The spiritual Queensland
home of tournament BASS fishing, Lake
Somerset played host to
the first BASS Pro Major of the year for the Megabass Lake Somerset BASS Pro
Major, 29/30th May.
Living up to its’ reputation the lake produced
tough fishing for the gathered 61 boat field, with long-time bass angler Spiro
Zantiotis claiming his first win on the BASS tour and secure the $5000 prize
Compiling a 5/6, 6.29kg limit for
the event, Zantiotis shone on a weekend that saw many struggle to crack a
consistent pattern and put fish in the well. Fishing a stretch a bank he
discovered during the prefish, Zantiotis worked a piece of shoreline located
upriver of the power lines, north of Kirkleigh.
“It was a pretty non-assuming
stretch of bank with limited features in terms of structure or fish holding
appeal”, explained Spiro.
“The location itself sat close to
the old creek bed before shallowing out as it stepped up with three distinct
ledges or breaklines”, added Zantiotis.
With his boat in about 12 feet of
water, and adjacent to the closest breakline, Zantiotis would work his way
along the bank, casting his offering, a Jackall TN60 in ghost wakasagi colour
tight to the edge before retrieving it back to the bottom with a slow rolling retrieve.
“The key was getting the lure as
close to the edge as possible, then slow rolling it back to boat adding the
occasional pause to stall the presentation and help convert any bass that may
be shadowing the lure”, explained Zantiotis.
It was on the pause that Zantiotis
got many of his hits.
“I worked this out on Saturday when
I stopped a retrieve to turn around and chat to my non-boater and got nailed by
a good fish. The penny dropped so I slowed down what I was doing and added
plenty of pauses to my presentation”, explained the 2008 Somerset champion.
His tournament winning tackle was
comprised of an Angler Rods Stealth DCX 842 rod, Shimano Chronarch reel,
spooled with 10lb Fins braid and Fins 10lb Evergreen fluorocarbon leader. One
of the notable changes to his tackle set-up was the retrofitting of his Jackall
lure with the reverse barbed Megabass Katsuage treble hooks.
“These hooks are fantastic and
greatly increase your hook-up rate. If a fish hits the lure they usually stick,
and this is vital when fishing a tournament”, explained Spiro.
Fishing relatively unaccompanied in
the area Zantiotis bagged out by 7.30am both mornings, and scored some good
fish during the final session, upgrading twice before lifting the electric and
making the 25 minute run back to the weigh-in and ensuing victory.
Hot on Zantiotis’ heals was ABT
BASS Pro new comer Steve Otto, who compiled a 4/6, 5.68kg limit to secure
second place and the $2800 prize cheque. Like Zantiotis Ottto fished north of
Kirkleigh, with the 40 year old Maroochydore Shop Fitter targeting the area
known as the cattle yards near the junction.
Fishing for an edge bite, Otto
positioned his boat out from the shoreline in about 10-14 feet of water, before
casting his lure, a Jackall TN60 to the edge and retrieving it back to the
“I tried to get the lure tight to
the edge, casting it up into about 2 feet of water then slow rolling it back.
If there was no hit in about the first three cranks of the handle I’d work the
lure quickly back to the boat then slow the retrieve down and work it studiously
through the fish suspended out from the bank in 8-10 feet of water”, explained
The approach paid dividends,
producing one fish in session one, another in session two (2.68kg), and two
fish in session three. The outcome was clinical with Otto’s game plan following
the script that he set out on the Friday prefish.
“I couldn’t be happier with the
result”, expressed Otto.
“I had a plan from the outset to
fish edges, and with some suggestions and input from by non-boaters like Ian
Black it all came together perfectly”, added Otto.
The arsenal of tackle used to
compile his fish included a Strudwick Soft Bodz, 7′, 4-6kg, rod, matched to a Shimano Stradic reel, spooled with 14lb
Fireline and 16lb Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon leader. His go-to lure on
Saturday was a Jackall TN60 in blue gill colour, while on Sunday he upsized to
a Jackall TN70 in gold belly, red sides, black back colour configuration.
Claiming the number one spot in the
non-boater division was 37 year old Dalby resident Heath Craven. Fishing the
edges north of Kirkleigh, Craven used a ½ oz Smak spinnerbait in IB colour to
catch his fish each day. Partnered with Steve Eldred on day one and Steve
Kanowski on day two, Craven used a slow rolling retrieve interspersed with
pauses, stalling the lure to keep the lure in close contact with bottom and the
“It was crucial to get the lure
tight to edge then keep it just above the bottom as it made its’ journey back
to the boat”, explained Craven.
