Jason Arndt with his 65cm barra.
Jason Arndt with his 65cm barra. Katrina Arndt

Fishing gears up ahead of comp

WITH barra season in full swing, keen fishermen and women have been out in the waters and shores of Callide Dam.

Lake Callide Retreat caretaker Steve Gallagher said he had seen plenty of fishing going on in the last few weeks.

"Both campers and locals have been fishing from both the shore and their boats,” he said.

School holidays has seen the fishing become more popular as well as children are able to have a go.

"There has been a few out fishing and numbers are increasing,” Steve said.

"Some of the children on holidays have been lucky enough to catch a couple of good size barramundi.”

Getting amongst the crowd, Steve has had a few comments passed on to him about their findings.

"Quite a few bites, with some lucky ones snagging some good fish,” he said.

And others have been surprised with what they caught, in particular one fishermen.

"A 94cm barra in shallow waters,” Steve said.

Brian Arndt with his catches at Callide Dam.
RIPPING CATCH: Brian Arndt with his catches at Callide Dam. Katrina Arndt

Barra and redclaw have been the most popular catches.

"The biggest item being caught is redclaw, with sizeable catches every day by many locals and tourists,” Steve said.

"Only know about the barra at this stage, but of course there are lots of redclaw being caught by all.

"There is a healthy competition between campers on who catches the largest redclaw and the biggest catch.”

Steve anticipates the fishing will only become more popular as the weather warms up.

"Yes, barra and all other fish will become more active as the weather heats up,” he said.

"The timing couldn't be better for the Callide Valley Family Fishing Classic at the end of October.”

Meigan Marxson sent in this photo of a catch at Callide Dam from two weeks ago.
Meigan Marxson sent in this photo of a catch at Callide Dam from two weeks ago. Meigan Marxson

Next month, the shores of Lake Callide will come alive for the competition.

The competition is run by the Callide Valley Fishing Stocking Association and secretary Artie Clapham said they had some good interest so far.

"We had 20,000 views on the initial post on Facebook,” he said.

"And the nominations start this week.”

The hot weather we have been experiencing across the Callide Valley is only going to make the fishing even better.

"Fishing is only going to get better out in the weather,” Artie said. "The more hot days we have beforehand should be good.”

It is expected some people will pull in some barramundi along with some other Australian fish.

"Hopefully barra, most of what we get in is yellowbelly and catfish,” Artie said.

"All the people fishing with bait normally catch them.”

Along with the help of president Nigel Krueger, Artie has been involved with the local fishing stocking association for the past four or five years.

"Our main aim is to get more people involved in fishing and the funds we raised from the comp go back into the stocking of the dam,” he said.

"Last year we put about $13,000 worth of fingerlings back into the dam from the comp.”

What is incredibly frustrating for the club is when they fish are let out of the dam.

"The gates have been open five times in the last eight years so we lose a fair bit of fish,” Artie said.

"All the barra try to swim downstream.

"When it rains they all hang around the gates and when it opens they shoot out.”

Last year, the association was granted a $24,000 funding from the State Government for the fish lost in Cyclone Marcia.

"We put $6800 of yellowbelly in and we will put $18,000 worth in this year,” Artie said.

The fish fingerlings are sourced locally across the state.

"All the barra comes from Awoonga, the Gladstone Area Water Board,” Artie said.

"Most of the others, sleepy cod and yellowbelly, come from Handwood, Murgon.

"It is just so there is fish there for people to catch.”