After a year of second place finishes, our victor Wayne Reed (6/6, 6.73kg) could rejoice for all his hard work. Leading after session one over two time AOY champ Steve Kanowski, the pair had swapped places after session two, with a mere 30 grams separating them.
The all important Sunday final session was always going to be tough, but the epic tale that secured Reed his first BASS Pro win and more importantly the Grand Final win is a story of endurance and a true test of not only an angler’s skill but also nerve and mindset.
Having visited the dam over the last few months, Reed commented “there is no substitute time on the water”. With his eyes glued on his Humminbird 787, Reed’s prefish was one watching the bass and identifying feeding fish.
“It is hard to pattern fish at Glenbawn, so looking at bass flat lined on the sounder screen compared to arches foraging in the weed allows you to target active fish,” said Reed.
Reed equipped himself with two Duffrod Kustom Fishing Tool TPF76213 7’6”, 1-3kg rods. One with a Daiwa Steez 2508, the other a new Daiwa Certate 2000 and both spooled with 6lb Rovex braid. He used 6lb Sunline Rockfish fluorocarbon and downsized to 5lb on the Sunday.
“I prefer the 7’6” slow action rod because it can absorb the shock and I don’t strike as much as load up by *****ing my wrist,” he explained.
His lures of choice consisted of a 3” Berkley Bass Minnow in emerald shiner rigged on a TT 1/8 size 1, 1/0 jighead and a smaller 2” Berkley Micro Minnow in pumpkinseed rigged on a TT 1/8 size 2, heavy wire jighead.
Reed also painted the jigheads in watermelon colour powder and baked them in the oven, the eventual colour being closer to olive described Reed.
“The idea of the paint is to dull up the jighead so it provides more of a silhouette in the water,” he said.
Using the 3” emerald shiner Bass Minnows early in the day, Reed’s first spot was up the back of the dam, a rock wall point that progressed into a bay. Positioning his Basscat boat in 15-17ft of water Reed would cast to the edge of the bank that had a 30 degree slope and hop the lure back to the boat finding the bass would hit about half way back.
“I looked for the brighter weed edges rather than the slime. This area was more prone to hold baitfish and therefore bass,” he illustrated.
Reed’s second spot was a rock wall opposite the 8 knot zone. Using the same technique, it was a big fish area and Reed claims he actually lost a kicker fish Saturday afternoon.
“I downsized to the 2” Micro Minnow and proceeded to catch bass after bass. In hindsight perhaps I should have rested the area after catching my limit,” he said.
With just 30 grams separating him from the lead, Reed headed to his first spot on Sunday morning and found with the pressure the bass had moved deeper and were feeding on gudgeons.
Scoring 6 hits and getting blown away twice, Reed had one in the live well before he deciding to head towards ‘The Boot’.
It was travelling to this location that he had engine troubles and was effectively immobilised. With a generous Skeeter owner soon pulling alongside, Reed was towed back to the start line with his Grand Final hopes in pieces.
“I arrived at the tag board with half an hour to go. I knew I needed two fish to win and thought never give up. I jumped on the electric and started looking for fish because you can’t buy a Grand Final victory,” depicted Reed.
Moving out to his favourite depth, 12ft of water, Reed began looking to the edges for some weed.
“I spotted a line on the sounder and thought there is a bass foraging for a feed. I threw in the 3” Bass Minnow and got a tap. I quickly ripped it in and threw the 2” Micro Minnow back to the fish and whack, I was on,” described Reed.
“With 30 seconds of playing the fish I was just repeating stay in hook, stay in hook,” he continued.
“I powered back to the tag board under electric knowing Killer had to get his two and Greeny needed a 3kg bag to win. At no stage did I believe I couldn’t get the fish, but it was hard work,” Reed explained.
Weighing in his final limit straight after Kanowski, he knew the challenger had fallen short and had only managed one fish. In the back of his mind was the two second place finishes he had suffered earlier this year and a sense of relief fell upon him as the scales ticked over to 1.86kg and he had finally rounded out a tournament win.
Kanowski had battled hard and had relied on a milk run of spots built up over 10 years of tournament history at the venue including Pumphouse Bay, the Big House and points around The Boot.
His lure of choice was a 3” paddletail grub (brand un-named) in a brown/green colour with green fleck rigged on a 1/4oz jighead (brand un-named).
