South Burnett’s Lake Boondooma
played host to the Daiwa sponsored second round of the 2009 BASS Pro Series,
with 67 boats and 130 anglers making the trip to the resurgent bass fishery on
Australia’s iconic Anzac Day weekend.
Boondooma produced contrasting
angling for competitors with XOS bass offset by an inconsistent and frustrating
bite. Sunday morning’s session was the toughest of all, with six out of the top
ten at the end of day one failing to weigh in a fish on the final day.
Consistency across all three
sessions was the key for success, with BASS original Mike Creighton following
this approach to a T to secure his first BASS Pro win. Weighing fish each
session Creighton compiled a 4/6, 4.83kg limit to claim the $3500 prize cheque
and relegate session one and two leader Matt Anderson to second place (3/6,
Targeting schooled and scattered
fish in the middle reaches of the dam Creighton spent his entire tournament
fishing one bay and gully.
“This was the first time in ten
years that I’ve done this and it paid off”, explained the Boondooma BASS Pro
Fishing from the edge of the weedline
to deep into the bay Creighton worked his way through the gully in a drift that
was about three to four hundred metres long.
Finding big fish in the deep on the
prefish Creighton was surprised to discover that they had vanished when he
arrived there early Saturday morning.
“I was banking on the big fish that
I’d found on Friday, and when they didn’t appear on the sounder I had little
choice but to head up into the shallows and work my way out deeper in an
attempt to find them”, explained Creighton.
Ranging in depth from 12 to 25 feet
Creighton presented a copper coloured 1/4oz Evergreen Little Max Blade to the
bass holding in the area, working the lure with a quick double hop-n-drop
The move to the shallows paid off
with Creighton quickly adding a 1.51kg bass to the well. Eating the blade as he
wound his lure back it, it proved to be his only legal for the session.
Bagging out in session two Mike found
the fish deeper, picking them up in 20-25 feet of water.
“They’d scattered out wide in the afternoon
session and were now eating the lure on the drop”, explained Creighton.
Long searching casts were the order
of the day, with Creighton sinking the lure to the bottom before commencing the
double hop retrieve back to the boat.
“Staying tight with the lure as it
sank after the hop was the key to feeling the bites and catching fish”,
Session three on Sunday morning
delivered one fish for Creighton, with 2009 Boondooma BASS Pro victor adding a
loan 1.54kg bass to his well.
“It was a nail biting experience
catching the big one on Sunday morning. It had the blade lightly pinned on the
outside of the mouth, and I’m sure if it turned the other way and had gone for
a decent run the lure would have come out”, explained a relieved Creighton.
The gear used by Creighton to score
his maiden victory included a 7′ G.Loomis PR844S IMX rod, matched to a Daiwa
103 Steez reel, and spooled with 15lb Castaway PE line.
“The stiffness of the popping rod
was crucial when it came to working the lure. If I was using a softer tipped
rod it would have been difficult to hop and work the lure in the aggressive manner
that the fish wanted”, explained Mike.
A popular and gracious winner at
the Sunday afternoon presentation, Creighton was uncertain on how he was going
to spend his winnings.
“My brother in Canada is keen for
me to come across and go salmon fishing with him, so that’s one of the options.
We’ll have to wait and see though”, explained the ABT stalwart.
Stumbling at the final hurdle was
event runner-up Matt Anderson who led for the first two sessions before going
fishless in the final session and returning to the weigh-in empty handed.
“Second is a satisfying result but
I’m disappointed that I couldn’t close it out”, explained Anderson.
Fishing a 20-30 feet deep bay in
the Stuart arm of the lake, Anderson
targeted schooled and scattered fish hugging the bottom.
“I found heaps of fish in this spot
on the prefish and headed straight back there in the first session and had two
in the well in the first 15 casts”, explained Anderson.
Fishing a Jackall Mask in ayu
worked the lure across the bottom with a two hop, then drop retrieve.
“Carl gave me some valuable tips on
fishing Masks in the lead-up to the tournament, the most important one being to
sink the lure on a tight line so you can feel the bite”, explained Anderson.
Hitting the ground running with the
technique Matt delivered the biggest bag to scales in session one (3.69kg), and
sat similarly positioned in the number one spot at the end of the second
session. Heading off first on Sunday morning he was in a prime position to make
it a wire-to-wire victory.
A tougher day dawned on day two
previously fish rich location suffering under the angling pressure and
“The big fish vanished and I caught
nothing but undersize fish”, explained the Boondooma BASS Pro runner-up.
Resigning himself to living or die in
the ditch he’d chosen Anderson
worked hard during the session but drove away with nothing additional to add to
his score card.
“This is only my second event as a
boater, so ultimately I’m happy that I did as well as I did”, explained the
Moree based basser.
The tackle used by Anderson to present his
Jackall Masks included a Millerod Blade Master Camofish rod, matched to a
Shimano Core reel, and spooled with 10lb Berkley Fireline and 12lb Berkley
While the $2,250 prize cheque
delivered a welcome injection into Anderson’s
fishing fund, it perhaps more rewardingly presented him with a berth into the
2009 BASS Pro Grand Final at Somerset
Claiming honours in the non-boater
division and winning by over a kilo was 18 year old Fish n’ Bits Tackle Store staffer,
Ashley Sims of Toowoomba, (4/4, 4.47kg).
Fishing with Mike Connolly on day
one Sims fished the Pelican Point area of the dam targeting schooled and
scattered fish hugging the bottom in 20-28 feet of water.
