Bjelke Fires for Mega Bass at Yamaha Megabucks

FOURTEEN sponsored teams experienced some of the best bass fishing Queensland has to offer at Bjelke-Petersen dam for the third Yamaha BASS Megabucks event. And amongst a field that presented the weighmaster with huge limit after huge limit, Toowoomba’s Mullet Gut Marine team of David Green and Carl Jocumsen topped the board with a tournament total of 12 bass for 21.81kg.

“I’ve never really liked fishing BP – until this weekend,” Carl said as he described the weekend’s fishing as, “the most awesome edge bite with quality fish,” that he’d experienced. His partner, Green, also described the edge fishing as ‘unbelievable’ as nearly 40 quality bass attacked their lipless vibration baits over the three ‘skins’ style sessions.
With bass averaging 1.5kg a piece, nearly half the field shared in the session paycheques, however, team Lowrance amassed the second biggest weight for the weekend (12/12, 20.45kg) with team Stessco placing third with 12 fish for 19.48kg.
A lipless crankbait pattern dominated competitors’ catches for the weekend, with the top three teams and the biggest bass of the tournament all falling to this reaction baiting technique.
Carl Jocumsen and David Green worked well as a team. Carl fished the front of the boat with an Ayu coloured Jackall Mask Vib70 while David cleaned up the fish Carl missed on a hard version of the same lure – an Ayu coloured TN70.
“Our pattern was pretty simple,” Carl explained, “we fished shallow banks that had patches of spindly sticks in the shallows. We’d cast right up amongst the sticks into the shallows and wind the lure slowly – so that it bumped on the bottom periodically for the whole retrieve.”
“Most of the time, the boat was sitting in 6 to 8 feet of water and sometimes, we were casting into only a foot,” Carl continued.
The guys said that the strike zone was anywhere from the first couple of cranks through to when the lure rose under the boat.
“When the bite was slower, the soft Jackall definitely got more bites, but when the bass were really biting, the lures produced equally,” he said.
The team landed 20 bass in the first session, 10 in the second and only eight in the third, with a pile of fat yellowbelly as by-catch.
Carl fished a 7′ Millerods Blademaster Lite ‘Spiral Wrap’ paired with a Shimano Chronarch reel, 10lb Fireline and 8.5kg Water King leader while Green fished heavier with an Angler Stealth 7′ 842 baitcaster, Chronarch SF reel, 20lb Tuff Line braid and a 16kg Water King leader.
“I hooked a couple of fish on the weekend that ran me all over the place before pulling the hooks. I would have liked to see one particular fish from the last session. It took line at will and even the baitcast gear was having difficulty moving it from the depths,” Carl lamented.
The pair earned $3,250 for a second, first and third skin placing.
Team Lowrance continued their excellent Megabucks form with two second placings and a session big bass earning $2,500. Harry Watson and Peter Keidge fished more steeply sloping banks – especially those with rocks or rocky rubble showing above the waterline.
Also using Jackalls, the pair opted for smaller baits – TN60s in Ayu or Chameleon colours.
“We’d cast diagonally along the bank in front of the boat and take a few turns of the retrieve before letting the lure sink to the bottom. The strike zone was mainly the first few turns off the bottom after that first sink,” Watson explained.
Their boat typically sat in 10 to 12 feet and they chose banks that had access to deep water.
“The weather changed three times during the weekend and the bass bit well through all of the changes, which was fantastic,” Keidge observed, “usually bass sulk after a change comes through, but this weekend, they just wanted to keep eating.”
Peter’s favourite outfit included a G Loomis CBR843 with a TDZ Daiwa baitcaster loaded with 15lb Playpus Super Braid while a G Loomis 783CBR, Shimano Scorpion reel and 12lb SuperBraid was Watson’s weapon. Both used 20lb Siglon leader.
Lowrance also assessed Bjelke’s bass performance as ‘a great reaction bite’. And the rest of the field agreed. Harry and Peter landed at least 45 legal bass over the event.
Local guide Matthew Mott landed the biggest bass of the weekend and earned his place on the Greg Fernance Memorial Trophy with a 2.35kg brute that ate a Duel 3D Vib.
“It’s about time that this dam fired during a tournament,” Mott said, “there’s a lot of big bass in here [the dam] and the teams here all saw the potential of this place.”
Team Samios Foods earned a $4000 Yamaha voucher in the lucky draw – suitable compensation for, but unrelated to, their last placing in the tournament.
Bassers now look forward to the 2004 Yamaha BASS Pro Grand Final, which will be held at Lake Boondooma on the first weekend of October.

