The Geelong and Bellarine group have been getting as busy as they can. Volunteer, Greg Mulder and group facilitator Mitch McMaster have been organising clinics in between lockdowns with groups from the Redcross and Better2gether down at St Helens Pier in Rippleside. These events have been a welcome release for both groups. We have even been lucky enough to even catch a few fish including Australian Salmon, King George Whiting and a Fiddler Ray. In the coming weeks, the group has more clinics planned with these groups which is exciting.
Mitch has also been working on completing more videos for the website and app. Recently finished videos include ‘Green Tackle’, which will help people to understand the importance of using fishing tackle that is best practice and ensure that the waterways we fish in and the fish catch out of them are as healthy as possible. The video ‘Saltwater Baits’ is a quick synopsis of three of the most commonly used baits in saltwater scenarios. He is now working on a video that focuses on the four most commonly used baits in freshwater which will be ready in the coming week. With more in the pipeline for the coming weeks.
Mitch also capitalised on recent eases in COVID-19 restrictions in the Geelong and Bellarine area to escape to East Gippsland to camp and fish. Mitch is an avid angler outside of work and made the six hour drive to Marlo and Bemm river to chase Estuary Perch and Bream on Hardbodied and Softplastics lures. He caught very good numbers of Black Bream on Daiwa Spikes, Daiwa Double Clutchs, Duo Realis 80SPs, OSP Bent Minnow 86s, Jackal Chubbies and Zman Slim Swimz.
He also caught his equal personal best Estuary Perch on a Daiwa Spike and only a few casts later, his new personal best estuary perch of 49cm. Although, with its mouth open, it was 50cm. He doesn’t count it as a 50cm fish which is the holy grail benchmark but would you? He thoroughly scratched the itch on this trip. But, as most know, once you scratch the itch, you’re never satisfied. So he is already planning his return.
And lastly, Mitch has also organised some trivia afternoons for all the volunteers alongside the other facilitators, Elysia and Jenny. We have been running these to maintain volunteer engagement and also to add some light to the current situation… especially our Melbourne volunteers who have had it exceptionally rough. We will continue these as the lockdowns persist.