Tim Morgan captures BASS Pro crown
Tim â€˜The Breamâ€™ Morgan, a 31 year old BLA National Product Manager became the first person to win a BREAM and BASS final, by claiming victory in the climatic event of the BASS Pro calendar, the BASS Pro Grand Final at Lake Glenbawn.
Compiling a 5/6, 6.99kg limit for the event, Morgan showed he was more than just a bream angler, outclassing the rest of the field, and securing victory over runner up and hot tipped local Mick Pascoe.
Choosing topwater as his gun technique for the tournament, Morgan hit the lead in session one and was never caught, even despite failing to weigh-in a full limit in the third and final session on the Saturday morning.
â€œI cracked the topwater pattern during the Prefish on Thursday, and I was confident that it would produce during the tournamentâ€, explained Morgan.
The technique for the Tim involved fishing a small shaded bay in the middle reaches of the dam, casting a Megabass Pop X popper (colour- cracked lime chartreuse) to edges and in between the standing timber.
â€œIt was tournament sight fishing at itâ€™s best, watching hungry bass boiling on your lure so close to timberâ€, Morgan said.
Within half an hour of the start Tim had two in the well, including a 38cm and his biggest ever bass on the surface, a 2.03kg specimen. It was just the start he wanted.
Session two proved more difficult.
â€œIt was always going to be tougher in the afternoonâ€, Morgan explained.
â€œI had nothing to show for the first hour and half, then Carl suggested I hit the edges with soft plastics, and it paid offâ€, he added.
Fishing 3â€ paddle tailed grubs (colour- smoke/ yellow core) rigged on Â½ oz TT jigheads; Morgan presented his offering tight against the timber and cliff faces. With his boat positioned in about 40 feet of water, Morgan would allow his lure to free fall before beginning the retrieving.
â€œAll the fish took the lure as it sank next to the structureâ€, Morgan explained.
About seven feet down seemed to be the preferred holding depth for the bass, with the technique providing Morgan with three fish for the session and a continuation of his lead heading into the final session.
Day two began as a carbon copy of day one, with Morganâ€™s second cast delivering his first fish for the day. This was then followed by repeated boils and strikes from active bass, but no hook-ups. Resorting to a jighead rigged plastic approach after the morning topwater bite stopped Morgan ground away, but to no avail for his second fish.
In the end, the one fish proved enough, with Morgan claiming his first BASS Pro Grand Final title and the satisfaction that comes with it.
Morganâ€™s choice of tackle used to deliver his win included two outfit choices. A 7â€™ Millerod Bass Buster, Shimano 2500 Sustain reel, 6lb Fireline, and 12lb Vanish, when fishing topwater, and a 7â€™ Millerod Bass Buster, Shimano 1000 Stella reel, 6lb Fireline, and 12lb Vanish when fishing soft plastics.
Some of the other measures taken by Morgan to sweeten his soft plastic offering included spraying his plastic with Atomic garlic scent, and colouring the tail of the plastic by dipping it in green garlic Spike It.
Glenbawn Qualifying event winner Mick Pascoe was the competitor to fear at Grand Final, and he didnâ€™t disappoint, securing second place with his fly caught, 6/6, 6.35kg limit.
Fishing upriver of The Boot region of the dam, Pascoe targeted fish holding on timber strewn rock walls. With his boat holding in 15-25 feet of water Pascoe presented his lure tight to the edge and timber to tempt his fish.
â€œMost of the fish would take the fly in the first feet of the surface and the retrieve out from the bankâ€, explained Pascoe.
The fly in question being a small home made black/ purple & green offering. The tackle used by Pascoe to extract his timber loving bass included a 6/7 weight Innovator rod, Fly Max reel, spooled with a Striper Taper IV fly line, and finished off with a twisted leader rolled out of 20lb Siglon leader and topped off with a 12lb Siglon tippet.
Adding to Pascoeâ€™s satisfaction from the event was that he managed to finish so highly in event that had such atrocious weather.
â€œIt was real hard throwing the fly in the forty knot windsâ€, explained Pascoe.
â€œThe fact that I managed to push through and finish so highly makes the result that much more rewardingâ€, he added.
The inaugural non-boater division at the Grand Final was hotly contested, with 20 year old Fishing Tackle Salesman Justin Welsh from Albany Creek claiming the title and the $25,000 Stessco, Tohatsu boat package on offer.
Compiling a 6/6, 4.07kg limit to secure victory, Welsh spent day one fishing the edges of the main basin with boater Trevor Stead, hopping Mask Vibs (colour- pearl ayu) down the slope and back to the boat.
â€œIt was like barra fishing we do on the damsâ€, Welsh explained.
â€œWorking the lure back out into the deep with a series of lift and dropsâ€, he added.
By the afternoon the bite had subsided and Welsh swapped to a 2 1/2 â€œ Atomic Paddle Tail grub (colour- brown crawdad) rigged on a Â¼ & 3/8 oz TT jighead to tempt his fish.
â€œIt was definitely harder in the afternoonâ€, Welsh explained.
â€œEven swapping to a smaller, more subtle lure had limited success. In the end I could only manage to land one fishâ€, he added.
Session three provided nothing but stress for Welsh, with his boater catching fish around him, and he landing no fish to add to his score sheet.
â€œIt was frustrating. Simmo was landing fish, but I just couldnâ€™t make the hooks stick or land a bassâ€, he added.
In the end Welshâ€™s killer 2.97kg session one limit was enough to keep him ahead of the pack.
Delivering Welsh his victory was an assortment of tackle, including a 7â€™ E.Grell B4-7 rod, Daiwa Alphas 103 reel, and 15lb Platypus Superbraid when fishing a baitcaster presentation, and a E.Grell S2 rod, Shimano Twin Power 1000 reel, and 6lb Line Systems line when opting for spin tackle.
For Welsh victory provided him with his greatest tournament reward to date, including a Stessco Catcher boat, Tohatsu 40hp outboard motor, Specials Trailer trailer, two high-end Lowrance sounders, Minn Kota Riptide bow-mount electric motor, and a fitted out Flowrite reticulation system.
Overall accolades go to Champion Boater Tim Morgan, who picked up the highly coveted BASS Grand Final Champion Trophy, and the Skeeter Trip of a Lifetime as reward for his outstanding performance. The Trip of a Lifetime will see Tim travel state side, where heâ€™ll tour the Skeeter Boats factory, fish with Skeeter pros and spend two days fishing a WON Bass tournament in California. It definitely will be the Trip of a Lifetime!
Sponsors: Skeeter, Stessco, Tohatsu, Specials Trailers, , Berkley, Shimano, Squidgy, G.Loomis, Daiwa, Jackall, Ecogear, Bassman Spinnerbaits, TT Lures, Yamatoyo, Millerods, Nitro Rods, Atomic, Killalure, Angler Rods, Platypus, Strudwick, Quicklights Cats Eyes, Spotters Sunglasses, Shakespeare.