The approach delivered Craven two
fish in session one, three in session two, and one fish in the final session on
His choice of tackle included a 7′,
2-5kg, Black Diamond rod; matched to a Daiwa Steez 103H reel, spooled with 12lb
line and 12lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon leader.
The Daiwa Big Bass for the event
was claimed by Harry Watson who picked up the 2.72kg specimen on a Jackall TN60
on Sunday morning. Watson’s only fish for the weekend it secured him $1300,
delivering him 11th place in the boater division and another $500 as
the Daiwa Big Bass prize.
Event naming sponsor Megabass once
again set the bench mark when it comes to sponsorship, adding an additional
$13,000 worth of prizes to the tournament prize pool. The rewards began at the
Friday night briefing with each competitor receiving two complementary Megabass
lures. From here the focus turned the bonus prizes on each session and the
bonus for the largest bass caught on a Megabass for the weekend.
Danny Robinson and Peter Keidge
kicked off the weekend, picking up the lure pack and Destroyer rod
respectively, for the largest bag and largest bass for session one. Session two
saw a continuation of the action with Adrian Melchior securing the Destroyer
rod for the largest bag, while ABT original Ray Sargent claimed the lure pack
for the session’s big bass.
Session three saw a return to the winners circle
for Danny Robinson, claiming the big bag prize, while Malcolm Stewart secured
the session’s big bass. The largest bass caught on a Megabass for the weekend
saw Ray Sargent add to his session two winnings, picking up a $700 Megabass
Destroyer rod for his 2.15kg session two bass.
Megabass’s commitment to the
weekend didn’t end there, with Japanese Bass Pro Kazuki Kodama flying the flag
for Megabass in Japan.
Catching his first Australian bass for the weekend Kodama took to Australian
bassing like a Megabass lure to water. The result was a fitting end to a
fantastic event, which saw three Megabass pros finish in the top ten and the
competitors unanimous in their acknowledgment of the event as one of the best
BASS Pros in recent time.
The next round of the Skeeter BASS
Pro Series sees the tour travel north to Lake Borumba
for the Gamakatsu Lake Borumba BASS Pro, 14/15th June. For more
information or entry forms visit www.australianbass.com.au or phone ABT (07) 3268 7958.
Megabass Somerset Bass Pro Major Boater Results
|11||Harry WATSON||QLD||1||2.72||1||2.72||600 + $500 Daiwa Big
Megabass Lake Somerset BASS Pro Major Non-Boater Results
|1||Heath CRAVEN||QLD||2||1.79||2||2.55||1||2.36||5||6.7||JW Watersnake,
Spotters Sunglasses, Berkley Tackle Bag, Prize pack
|2||Lachlan MCLENNAN||Qld||2||4.11||2||4.11||G.Loomis CBR783 rod,
Shimano Sedona reel, Berkley Tackle Bag, Prize pack
|3||John BRIDER||Qld||1||0.97||1||2.29||2||3.26||Lamiglass XC704BA
rod, Shimano Symetre reel, Berkley Tackle Bag, Prize pack
|4||Adam BYERS||Qld||1||1.33||2||1.81||3||3.14||Pflueger Medalist
rod, Pflueger Summit reel, XTOOLS Pliers, Prize pack
|5||Glen CASEY||NSW||1||1.96||1||1.08||2||3.04||Berkley Dropshot IM6
rod, Berkley Digital Scales, Prize pack
|6||Peter KELLEHER||QLD||2||2.72||2||2.72||Spotters Sunglasses,
|7||Ray SARGENT||QLD||1||2.15||1||2.15||Uglyfish Sunglasses,
|8||Marty VANVEGCHEL||NSW||1||1.94||1||1.94||Tica Thalos Reel,
|9||Dave GEORGE||NSW||2||1.93||2||1.93||Prize pack|
|10||Paul FOOTE||QLD||1||1.65||1||1.65||Prize Pack|
Megabass Bonus Prizes
|Bag||Danny Robinson||1.20||Megabass Lure Pack|
|Bass||Peter Keidge||1.66||Megabass Destroyer Rod|
|Bag||Adrian Melchior||2.40||Megabass Destroyer Rod|
|Bass||Ray Sargent||2.15||Megabass Lure Pack|
|Bag||Danny Robinson||1.82||Megabass Destroyer Rod|
|Bass||Malcomb Stewart||1.20||Megabass Lure Pack|
|Overall||Ray Sargent||2.15||Megabass Destroyer Rod|