A clear and crisp weekend on Queensland’s Somerset Dam saw 59 boats and 116 anglers battle not only each other, but also an increasingly trying and testing fishery. The battle of attrition final saw one person prevail, with 39 year old, Muswellbrook Underground Coal Miner, Andrew Robinson (5/6 8.79kg), snatching the lead in the third and final session, to not only grab his second podium finish for the year, but also the $2,500 winners cheque.
On a dam that was littered with showings of fish on the competitors’ sounders, Robinson’s decision to utilize fly as his technique of choice for the weekend, proved not only successful for himself, but for the rest of the field. Second place getter, Mike DeLisser (6/6, 8.34kg) also used fly to fill out his bag.
But the weekend belonged to Robinson, who not only showed that his recent learning curve on fly-caught bass was a great technique to add to his substantial quiver of skills, but also that his nickname of “The Guru” of Glenbawn, extends much further than the bound of the big bass dam of the Hunter Valley.
Fishing Pelican Point, Robinson concentrated his efforts on the flats adjacent to the old creek bed that flowed through the area. Targeting small showings of fish that he found in water ranging in depth from 10-20 feet, Robinson presented his fly to the small pods of fish he found holding on the bottom.
While Robinson observed a noted increase in activity of the fish in the morning when the sun rose, he chose to use for the tournament a presentation that was more in tune with their overriding lock-jaw mood – a fly.
Utilising the highly popular ‘Vampire’ fly (green and black), Robinson presented the offering to the bottom hugging bass with a “three short strips” retrieve, that was followed by a pause approximately 5-10 seconds in duration. The takes varied between a slight peck, to a purposeful take that saw one of his landed fish slide into the landing with only the leader sticking out of its mouth. The more subtle and tentative takes required Robinson to mend a lot of line, and manipulate not only his outfit but also the fish, to encourage it take the fly and get the subsequent hook-up.
Using a Black Diamond, “Deepwater” fly rod, 7 weight rod as his tool of delivery, Robinson combined it with the a Striper Taper IV fly line, and twisted 8lb Nitlon as his tippet and connection with his fly.
When interviewed after his victory, Robinson attributed his victory to two factors. He explained by saying, “ my decision to use fly is the first thing that has contributed to my win. With the dam fishing the way it is at the moment I decided that fly was the best way to go to consistently catch fish, and I’m over the moon that I made the right choice”.
Robinson also added, “ that I couldn’t have made the decision if it wasn’t for the group of guys that I pre-fished with two weeks earlier. They’re a great bunch of guys, and it’s a dynamic environment where we all share information. Much of this victory has to go to those guys, and that week’s pre-fishing”.
The dominance of fly on the waterway over the weekend extended to many of the minor placings, with second place getter Mike DeLisser waving the wand to bag his six fish limit, and his $1,200 cheque.
In the same vein as Robinson, DeLisser targeted the bottom hugging and shut down fish, sharing his fishing time between the highly popular Pelican Point and Red Buoy Bay areas.
Concentrating his efforts on the small groups and individual showings of fish in the 20 feet depth range, DeLisser relied heavily on his water parachute to slow his drift during the windy periods. This enabled him to keep his ‘vampire’ fly (green and black) in the zone and in front of the fish.
DeLisser combated the wary mood of the bass over the weekend by sweetening the offering, with the liberal application of ‘Slime It’ every second cast. In addition to this sweetening of the fly, his mending and feeding out of line to enquiring fish, assisted and delivered hookups on fish that chose to play with the fly, rather than simply eat it. The approach paid dividends with Mike, landing one of only two six fish bag limits for the tournament.
His choice of outfit and tackle that enabled him to catch his all important tournament limit include a Scott A2, 7 weight fly rod, Striper Taper VII line, and a 15 foot twisted tippet, rolled out of 14lb Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon.
The success of the weekend saw DeLisser not only walk away with second place and the cheque that comes with it, but as the highest placed boater using a Yamaha outboard he also secured the additional Yamaha prize pack, graciously donated by the event sponsor.
The Amateur (non-boater) division was hotly contested, with ABT tournament newcomer Kiel Okaokaita, not only testing the compere’s ability to pronounce his name but also snaring the 1st place non-boater prize of a Scott fly rod.
Somerset’s reputation and ability to produce some of the biggest bass in the country continued throughout the tournament, with the ABT Big Bass record set at last years event by David Green (3.08kg), smashed by Tony Evans’s titanic 3.37kg specimen. It not only delivered him with the Daiwa Big Bass prize for the tournament, but was also large enough to anchor his (3/6 fish) tournament bag, delivering him 7th place overall.
The event produced two more instant qualifiers for this year’s Yamaha BASS Pro Grand Final, and as the third event in the four round qualifying series provides anglers with an opportunity to see how they are fairing in this years race for this year’s Yamaha BASS Pro AOY title and qualification for the BASS Pro Grand Final.
The Yamaha BASS Pro Series now moves onto the southern waters of Lake StClair, August 14-15th. And as the final chance for anglers to qualify for the Yamaha BASS Pro Grand Final, should be hotly contested. For more information contact Simon Goldsmith, (07) 3268 3992 b/h, 0427 32 64 64, or visit http://www.australianbass.com.au/ for more details.
Local Area Sponsors: Brisbane Valley Anglers, All Site Rentals.
|BASS Pro: Yamaha BASS Pro Qualifer #3 Results|