Sept 3-6th, 2018. Eungella, QLD.

2017’s top anglers picked from Angler of the Year have been selected to participate in the first ever Hobie® AOY Sooty Grunter. We look forward to seeing you soon in Eungella, Queensland.

New South Wales anglers Mark Young and Jack Gammie take the title at Eungella Dam in Queensland.

Ten of the top finishing anglers in the 2017 Hobie Angler of the Year travelled to Eungella Dam, in Queensland, to fish for Sooty Grunter and Barramundi. Anglers were paired in a team and fished out of supplied Hobie Pro Angler 17T tandem kayaks.

None of the anglers, who had travelled from as far afield as Melbourne, had previously fished Eungella Dam or fished for Sooty Grunter.  Some had fished for Barramundi in the past, but with the colder than expected water temperature it was going to be a long shot for any angler to excite and land a Barra.  There were sightings of barramundi, with some teams sneaking within half a kayak length from these large, iconic fish but that is as close as any team came to landing one.

A warm day one made the anglers confident they were in for a good day.  The sun had some real bite and by 10:00am anglers were adding extra layers of sunscreen or putting on long pants to keep the sunburn to a minimum.  The water temperature ranged from around 16 degrees in the morning to 26 degrees in some bays by the completion of the day’s fishing.

Leading after day one was Simon Morley and Scott Marcinkowski (NSW) who had been fishing along the edges of the lilly pads that surrounded the dam and were casting at any submerged logs as they worked their way along the perimeter. They were just 2cm clear of their nearest competitors, thanks to a solid bag, anchored by a nice 51cm Sooty Grunter.

Conditions changed on day two with overcast skies and a strong East-North Easterly wind that came up during mid-morning but died out towards midday. But most teams were in the lee of the eastern hills and didn’t really notice the changes. The water temperature increased as it had done the day before, while the Sooty Grunter fishing remained exciting.

The eventual competition winners, Mark Young and Jack Gammie (NSW) had their bag of 4 Sooty Grunter on the ruler and released before 8:00am in session 2.  Young and Gammie fished the southern end of the dam with two other teams. They were able to secure a strong day 2 bag and jump the day 1 leaders to take the win by a mere 2cm.

All of the competitors discussed the bite times after the completion of fishing on both days and found they all experienced similar bite windows. The biggest advantage commonly mentioned was that while one angler was fighting a fish, their teammate was able to steer and control the boat in any direction with the reversible Hobie MirageDrive 180.

On many occasions as a team was approached you could hear an angler – as they wrestled an aggressive sooty- yell to their teammate, “Quick reverse, left! left!”.

The largest fish caught was a 53cm Sootie Grunter wrangled in by Steven Pryke from Victoria on day one.

The largest combined bag was by Steven Pryke and Mitch King on day two with 199cm.

Winners Mark Young and Jack Gammie brought aboard 8/8 Sooty Grunter for 383cm and 0/0 Barramundi.

Information Sheet

Entries

All entries have been received and the teams have been finalised!

  • Entry Fee: $0.00 (includes airfare, accommodation, and some meals)
Date

This is a 2 day event. Sept 4-5, 2018.

Location

Eungella Dam boat ramp Eungella Dam, QLD, 4757

No Fishing

Monday 6th August up to and including Monday 3rd September.

No Go Zones

Buoyed and marked area near the dam spillway.

Registration Times

Day 1 6:45am. Day 2 6:45am.

Briefing Times

Day 1 Briefing time will be at 6:45am. Day 2 Briefing time will be at 6:45am.

Session Times

Day 1 Session time will be 7:00am till 3:00pm Day 2 Session time will be 7:00am till 3:00pm

Briefing, Launch, And Weigh-in Location

Eungella Dam boat ramp Eungella Dam, QLD, 4757

More Information

Location Map

Closest Hobie Dealer

Hobie Asia Pacific

If you do not see your name in the Entry List, below, after 24 business hours please email media@hobiecat.com.au directly.

#NameState
1Jack GammieNSW
2Richard BensonNSW
3Steven PrykeVIC
4Mark YoungNSW
5Scott MarcinkowskiNSW
6Glenn AllenNSW
7Simon MorleyNSW
8Tony PettieVIC
9Mitch KingVIC
10Geoff AlfordACT
Open 0
Youth (16 – under 21yrs) 0
Women's 0
Master's (60 – 64yrs) 0
Grand Master's (65 and over) 0
PA17T Tandem 0
First Time Entries 0
Table Updated July 18, 2018 12:23 pm

All entries have been received and the teams have been finalised!

Below are the Hobie® AOY Sooty Grunter & Barramundi Invitational Teams.

Team 1Tony Pettie, Geoff Alford
Team 2Simon Morley, Scott Marcinkowski
Team 3Steven Pryke, Mitch King
Team 4Mark Young, Jack Gammie
Team 5Glenn Allen, Richard Benson