“They were reasonably inactive
taking eating lures sporadically as their mood switched one and off”, explained
Fishing the ever-popular Jackall
Mask in ayu and gold shiner colours, Sims worked the lure across the bottom and
through the scattered fish with a double hop n’ drop retrieve. One of the gun
approaches for the weekend it delivered Sims the second biggest bag limit for
the tournament (3.48kg), fueled by the then leading Daiwa Big Bass.
Day two saw a change of location
with the champion non-boater fishing similar depth bay in the middle reaches of
the dam with Dave Reynolds. Picking up where he left off on day one with the
Mask, Sims continued to put bass in the boat, compiling a more reserved 0.99kg
“The fish were still active they
just weren’t as big as the two bruisers I caught on Saturday afternoon”,
explained the Boondooma non-boating champion.
Sims choice of tackle included a
7’2″ Shimano Raider rod, Shimano 1000 Saros reel, spooled with 4lb Berkley
Fireline and 8lb Unitika leader.
Claiming the number one spot in the
non-boater division delivered Sims his best performance to date on the BASS Pro
tour and along with the top seven placed non-boaters sees him on his way to
BASS Pro Grand Final. Picking up maximum AOY points with his win it also puts
him a good position in the race for non-boating BASS Pro Angler of Year title.
The Daiwa Big Bass Prize changed
hands many times for the weekend, with the mark jumping from 1.89kg in session
one, to 1.97kg in session two and finally coming to rest on 2.30kg in session
three. NSW baser Steve McLean saved his best to last catching the prize winning
bass in the final hour of the tournament on an Ecogear VX35 burning back to the
boat in a bay in the Boyne
River arm of the dam.
“We’d been using a slower
presentation then changed to a burn method as a bit of a switch up and it paid
dividends”, explained the Daiwa Big Bass winner.
As the single biggest bass for the
tournament it delivered McLean $500 and a
Daiwa Advantage baitcaster reel for his efforts.
The Daiwa rewards for the weekend
continued with a merchandise pack on offer each session for the biggest bag
caught on a Daiwa reel. Session one saw third placed boater Bill Schloss claim
the prize for his 2.5kg limit, while session two was picked up by champion
boater Mike Creighton and session three by Bruce Moss.
The Daiwa Bonus for the first
angler to weigh in wearing the Daiwa hat was Karen Berry, who delivered a
1.25kg bass to the scales early on Saturday morning to claim the $200 Daiwa
Gift Pack. Event victor Mike Creighton further cashed in for the weekend,
picking up the $500 Skeeter Bonus Bucks and $400 Sunline Product Bonus.
The Daiwa presented Boondooma event
was a fitting start to the Queensland
legs of the series, with picture perfect weather, challenging fishing, and a
council and local community family fun day adding to the spectacle of the
event. With a successful stage based weigh-in utilized for the Sunday weigh-in,
this style of event is sure to be a sign of things to come for tournament
ABT would like to thank all those
involved for the weekend, including the South Burnett Council, Lake Boondooma
Camping and Recreation Area, Lake Boondooma Fishing Stocking Association and
Kingaroy Sportfishing Club.
Fore more information on the ABT
BASS Pro Series visit www.australianbass.com.au or phone ABT (07) 3387 0888 (b/h).
|1||Mike Creighton||1||1.51||2||1.78||1||1.54||4||4.83||$3500 + Battery Traders Super Store $50 Voucher|
|2||Matt Anderson||2||3.69||1||0.61||3||4.3||$2250 + Battery Traders Super Store $50 Voucher|
|3||Bill Schloss||2||2.5||1||0.76||1||0.42||4||3.68||$1250 + Battery Traders Super Store $50 Voucher|
|4||Matthew Mott||1||0.59||2||0.83||2||2.13||5||3.55||$900 + Battery Traders Super Store $50 Voucher|
|5||Scott Dakin||2||2.17||2||1.3||4||3.47||$800 + Battery Traders Super Store $50 Voucher|
|51||Ross King Morris||1||0.53||1||0.53|
|1||Ashley Sims||2||3.48||2||0.99||4||4.47||Jarvis Marine Watersnake electric motor, Bass To Barra $50
Voucher, + Prize Pack
|2||Marty Van Vegchel||2||1.93||1||0.94||1||0.58||4||3.45||Blue Acres Lamiglass rod, Daiwa Advantage reel, Bass To Barra
$50 Voucher, + Prize Pack
|3||Steve McLean||1||0.54||2||2.87||3||3.41||Blue Acres Lamiglass rod, Bass To Barra $50 Voucher,+ Prize
|4||Jake Schwerin||2||1.76||2||0.92||1||0.54||5||3.22||Team Daiwa Advantage rod + Prize Pack|
|5||Paul Phillips||1||1.81||2||1.27||3||3.08||TT Prize Pack + Prize pack|
|6||David Melrose||1||0.82||1||0.45||2||1.78||4||3.05||Spotters Prize Pack + Prize Pack|
|7||Jaimen Tunstall||2||1.47||2||1.27||4||2.74||Uglyfish Eyewear Prize Pack + Prize Pack|
|8||Matt Hawkless||2||1.27||1||0.79||1||0.62||4||2.68||Tica spin reel + Prize Pack|
|9||John Picton||2||2.03||1||0.47||3||2.5||Shakespeare Agility rod + Prize Pack|
|10||Andrew Baunch||2||1.46||1||0.81||3||2.27||Shimano Catana rod + Prize Pack|
|37||Jayson deForrest Haddleton||1||0.49||1||0.49|