Mark Lennox claimed the ultimate prize in tournament BASS
fishing in Australia with
victory in the 2012 Smak Lures BASS Pro Grand Final at Hunter
Valley’s Lake St
Compiling a 6/6, 5.93kg two-day limit to claim the win and
the accolades that come with it Lennox reined supreme in a talented field of
anglers including two former Grand Final winners and four BASS Pro Angler of
the Year winners.
Coming close to denying Lennox
the victory was 19 year old Noosa bass fishing young gun Callum Munro, with the
Berkley Bass Pro falling 720 grams short of claiming the title.
Victory though belonged to Lennox,
with the Armidale angler fishing a combination of blades and soft plastics to
catch his fish each session.
With a game plan built on extensive pre-fishing leading into
the event and information shared with a close network of fellow anglers
including Dean Silvester and Ian Wratten, Lennox
headed straight to his go-to spot, a series of flooded ridgelines in the Carrowbrook
arm, and started catching fish.
“It was the same area that I fished to get 2nd in
the BASS Pro back in April, what differed though was the lure and technique
that I used. At the BASS Pro I just used a blade, this time however I used a
combination of blades and plastics”, explained Lennox.
Starting shallow on the ridgeline Lennox
would work deeper until he pin pointed where the fish were holding.
“The fish wouldn’t really eat the blade they’d just bumped
it. So once I got a bump I’d wind it in and throw out a soft plastic”, explained
The retrieve for the blade was a slow five-wind and pause
retrieve, while the plastic was slow rolled across the bottom.
“It was important to keep the lure in touch with the bottom
and when the lure hit a snag or a rock bumping it aggressively over it would
often trigger a strike”, explained Lennox.
Lennox’s choice of jighead aided in its ability to be bumped
over any obstruction, with the flat profile of his Gamakatsu Flathead jighead
rarely seeing the plastic hanging up. Lennox’s
choice of jighead weight also played a big role.
“I used three different sizes (1/6, 1/4, 3/8oz) and found
the commotion that the jighead made just as important as its sink rate. If the
lure hit the water with a big splash it would quite often get the attention of
a fish and you’d get a bite early in the retrieve or before you even started
the retrieve”, explained Lennox.
approach delivered him six fish in the first session, five in the second and
six in the third. With only seven boats fishing the Carrowbrook arm Lennox was confident that the fish would handle the
pressure over the two days but wasn’t confident that it would produce fish as
big as the Falbrook arm.
“I caught a 1.57kg bag in the first session and I thought
that was about as good as it was going to get, I wasn’t expecting to catch fish
much bigger than this”, explained Lennox.
Lennox was mistaken with
his hot-spot delivering him the biggest bag (2.30kg) for session two and moving
him into the top five. The pattern continued in the final session with Lennox presenting another quality limit to the scales.
The final angler to hit the stage and weigh-in Lennox
only needed 1.66kg to secure the win. With 2.06kg hitting the scales it proved
a comfortable victory, and one that Lennox is
still trying to come to grips with.
“This is only my forth year fishing ABT events and my third
as a boater, so to win against a field as good as this is hard to believe and
very humbling”, explained Lennox.
The victory inscribes Lennox’s name into the ABT record
books and delivers him an expenses paid trip to the USA to fish a bass tournament.
“I can’t wait to make the trip, and I can’t wait for next
year’s BASS Pro Series to begin”, concluded the 2012 Smak Lures BASS Pro Grand
Munro Makes a Move
For event runner-up Callum Munro it was a tournament built
on the experience of the St Clair round earlier in the year and a successful
prefish the day before the tournament.
“I caught fish in the upper reaches of the Carrowbrook arm back
in April so I headed straight their on Friday morning and found that they were
still in the area”, explained Munro.
A 30 minute run from the event start line it was a one
kilometer stretch of bank that Munro found as the hot spot to fish.
“I had two spots on my stretch, a 60 metre long timber
strewn bank with about 10 feet of water over it and another deeper (15-25feet)
rocky edge that had plenty of shade”, explained Munro.
Fishing the timber edge first Munro’s technique was straight
forward soft plastics-to-the-edge fishing, cast the lure to the edge, sink it
to the bottom then lift and drop it across the bottom.
“The key was to make sure the lure stayed in contact with
bottom”, explained Munro.
The bites, as expected, came on the drop as the lure was
sinking back to the bottom.
The approach fired in the first session with Munro catching
his bag quickly then leaving it to save it for the next session.
“I didn’t want to burn the spot, I wanted to make sure I
managed my fish the best I could”, explained Munro.
Heading straight back there in session two Munro found the
fish, but couldn’t get the result that he was looking for.
