by David Poulton
Brilliant conditions greeted competitors on day 1 of the second qualifying round of the 2006 BASS Pro series in the Stessco Lake Glenbawn event. With dropping water levels the fishing was always going to be tough and local knowledge paid big dividends. With Michael Pascoe a 21 year old Origin Energy worker from Scone showing he had the technique and local knowledge to take out the event with a 6/6, 6.10kg tournament winning bag.
Pascoe who led the tournament at the completion of session two was very nervous, afraid he would again fail as he did in 2005, when he was in the same position. However he stuck to his game plan and came home victorious taking out the title along with the Daiwa Big Bass prize. Even when the wind on day two made conditions tough.
Second place went again to Stephen Almond who showed again he was the most consistent angler with three similar bag limits to give him a total 6/6 5.57kg limit. Almond a 53 year old mine worker from Singleton fished deep on day one pulling fish from 55 to 60 feet of water on the flats. â€œThe fish were schooled on the bottomâ€ said Almond. Who presented them with an Ecogear Grassminnow in colour 117 rigged on a 3/8oz Nitro Jighead which he slow rolled through the school using Daiwa Procaster rods rigged with 1500 and 2500 TD Advantage reels spooled with 4lb Fireline and 8-10lb Berkley Vanish leader . The second session was a repeat of the first and put Almond into second place going into the final session.
However when he returned to the flats on day two, there was no fish present and Almond wasted 2 hours trying to get fish. A change of position and techniques helped him finish in the money, with Big House Bay the spot of choice. Targeting fish that were hiding in submerged timber in around 60 foot of water. â€œDropping the lure to the bottom was the key, and then slowly rolling it back through the trees got the results.â€ said Almond about the technique that enabled him to hold onto second place.
Pascoe failed to choke this year and held onto his day one lead of 4.18kg. With more experience than last year and confidence in his technique, Pascoe fished fly all weekend and finished with a 2/2 1.92kg bag in the final session. â€œI broke my favourite rod in the first session, and had to go to an old Daiwa rod that had a broken reel seat.â€ said Pascoe. Who then fished with his 6wt sinking fly line lying on the floor of the boat. Engine troubles also hindered Pascoe as he had to remove the cowling of his motor every time he needed to start it. These troubles didnâ€™t hinder his performance though, as he waved the long wand in the timber. â€œI fished rocky banks with trees emerging from the water around 20m from the bankâ€ said Pascoe when asked about his technique. Catching eight fish in the first session and upgrading twice he was confident the fish would be in the same spots in the following session. He proved that theory correct in the second session. Landing the biggest bass of the tournament a 1.65kg fish on the third cast of the session. â€œI got a touch and then the fish just sucked it in, I was lucky it swam into open waterâ€ commented Pascoe.
Fishing with the Diawa 6wt after breaking his Innovator 6-7wt on Saturday. Pascoe again returned to the same spot on Sunday and boated two fish within ten minutes. â€œI caught lots of fish and upgraded ten timesâ€. Explained Pascoe. Who then went onto driving around for the rest of the session looking for a spot out of the wind that blew up and caused havoc for a lot of anglers. â€œWhen the wind began to blow I couldnâ€™t fish the spot I wanted to and didnâ€™t really cast a fly againâ€ said Pascoe.
Gavin Dunne a 33 year old Ecogear Rep from Queensland took out the non-boater first place compiling the only 6/6 limit in the division, with a 4.89kg bag. Dunne was very grateful to his boaters Brad Smith and Steve Almond. â€œI fished the same technique all weekendâ€ explained Dunne. Who presented a 3â€ Ecogear Power Shad in Rainbow Trout on a 3/8oz Ecogear 3D jighead. Fishing submerged trees in around 60 foot of water, letting the lure drop to the bottom then slow rolling it back through the trees. â€œI wasnâ€™t getting hits unless the lure was touching the timberâ€ explained Dunne. The three session were all the same for Dunne the technique, location and gear a Norries 6ft Baitcaster paired with a Diawa ITO baitcaster reel spooled with 10lb Yamatoyo PE Braid with a 10lb Yamatoyo Fluorocarbon leader. â€œI have confidence on this Lake and love fishing here, the fish are receptive to all techniquesâ€ replied Dunne when asked about the key to his success.
However the winning technique proved to be fly! With many anglers reverting to fly to get fish. It was Pascoe who came out on top using two homemade flies. â€œI donâ€™t have a name for them, they are similar to a bass vampireâ€ said Pascoe who revealed that one was a purple colour and the other was green. Fishing the same locations was the key for Pascoe who was quiet about his technique, a simple cast as close to the bank as possible and a allowing the fly to sink by feel, then a slow strip back to the boat. â€œI got plenty of bites in the trees and if I didnâ€™t hook up, Iâ€™d let it sink to entice the biteâ€ explained Pascoe. When asked if he was using his sounder to locate school, he replied with â€˜Never looked at itâ€. When asked how he prefished on Friday, â€œDidnâ€™t bother, leading up to prefish ban I fished the Lake and had good success and trusted my understanding of the Lake.â€ Pascoe was confident of doing well, and showed that trusting in your ability and being confident in your skill can bring success.
The 2006 BASS Pro series now moves to Queensland for Round 3 at Bjelke-Peterson Dam, June 24-25. For entry forms and details visit www.australianbass.com.au or call ABT on 07 32683992.