Tohatsu Bjelke Petersen/Boondooma BASS Pro
With low water levels affecting many of South-East Queenslandâ€™s impoundments, the venue for the third BASS Pro round for 2006 was moved to Lake Boondooma, 24/25th June.
Forty- seven boats and eighty-seven anglers took part in what was, for most, a tough weekend of fishing. Anglers battled to crack a pattern and the leader board continued to change throughout the event.
It was 48 year old Jackall importer Harry â€œHankâ€ Watson from Boonah who jumped ahead of the field in the last vital session. The Japanese tackle magnate weighed 5/6, 5.35kg, jumping in front of the closest competitor by 0.55kg. Watson managed to compile his bag with larger fish than his rivals, meaning he was able to outclass those who weighed a full 6/6 limit.
During the prefish day on the Friday before the tournament, Watson found a 100m stretch of bank that was holding bigger bass. It was this location that yielded most of his fish in the tournament. Harryâ€™s bank had a 30 degree taper with a healthy weed edge extending twenty metres into the lake. Smaller fish showed on his Lowrance sounder below the boat in five metres of water. These fish werenâ€™t in Watsonâ€™s sights. It was the larger specimens that were holding tight against the weed edge that formed his winning limit.
Harry varied his approach, using two successful lure types with a similar retrieve for both. He alternated between both, finding that one would produce better than the other at certain times. Watson opted for a TN60 Jackall in the Purple Shad colour to look for reaction bites, with a G. Loomis 783 Crankbait rod and a Shimano Chronarch 50mg reel used to deliver the presentation. The Chronarch was spooled with 12lb Platypus Superbraid and topped off with a length of 12lb Siglon Fluorocarbon leader.
When the Jackall failed, Harry chose a small plastic to do the job. Using a painted 2â€ Illusion Shad rigged on a Â¼ ounce round ball jighead to work through the same water he had explored with the Jackall. Harryâ€™s soft plastic outfit was comprised of a G. Loomis SR 842 IMX rod, teamed with a Shimano 1000 Sustain reel. The reel was spooled with 2lb Platypus Superbraid and finished off with a 8lb Siglon leader.
Watson explained how he fished differently to other anglers working similar areas.
â€œIâ€™d cast into the edge of the weed and let the lure hit it. Then Iâ€™d start rippingâ€™ it out hard to shed weed off the lure. Once free of weed, I used a medium paced retrieve and let the lure touch the tops of the broken weed on the way back to the boatâ€.
Harry walked away with a $2500 prize cheque for his first placing, plus a $500 winner bonus presented by Skeeter Boats as part of their Sponsor Bonus Program.
Colin Singletonâ€™s consistency earned him a second placing, with his 6/6, 4.8kg limited compiled with the utilization of two different techniques. The first being a TN60 Jackall in chameleon colour worked along the weed edges in the Boyne arm of the waterway.
Using a similar approach to Watson, Singleton presented his TN-60 to the weed edge casting it into the vegetation, then ripping it clear. Once clear it was allowed to fall, and it was on the drop that majority of strikes came.
â€œI learned a tip watching one of the pros on ESPNâ€, Singleton explained.
â€œOne angler was casting his lure into the weed and then ripping it out by banging his winding hand on the butt of the rod a couple of times. This banging creates a sharp lifting action thatâ€™s almost impossible to do with a flick of the wrist. I was surprised in the prefish when I tried this style of fishing and it worked. I imitated the ripping action and bass were hitting the lure almost straight away before I could take up the slackâ€, he concluded.
Colâ€™s rod for this technique was a brand new to Australia, Lamiglass, with the exact model being a Skeet Reese 7â€™ Lamiglass baitcaster rod. Col teamed the rod with a Shimano Chronarch 100 SF reel, spooled with 20lb Super PE Yamatoyo and a leader 0f 20lb Harris Fluorocarbon.
The second location that helped Singleton to fill his well was a right hand bank just outside the Boyne timber area.