His gear consisted of a Pflueger 701 rod and an Arbor reel spooled with 4lb Stren Microfuse and 6lb Stren fluorocarbon leader.
“The shallow banks I was fishing had a lot of slime. After casting the plastic in, if you didn’t get a bite after 2-3 hops, you would have to wind in and clean the slime off before casting again,” he explained.
His first two fish on Saturday morning came from the dam wall area, from then on it was a matter of swapping spots and slow rolling the soft plastic presentation over the snags and weed searching for fish.
Unfortunately for Kanowski the final Sunday session was tough. Getting three bites and only converting this to one fish in the live well meant that he came agonisingly close to his first BASS Pro Grand Final win.
Champion non boater Luke Novak (4/6, 4.85kg) set up his victory in session two fishing with Steve Almond. The pair undoubtedly landing the best limits of the tournament, Novak the only angler to crack the 3kg mark.
Heading out on Sunday with Greg Parkes, Novak was in second place behind 2008 Non Boater BASS Pro Grand Final champ Daniel Quarmby. Finding a solitary kilo fish did the trick for Novak when Quarmby came back empty handed and he was able to hold off a fast finishing Kris George, the 2010 Non Boater AOY champ.
Novak used a 7” Shimano T-Curve Flight 1-4kg rod matched to a Daiwa Heartland 2000 reel spooled with 3lb Stren Microfuse and 6lb Sunline Shooter Green fluorocarbon.
He used a Berkley 3” Bass Minnow in pumpkinseed and pearl watermelon rigged on a TT 1/8 headhunter size 4 jighead.
Fishing the cliff edges in the 8 knot zone, Novak explained that in 40 feet of water he would cast to the shady pockets of the nearby timber, count down to 12 letting the lure sink before hopping back to the boat.
“If I didn’t have a hit within 3-4 metres of the retrieve, I would burn the lure back in and make another cast,” he explained.
His big fish of session 2 came from a shallow bay adjacent to the cliffs.
“I pitched a cast into about 3 feet of muddy water at a nearby bank when the big bass nailed it,” he continued.
Day two saw Novak changing tact and fishing weed edges.
“The conditions were glassed out and the smelt were flicking on the surface,” described Novak.
Flicking the Bass Minnow to these targets, Novak was able to shake the lure off the bottom before letting it freefall again. As he felt a tap, he set the hook and was able to land the 1.01kg bass that ultimately won him the tournament.
At the presentation the Smak sponsored Ian Black Memorial Trophy was awarded to Alan McNamara for the best and fairest angler of the year. A surprised McNamara who had attended the event as an eager onlooker was awarded the prize by stalwart Matthew Mott for his bravery and camaraderie earlier in the year when he rescued some fellow competitors who had been thrown from their boat.
All bass anglers now look forward to the 2011 BASS Pro season and the Motorguide BASS Electric Convention at Lake Cania in October.
For more information visit www.australianbass.com.au or phone ABT on 07 3387 0888.
|ABT BASS Pro Series:
Quantum BASS Pro Grand Final Boater Results
|1||Wayne REED||NSW||2||2.46||2||2.41||2||1.86||6||6.73||Trip to USA to fish a tournament, Quantum reel|
|2||Stephen KANOWSKI||QLD||2||2.24||2||2.66||1||0.96||5||5.86||Lowrance HDS5 sounder|
|3||David GREEN||QLD||2||2.08||2||1.84||2||1.64||6||5.56||Engel 40l Fridge|
|4||Matthew MOTT||QLD||2||1.6||2||2.04||2||1.48||6||5.12||Quantum reel|
|5||Toby WILSON||NSW||2||1.47||2||2.15||1||1.21||5||4.83||Engel 60l Esky|
BASS Pro Series: Quantum BASS Pro Grand Final Non-Boater Results
|1||Luke NOVAK||NSW||1||0.71||2||3.13||1||1.01||4||4.85||Lowrance HDS5 sounder|
|2||Kris GEORGE||QLD||2||1.83||1||1.06||2||1.69||5||4.58||Engel 40l Fridge|
|3||Daniel QUARMBY||NSW||2||2.35||2||2.11||4||4.46||Millerod & Quantum reel|
|4||Ashley SIMS||Qld||1||1.26||2||2.28||1||0.8||4||4.34||Quantum reel|
|5||Michael SKINNER||NSW||2||1.54||2||1.72||4||3.26||Engel 60l Esky|