SOFALA CAS held the annual carp blitz on the weekend with 245 anglers registering for the two day event and weighing in a record haul of over 1.25 ton of invasive pest species from the Turon, Macquarie and Crudine Rivers.
Fishing the Turon’s more popular camping sites with plenty of traffic by anglers proved frustrating with the schools of carp, easily visible in the clear waters, not showing much interest in angler’s baits. However, the more dedicated anglers found carp feeding by moving a bit further away from the crowded areas. Some anglers fishing the Macquarie returned with large hauls caught on baits with juniors doing really well.
Keen eight year old Baxter Harvey went camping for the weekend with his dad and won the biggest junior bag of carp with 61. Brothers 13-year-old Tom and nine-year-old Archie Obrien weighing 33 and 31 carp respectively from the Macquarie. 15 year old angling gun Dusty Squibb brought back 32 carp all caught on fly from the Turon with his heaviest 3.61kg. Regular entrant, Jake Pollard weighed the heaviest carp at 7.05kg and also mixed it up a bit site fishing with bait, plastics and flies catching several more above 6kgs in his haul, also winning the biggest on fly with a 6.08kg model. Cameron Constable won the biggest bag for adults with 43 fish just pipping Jim Squibb who could only carry 41 fish back to his vehicle for the weigh in.
Juniors did well with a girl and boy in each age group from 5-16 years winning a rod reel combo from Pure Fishing for their heaviest carp all weighing between 3.15 – 6.9kg.
A 415mm redfin for Riley Hall won him the prize for biggest redfin and 13 year old Hewen Moore won the longest line of redfin with his bag measuring 1.34 metres total length.
Although the carp numbers have exploded since the drought, the NSW DPI stocking programs have proved successful with plenty of anglers reporting catching trout, golden perch and bycatch of Murray cod as well as an unexpected freshwater eel-tailed catfish showing up in reports & creating plenty of interest for the opening of cod season on 1 December.
The raffle was well supported with heaps of great prizes donated by sponsors of the event. A list of prizes, sponsors & lucky winners is available on the Sofala Cas fishing Facebook page. Profits from the raffle, registrations & food will go to Sofala branch of CAS Native Fish Recovery Program with an allocation of $4000.00 to both the Turon & Macquarie rivers. Via participating in the NSW DPI Native Fish Restocking Program which offers a fantastic $2 for $1 initiative will allow CAS members to stock $12,000 worth of native Murray cod and golden perch into the Turon around and downstream of Sofala and a further $12,000 worth into the Macquarie in and around Bathurst to enhance recreational fishing and boost existing native fish populations from previous successful stocking events.
This year proceeds from the auction was donated to “Boys to the Bush” with the generously donated items raising $3370 for the organisation.
The fish that were weighed other than a few decent sized redfin that were kept for a feed, were collected to be turned into liquid fertiliser creating a good result for all. Happy anglers, happy kids and families, happy organisers and more natives for our rivers thanks to the numbers of anglers and sponsors of the Sofala carp blitz.