â€œI found some bass holding in a bay formed by a creek channel running into the main lake. The deepest part of the channel was 32 feet, so I positioned the boat there in the deep water and cast a Mask Vib 60, in pearl ayu colour, up onto the drop-off of the channel and hopped it back into deeper waterâ€, Singleton said.
Col attributed his hopping success to the use of his rod, a high modulus, fast action 7â€™ Lamiglass rod from their Flats Series. The rodsâ€™ action allowed him to impart an aggressive hopping action on the Mask. On each lift, heâ€™d use a series of hops before letting the lure fall back to the bottom.
Both Col and Harry have now earned their place in the BASS Pro Grand Final to be held in New South Wales later this year.
The non-boater section was taken out by the consistent Glen Casey from Bassman Spinnerbait fame. With the ever happy-go-lucky lure manufacturer compiling a 6/6, 3.95kg tournament limit to secure his win.
Using two techniques to fill his bag, Casey was on a roll right from session one, when he told his boater Mike Connolly to get the net ready after his first cast. Glen used a combination of casting green pumpkin Slider Grubs to the weed edge and bouncing the bottom with the largest Nilâ€™s Master ice jigs to achieve his limit.
Glen explained his successful ice jigging technique by saying,
â€œI was just letting the jig pad the bottom after each hop. It was nothing fancy. The fish were hitting the jig hard and I had a great timeâ€. Glenâ€™s fish all came from the Pelican Point area in the Boyne arm of the lake.
The $500 Daiwa Big Bass Prize went to Dale Mullins for his 1.71kg specimen caught on fly along a steep rocky point in the main basin of the dam.
â€œIt was the first bass that Iâ€™ve ever caught on fly in a tournamentâ€, Mullins explained.
â€œIt fell to chartreuse and black Bass Vampire fly, that was double the size most guys use. The fact that it turned out to be the big bass for the tournament makes it that much more specialâ€, he concluded.
The next round of the series sees the tour move to Lake Somerset, 15-16th July for the Daiwa Lake Somerset BASS Pro. For more information visit www.australianbass.com.au or phone ABT (07) 3268 3992 (b/h), 0427 32 64 64 (b/h).
|ABT BASS Pro Series: Tohatsu Bjelke-Petersen BASS Pro Boater Results|
|1||Harry WATSON||QLD||2||2.45||1||1.11||2||1.79||5||5.35||2500 + $500 Skeeter Bonus|
|14||Dale MULLINS||QLD||1||1.71||1||0.68||2||2.39||$500 Daiwa Big Bass|
|ABT BASS Pro Series: Tohatsu Bjelke-Petersen BASS Pro Non-Boater Results|
|1||Glen CASEY||NSW||2||1.36||2||1.53||2||1.06||6||3.95||Millerod, Prize Pack|
|2||Chris JOWETT||Qld||2||2.91||2||2.91||G.Loomis spin rod, Prize pack|
|3||Kevin JONES||QLD||1||0.69||1||0.82||2||1.39||4||2.9||Spotters sunglasses, Prize pack|
|4||Tony MOTT||QLD||2||1.25||2||1.45||4||2.7||Angler DCX spin rod, prize pack|
|5||Phil BEVIS||QLD||2||1.81||1||0.77||3||2.58||Nitro rod, Prize Pack|
|6||Gavin STICKLEN||QLD||2||1.44||2||0.97||4||2.41||Strudwick b/c rod, Prize Pack|
|7||Micheal Raymond STUBBIN||QLD||1||0.62||2||1.71||3||2.33||Strudwick b/c rod, Prize Pack|
|8||Terry MCCULLOUGH||QLD||1||1.01||2||1.24||3||2.25||Pflueger b/c reel, Prize PaCK|
|9||Don GALLIANO||NSW||1||0.59||2||1.56||3||2.15||Prize Pack|
|10||Neil SCOTT||NSW||1||0.52||1||1.37||2||1.89||Prize Pack|
|25||Marty VAN VEGCHEL||Qld||1||0.64||1||0.64|