day (either carp or redfin).
The amount of fish caught over the competition was incredible, with many anglers reporting over a dozen fish coming to the net during each round. Lake Burley Griffin does fish incredibly well during late summer and into autumn making for thrilling tournament fishing.
Tom Gaukroger and Tegan Alberts took an early lead in the men’s and women’s category and proved unstoppable up until the final. Tom won $500 at the end of the preliminary rounds after catching some massive golden perch to 56cm and plenty of medium sized cod. However, he could not repeat his efforts in the final.
In the end, newcomer Peter Soldo won the ‘opens’ category while Kevin Hodder took out the ‘lure only’ category. Kev also decided to donate half his winnings to restocking. Second prize went to Pete Mackenzie and third prize went to young gun Codey Flack.
The tournament scene in Canberra is growing rapidly and that is in part to the great work done by Adam Samios and his partner Sash. These three competitions are attracting more and more anglers and will be bigger and better come September this year.Reads: 670