The low level of Lake Somerset and adverse weather conditions presented 97 competitors with the challenging task of catching bass. In a field of 51 boaters, consistency paid off for young gun Trevor Foote. Trevor, a 17 year old apprentice plumber, managed the only 6/6 bag of fish for the weekend. In trying conditions where others failed to be consistent, Foote managed to improve the size of his bass presented to the weigh master each session. His six fish weighed 7.63kg. Although not huge by Somerset standards, they reflected how tough the fishing was.
After a successful prefish on the flats opposite Queen Street, Foote left the fish biting in the hope they’d remain in the same area during the competition. In the first two sessions, Foote secured his limit by hopping ice jigs off the bottom where he could see fish on his sounder. “I used a pink Nil’s Master ice jig in size 2. The fish were on the sounder in 20 to 30 feet of water so I just persisted. I’d hop the lure around 1 to 2 feet off the bottom and let it touch back down each time.”
His persistence paid off. In both the first and second session, Trevor travelled back to another flats area outside Beam’s Creek. Here he managed to upgrade his limit using a 3″ Slider Grub in the baby bass colour rigged on a Nitro 3/8 ounce jighead. “I used a slow retrieve and paused about half way back to the boat. I then let the plastic fall back to the bottom on a tight line. The upgrades both took the lure as it started falling back to the bottom.”
Trevor was leading the competition after the first day. In the final session, he managed to score two more bass using his ice jigging method. “I didn’t want to lose that last fish. We were both hooked up and luckily we had two nets. My non-boater landed his fish first in the big net. I then had to land mine using a smaller net that I usually use in the livewell.”
Trevor used two outfits that were the same but spooled with different lines for his ice jigging and plastic presentations. He chose a Daiwa Procaster V 6’6″ 4-8lb rod and teamed it with a Daiwa Sol 2000 spinning reel. For working ice jigs, Foote opted for 4lb Platypus Superbraid fitted with a length of 6lb fluorocarbon. For delivering his Slider Grubs, he used a combination of 10lb Daiwa braid with 10lb Vanish fluorocarbon leader.
Last year’s BASS Grand Final winner Matthew Mott continued his great form by finishing in second position. Mott weighed 5/6 fish for a total of 6.83kg. All of his bass were caught hopping pearl ayu Mask Vibe 60 Jackalls in the 19g weight. Mott’s fish came from 20-30 feet of water on flats out from Beam’s Creek and opposite Queen Street. His hopping style varied to suit the mood of the fish. When they were difficult, he’d cast out and work the lure to the boat. If the fish were active and schooled below the boat, he’d deliver a vertical presentation.
Mott attributed his success to the use of his new sounder. “The fish were holding close to the bottom most of the time. My new Humminbird 787 colour sounder made a huge difference in locating them and separating them from the bottom.”
Mott used a Black Diamond 7′ Flats Ranger 3-6kg rod. He paired this with a Daiwa Certate 2500 spooled with 8lb Fireline XDS and topped with a 14lb Vanish fluorocarbon leader.
The non-boater division was taken out by Ross Murray with 4/6 bass for 5.73kg. On day one, Ross caught his fish on the popular flats out from Beam’s Creek. He hopped Mask Vibe 60 Jackalls in 25-40 feet of water. “I reckon that I caught better fish than some of the other guys because I used slower, longer hops. The fish seemed to like the Jackall better that way.”
On day two, Ross proved his versatility and resorted to an entirely different technique. He cast a Tennessee shad coloured 3″ Slider Grub rigged on a 1/2 ounce Dam Deep Nitro jighead. “I cast the lure hard up against the bank and started a medium paced retrieve as soon as it hit the water. The boat was in 8 to 12 feet of water and the bass were taking the lure half way back to the boat.” Ross had one final thing to say, “Fish hard until the end because it can pay off. I caught my third session limit in the last ten casts of the day.”
Ross delivered his Mask Jackalls on a 7′ Millerod Bass Buster fitted with a Team Daiwa Advantage 2000 reel. He spooled this reel with 6lb Platypus Superbraid with a leader of 8lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon. His second outfit used for soft plastics consisted of a 7’6″ Nitro Distance Spin and a Daiwa Sol 2000. This reel was spooled with 6lb Fireline and 8lb Yamatoyo leader.
Toowoomba angler Peter May took out the Daiwa Big Bass prize of $500 and a Daiwa fishing reel. Peter had a great last session weighing the largest bag for the weekend. His two fish weighed 4.74kg and rocketed him to fourth place with only a 2/6 bag. His big bass was a magnificent fish of 2.64kg.
Peter relived the first session. “I hooked a really good bass on a Mask and it was peeling line when the line broke at the tip of the rod. I looked at the rod and there was a tiny fracture in the last guide which must have cut the line.”
It wasn’t until the last session that Peter had the chance to make up for his lost fish. On the flats opposite Queen Street, Pete moved away from the other boats where he found a good show of fish. “The fish lit up in 15 to 18 feet of water. When I saw this I thought we’d have to hook into them straight away – and we did.”
With four rounds of the 2006 BASS Pro season complete, there remains only one more qualifier at Lake Boondooma on the 19-20 August. This will be the last chance for anglers to battle it out for their Grand Final position or strive to take out the prestigious Angler of the Year title.
|1||Trevor Foote||2||2.21||2||2.42||2||3||6||7.63||$2800 + Qualifier|
|2||Matthew Mott||2||2.89||1||1.13||2||2.81||5||6.83||$1500 (Qualified)|
|3||Colin Singleton||2||2.93||2||2.51||4||5.44||$1000 (Qualified)|
|4||Peter May||2||4.74||2||4.74||2.64||$800 + $500 + Daiwa Reel + Qualifier|
|1||Ross Murray||2||3.69||2||2.04||4||5.73||Millerod, Prize pack + Qualifier|
|2||Jesper Noiesen||2||3.96||1||0.93||3||4.89||G.Loomis rod, Prize pack + Qualifier|
|3||Paul Holmberg||2||1.88||2||2.33||4||4.21||Spotters Sunglasses, Prize pack + Qualifier|
|4||Ben Banks||2||2.45||1||1.64||3||4.09||Angler rod, Prize pack + Qualifier|
|5||Tony Priestly||1||1.43||2||2.47||3||3.9||Shimano Cruxis reel, Prize pack + Qualifier|
|6||Russell Glasson||2||2.21||1||1.52||3||3.73||Nitro b/c rod, Prize pack + Qualifier|
|7||Heath Craven||2||1.8||2||1.87||4||3.67||Strudwick b/c rod, Prize pack|
|8||Kevin Jones||1||1.77||1||0.63||2||1.14||4||3.54||Prize pack|
|9||Terry McCullough||1||1.56||2||1.77||3||3.33||Prize pack|
|10||Michael Stubbin||2||3.22||2||3.22||Prize pack|