Searching for Sooty

Recently, a few keen anglers headed out to Lake Julius to see what the Sooty Grunter fishing was like. We have always done quite well there. The Sooty’s are always fun to catch and the Lake is so scenic and peaceful.

I guess I should start with the trip out to the Lake, as it is not for the faint hearted. The 97km of dirt road leading to this fishing paradise was a bit rough after the wet season. There are a lot of ruts and water crossings that require all vehicles to slow right down to get through. Some do catch you by surprise and we say “thank goodness” for ABS brakes. The boat didn’t fly around the back of the car too much this time but there were a few occasions that it was airborne over some of the ruts.

My husband, being the more competitive type, gave me no choice but to keep a record of all our catches and sizes so there would be a clear “winner” at the end of the day. We started a bit slowly and only caught 2 Sooty’s between us by 1:30pm. We trolled around a bit and finally we hooked up on a patch of them. The fun had started. We picked up our friends that were canoeing out there for the day and let them enjoy the fishing spot as well. Top marks go to Allison for catching a 43cm Sooty.

Between 1:30 and 5:00pm we then hooked up on 29 more Sooty’s ranging in size from 22cm to 44cm. Obviously the bigger ones are more fun to catch but the 30cm plus Sooty’s still put up a good fight and are often thought to be much bigger fish while they are on the end of the line. Light coloured jackalls were mainly used with 8 to 10ld braid and 20ld leaders. There were double hook ups happening and there were disputes as to who should be netting the fish, but we got there. I am happy to report that I was the “winner” of that day’s fishing with 16 in total to my husband’s 15.

The Long Tom’s are worth a mention and are always fun as they follow your lures in. A few Mouth Almighty’s were picked up as well.

My husband and I went back again after this visit and we were catching the Sooty’s as soon as we put lines in the water. A score sheet had to be kept again. It was a tough day as I was playing catch up but I finally got ahead at around 3:00pm when I caught what must have been my 15th Sooty for the day. I am happy to report that we caught 21 each. You can’t get fairer than that. I did however catch the biggest at 46cm from both day’s fishing. We packed it in at 5:00pm and headed for home. Arms and shoulders sore after casting all day. I just hope the next fishing trip isn’t as competitive, but I think I know what my answer will be, as some people don’t like the “Net Boy” tag.

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