Simmons Snares Shootout
Craig Simmons, a 39 year old Stay at Home Dad claims the title of Sunday Shootout Winners, and wins an all expenses paid trip to the USA to compete in a bass tournament.
Bagging a one fish second session of 1.01kg, Simmons relegated Craig Robertson to second place (1/2, 0.69kg), to snatch the trip to the states. A trip that will see him travel to the states for his second BASS tournament won trip.
With the field of 30 BASS Pro boaters split into five pools based on their ranking at the end of the grand final, anglers fished over a shortened 3-hour session with the objective of winning their pool and progressing through to the 2nd and last session.
Five pool winners, plus the largest non-pool winning limit made their way to the start line and the final 3-hour battle for the trip to the states. The list of starters included, Tim Morgan (1/2, 1.07kg), Michael Pascoe (1/2, 1.35kg), Craig Robertson (2/2, 1.84), Craig Simmons (2/2, 2.10kg), Mike Connolly (2/2, 2.53kg) & Andrew Homann (2/2, 1.93kg).
With conditions deteriating and angling becoming increasingly difficult, anglers struggled to find and stay connected to fish. Three tense hours for spectator and anglers alike provided a nail biting final weigh-in, with honours falling to Craig Simmons (1/2, 1.01kg), followed by Craig Robertson (1/2, 0.69kg), and the rest of the field with empty livewells.
In compiling his winning limit Simmons stuck with the technique that served him so well during the Grand Final and the first session of the shootout. Hitting the edges in the main basin of the dam Simmons focused his attention on steep rocky banks and drop offs, targeting fish holding on horizontal timber laydowns.
â€œI knew the fish were on the timber, I just had to make sure that I made the best presentation I could to them in the windy conditionâ€, Simmons explained.
For Simmons this meant plenty of time on the electric motor holding position and correct positioning of the boat to ensure the best cast and retrieve were made. The presentation made by Simmons was by his own admission just like breaming.
â€œIt was just a heavier version of fishing for bream around natural structureâ€, said Simmons.
The heavier approach saw him fishing a Â½ oz Pony jighead, rigged with a 3â€ paddle tailed grub (colour- watermelon), slow rolled and jigged adjacent to the structure.
Filling out Simmons tournament winning tackle was an Angler Rods DCX 840 rod, Shimano Stella 1000 spin reel, spooled with 2lb Platypus Superbraid, and prototype 12 & 14lb Platypus fluorocarbon leader.
When quizzed post victory Simmons was perhaps more excited about the prospect of taking the trip state side with a crew of anglers from Australia.
â€œIt looks like weâ€™ll be doing the trip as a group, including Tim on his Skeeter Trip of a Life, Steve Morgan and a bunch of other tournament guysâ€, explained an excited Simmons.
â€œItâ€™s the social side and the sharing of tournaments and fishing with friends and mates that make tournament fishing as enjoyable as it is. I canâ€™t wait, itâ€™s going to be a great tripâ€, concluded Simmons.
Information for the 2007 BASS Pro Series will be available in the 2007 Tournament Anglers Guide, mailed to all ABT members in 2007. Call ABT during business hours (07) 3268 3992 for more information- ABT
|1||Tim Morgan||1||1.07||1- Qualify|
|2||Michael Pascoe||2||1.35||1- Qualify|
|8||Craig Robertson||2||1.84||1- Qualify|
|4||Craig Simmons||2||2.1||1- Qualify|
|7||Andrew Homann||2||1.93||2- Wildcard|
|26||Mike Connolly||2||2.53||1- Qualify|