SESSION 1: Saturday 6am to 11am.
Place Team FISH WEIGHT Payout
1 IDEAL ELECTRICAL: Ian Galloway and Jesper Noiesen 4 7.81 $2,000
2 MULLET GUT MARINE: Carl Jocumsen and David Green 4 7.49 $1,000
3 MR T’S TINNIES: Gavin Dunne and Colin Singleton 4 6.99 $250
4 FISHING N BITS: Trevor Stead and Bob Town 4 6.93
5 HUSTON NISSAN: Mathew Mott and John Schofield 4 6.86 $500
6 BERKLEY: Jason Ehrlich and Kerry Ehrlich 4 6.81
7 LOWRANCE: Harry Watson and Peter Keidge 4 6.78
8 MOREE BOYS: Mick Clarke and Marty Van-Vegchel 4 6.47
9 SAMIOS FOODS 2: Spiro Zantiotis and Jamie Kanowski 4 6.13
10 CBT: John Fooks and Michael Weger 4 6.01
11 STESSCO: Craig Simmons and Stephen Kanowski 4 5.62
12 BASSMAN: Barry Oxford and Joshua Hockings 4 4.45
13 SAMIOS FOODS 1: Tony Zantiotis and Mark Krzysica 1 0.86
14 AQUA SIGNAL: Mark Lawson and Peter Morgan 1 0.59
Big Bass HUSTON NISSAN 2.35kg
SESSION 2: 1pm to 6pm
Place Team FISH WEIGHT Payout
1 MULLET GUT MARINE: Carl Jocumsen and David Green 4 8.14 $2,000
2 LOWRANCE: Harry Watson and Peter Keidge 4 6.86 $1,000
3 HUSTON NISSAN: Mathew Mott and John Schofield 4 6.85 $750
4 FISHING N BITS: Trevor Stead and Bob Town 4 6.18
5 STESSCO: Craig Simmons and Stephen Kanowski 4 6.11
6 MR T’S TINNIES: Gavin Dunne and Colin Singleton 4 5.60
7 CBT: John Fooks and Michael Weger 4 5.50
8 SAMIOS FOODS 2: Spiro Zantiotis and Jamie Kanowski 4 5.20
9 IDEAL ELECTRICAL: Ian Galloway and Jesper Noiesen 4 5.15
10 BERKLEY: Jason Ehrlich and Kerry Ehrlich 4 4.07
11 AQUA SIGNAL: Mark Lawson and Peter Morgan 4 3.79
12 BASSMAN: Barry Oxford and Joshua Hockings 2 3.70
13 SAMIOS FOODS 1: Tony Zantiotis and Mark Krzysica 2 2.60
13 MOREE BOYS: Mick Clarke and Marty Van-Vegchel 2 2.60
Big Bass HUSTON NISSAN 2.21kg
SESSION 3:6am to 11am.
Place Team FISH WEIGHT Payout
1 STESSCO: Craig Simmons and Stephen Kanowski 4 7.75 $2,000
2 LOWRANCE: Harry Watson and Peter Keidge 4 6.81 $1,000
3 MULLET GUT MARINE: Carl Jocumsen and David Green 4 6.18 $250
4 MR T’S TINNIES: Gavin Dunne and Colin Singleton 4 6.11
5 BERKLEY: Jason Ehrlich and Kerry Ehrlich 4 5.91
6 MOREE BOYS: Mick Clarke and Marty Van-Vegchel 4 5.90
7 AQUA SIGNAL: Mark Lawson and Peter Morgan 4 5.80
8 CBT: John Fooks and Michael Weger 4 5.47
9 SAMIOS FOODS 2: Spiro Zantiotis and Jamie Kanowski 4 5.45
10 IDEAL ELECTRICAL: Ian Galloway and Jesper Noiesen 4 5.10
11 SAMIOS FOODS 1: Tony Zantiotis and Mark Krzysica 4 5.05
12 HUSTON NISSAN: Mathew Mott and John Schofield 4 5.01
13 BASSMAN: Barry Oxford and Joshua Hockings 3 3.89
14 FISHING N BITS: Trevor Stead and Bob Town 2 2.52
Big Bass LOWRANCE 2.20kg
Place Team TOTAL FISH TOTAL WEIGHT TOTAL PAYOUT
1 MULLET GUT MARINE: Carl Jocumsen and David Green 12 21.81 $3,250
2 LOWRANCE: Harry Watson and Peter Keidge 12 20.45 $2,500
3 STESSCO: Craig Simmons and Stephen Kanowski 12 19.48 $2,000
4 HUSTON NISSAN: Mathew Mott and John Schofield 12 18.72 $1,250
5 MR T’S TINNIES: Gavin Dunne and Colin Singleton 12 18.70 $250
5 IDEAL ELECTRICAL: Ian Galloway and Jesper Noiesen 12 18.06 $2,000
5 CBT: John Fooks and Michael Weger 12 16.98
5 BERKLEY: Jason Ehrlich and Kerry Ehrlich 12 16.79
5 SAMIOS FOODS 2: Spiro Zantiotis and Jamie Kanowski 12 16.78
5 FISHING N BITS: Trevor Stead and Bob Town 10 15.63
5 MOREE BOYS: Mick Clarke and Marty Van-Vegchel 10 14.97
5 BASSMAN: Barry Oxford and Joshua Hockings 9 12.04
5 AQUA SIGNAL: Mark Lawson and Peter Morgan 9 10.18
5 SAMIOS FOODS 1: Tony Zantiotis and Mark Krzysica 7 8.51 $4000 Yamaha Voucher