Dunne the Gun at Boondooma
After dropping two metres since the last ABT tournament, Lake Boondooma was a challenging arena for round five of the BASS Pro Series.
The 76 competitors managed to find bass scattered in a variety of areas including flats, drop offs and weedy edges. With the fish spread so widely, there were plenty of options to explore.
It was 33 year old, Brisbane based, Gavin Dunne who managed to fish his way to victory. The Qld and NSW EcoGear tackle rep took the lead in the first session. He continued to produce quality fish in the second round, giving him an 800 gram lead on the closest competitor. Dunne managed to hold his position and claimed victory with a smaller bag in the last session. The six bass he presented to the weigh master totaled 6.32kg.
Gavin resorted to one of his most successful techniques – deep water fly fishing. The master of the fly, he located numerous fish holding in seven to ten metres of water around 200m west of The Islands. Dunne would drift along until he located several fish together and holding hard on the bottom. Once they were in casting range, he lowered the anchor and placed casts to the fish holding area.
â€œI fished a slow retrieve close to the bottom. The bites were subtle. They were all the same; the fish would pick up the fly and start swimming away with it before Iâ€™d set the hook.â€
In the last session, Gavin moved from his deeper schooling fish to a weed edge on the opposite side of the dam. â€œAfter a tip from Harry Watson, I decided to try my luck closer to the weed edge.â€ With the boat in four to five metres of water, Dunne delivered his fly to the weed edge. He then fished the fly down the contour of the weed and bottom back to the boat.
Dunne explained his technique. â€œThe bass were coughing up small shrimp. To imitate the bait they were feeding on, I used short sharp strips.â€
He used a black Wolverine pattern fly and delivered the presentation using a new TFO six weight TICRX model fly rod. His line of choice was a fast sinking Striper Taper IV with an 11â€™ twisted leader of Harris fluorocarbon. Gavin used this same outfit in both of the locations he fished.
He was grateful to fellow competitors and showed them respect. â€œThe â€œwho shares winsâ€ concept paid off for me in this round. This year, my mates and I have been working together more often and the results have showed. I went into this tournament feeling confident after a great prefish and that confidence played a big part in my win.â€
In second place was the ever-consistent Carl Jocumsen. Carl also wielded the fly rod to achieve his success. Weighing six bass for 6.22kg, Carl finished strongly – only 100grams shy of Gavin Dunneâ€™s total.
The 21 year old sales assistant from Mullet Gut Marine in Toowoomba found all of his fish close to the weed and along the banks of the dam. â€œI fished all over the dam in all types of terrain. The fish were everywhere. It was just a matter of choosing a good looking bank that nobody had fished for a while.â€
Carl managed to catch between ten and fifteen legal sized bass each session. He would cast his fly to the weed edge on the steeper banks, then work it down the face of the weed and continue the retrieve along the bottom. In shallower country, heâ€™d cast into the edge and strip the fly through broken weed before following the contour of the bottom back to the boat. With calm conditions, the weekend was ideal for Jocumsen to work the banks slowly under the power of his Minn Kota electric motor.
Carl used a Matrix Innovator 7 weight fly rod to deliver a black Bass Vampire with an orange tail. The rod was matched with a Scientific Angler large arbor reel holding a Scientific Angler Striper Taper (Striped Bass) Fast Sinking line. He then used a 9â€™ length of twisted leader made from Nitlon fluorocarbon.
Added to Jocumsenâ€™s second place kitty was the $500 Daiwa Big Bass cheque and Fuego baitcast reel. His fish tipped the scales at 1.69kg. â€œWhen I hooked that big bass, it swam straight out towards the boat and I thought it was small. Then it took off like a freight train. I didnâ€™t want to put too much pressure on it so the fight lasted for ages. When I saw it beside the boat, I knew it would have a good chance of taking out the Big Bass prize. We whacked it in the net and I said Ye-ah!â€
Winning the non-boater section was Jaimen Tunstall. The 18 year old apprentice floor layer from Kingaroy weighed five fish for 3.88kg. It was the youngsterâ€™s first ABT competition and he was rewarded for his effort with a Miller Rod and a great assortment of goodies in his prize pack. â€œI just thought Iâ€™d come along to the comp to see if I liked it. I was lucky enough to walk away the non-boater winner.â€
All of Jaimenâ€™s fish came from the weeded edges of the lake. He fished a T.D. Pro lipless crankbait in black/gold with a slow rolling retrieve all the way back to the boat. Tunstallâ€™s boaters chose banks that were 2.5 to 4 metres deep below the boat. â€œA few times we were smashed by the bigger fish right near the boat. We also had quite a few fish follow the lure all the way to the side of the boat.â€
Jaimen thanked some of the guys for helping him out and talking him into fishing the tournament. â€œI really need to thank Bass To Barra Marine in Kingaroy for helping me out. Matthew Mott and Paul Cooper have helped out heaps by teaching me and setting me up.â€
With the final qualifying round over, both boaters and non-boaters will be awaiting the announcement of the BASS Grand Final positions. Thirty boaters and thirty non-boaters will compete in this yearâ€™s grand final to be held at Lake Glenbawn on the 22-24 September.
|BASS Pro: Skeeter Lake Boondooma Bass Pro Boater Results|
|2||Carl JOCUMSEN||QLD||2||1.93||2||2.27||2||2.02||6||6.22||1200 + 500 Daiwa Big Bass|
|BASS Pro: Skeeter Lake Boondooma Bass Pro Non-Boater Results|
|1||Jaimen TUNSTALL||Qld||2||1.44||1||0.78||2||1.66||5||3.88||Millerod, Prize Pack|
|2||Glen CASEY||NSW||2||1.79||2||1.3||1||0.6||5||3.69||G.Loomis spin rod, Prize pack|
|3||Neil SCOTT||NSW||1||0.5||2||1.6||2||1.43||5||3.53||Spotters sunglasses, Prize pack|
|4||Marty VANVEGCHEL||Qld||2||0.92||2||1.81||4||2.73||Angler DCX spin rod, prize pack|
|5||Michael STEWART||QLD||1||0.55||2||2.07||3||2.62||Shimano Curado reel, Prize Pack|
|6||Paul COOPER||QLD||2||2.51||2||2.51||Strudwick SicStik rod, Prize Pack|
|7||Tim MOSS||Qld||1||0.65||2||1.73||3||2.38||Pflueger Supreme reel, Prize Pack|
|8||Chris JOWETT||Qld||2||1.43||1||0.78||3||2.21||Prize Pack|
|9||Graham SABINE||QLD||1||1.41||2||0.8||3||2.21||Prize Pack|
|10||Steve ELDRED||QLD||1||1.2||1||0.86||2||2.06||Prize Pack|