“I missed a bite on my first cast then pulled the hooks on a
fish on my second. After that they shut down and I couldn’t get another bite”,
Swapping to the shaded bank on the opposite side Munro was
quickly rewarded with a fish, followed by another fish, all with the same lift
and drop soft plastic retrieve.
“The retrieve was the same but it only worked when you cast
the lure in the shade”, explained Munro.
The approach delivered Munro ten fish for the session and
had him sitting in 5th place heading into the final session.
Back to his timbered bank in session three and the result
was the same, no fish.
“I gave it 30 minutes then cut my losses and swapped to the
shaded bank. I missed a fish on my first two casts and thought, oh no please
don’t let it be one of those day”, explained Munro.
His concerns were misplaced with Munro catching a fish on
his 3rd cast, and then another on his 4th cast. A string
of fish followed allowing Munro to upgrade four times and finish the session
with a 1.73kg bag.
Sitting in the hot seat with only Lennox to weigh-in at the
final weigh-in Munro was satisfied with what he’d done but knew he hadn’t done
enough to hold a red-hot Lennox at bay.
“I had the area to myself and caught them, Mark however just
caught them better and caught them bigger”, explained Munro.
The tackle Munro used to claim his best finish to date in a
BASS Pro Grand Final included a 7’2”, 2-4kg Berkley Drop Shot Tournament Pro
rod, Revo Premier 20 reel, 4lb Berkley Fireline Exceed mainline and 6lb Berkley
Two different soft plastics were used to catch his fish,
including a Slider Grub in big bass colour and a goosenberry coloured Berkley
Ripple Shad, both rigged on 1/6oz, size one, Nitro jigheads. Plastic modification
was a strong feature in Munro’s set-up with the Slider shortened extensively
and the tail wrist of the Ripple Shad trimmed to give the tail more movement in
the water. Dipping the tail of both plastics in chartreuse Spike It completed
Luke Lures to Victory
Claiming the non-boater title for 2012 was St Clair bass
addict and BASS Electric organizer Luke Mullholland of Singleton. Putting
together a 6/6, 5.50kg limit to secure the win Mullholland fished a jighead
rigged soft plastic approach both days to catch his fish.
Fishing the Carrowbrook arm of the lake with Alan McNamara
on day one Mullholland fished a combination of rocky edges, points and weed
beds with a cut down muscadene coloured Slider Grub rigged on a 1/8oz Bassman
“We focused on the 25 feet depth range, cast the plastic to
the edge, let it sink then worked it back with a series of twitches and
shakes”, explained Mullholland.
The technique delivering him his first fish at 8am and his
second about 15 minutes later.
Session two was a repeat performance with Mullholland once
again twitching and shaking his plastics out from the edge.
“It was a lot windier in session two so I upped the jighead
to a 1/6oz to keep in contact with the lure”, explained Mullholland.
30 minutes into the session and he had his limit and a bag
that moved him from 4th to 1st.
A successful day two was the key to winning but with a
change in location from day one Luke wasn’t confident that he was going to get
them like he did the day before.
“I was fishing with Wayne Beazley up the Falbrook arm and the
country didn’t look as promising as the day before. There wasn’t as much weed,
the banks were more gently sloping and it didn’t seem to have that fishy feel”,
Using his successful twitch and shake soft plastic approach
Mullholland was soon rewarded picking up his first fish at 8.30am and his
second at 9.30am. Weighing in the
largest non-boater bag for the session Mulholland took his 680gram lead and
extended it into a 720gram winning margin, a truly convincing win considering
the closeness of the weights over the two days of competition.
The tackle Mullholland used to secure the win included a
Duffrod, Shimano Stradic CI4 2500 reel, spooled with 4lb Berkley Fireline and
4lb Sunline FC Rock leader. With maximum ranking points for the Grand Final win
Luke has rocketed up the rankings points, and now sits in 19th, a
vast improvement over his previous 49th.
The Smak Lures BASS Pro Grand Final draws the curtain on
another BASS Pro season for angler and sponsors alike. BASS Pro season 2013
will kick off in February so stay tuned to www.australianbass.com.au later
this year to check out the dates and venues for 2013.
Outfit 1- Samurai Reaction 002 rod, Shimano Twin Power 2500
reel, 6lb Unitika PE, 6lb Toray fluorocarbon leader.
Outfit 2- Berkley Drop Shot Tournament Pro rod, Megabass
Luvito reel, 6lb Unitika PE, 6lb Toray fluorocarbon leader.
Lures- Yamba Prawn blade (custom colour), Slider Grub
(watermelon/red-copper) cut-down to the D, rigged on 1/6, 1/4, 3/8oz hand
painted Gamakatsu Flathead jigheads, rigged with a size 8 stinger hook and tail
dipped in chartreuse Spike It.
Fished the less pressured Carrowbrook arm so his fish would
sustain angling pressure across three sessions. Selected a more snag proof
jighead that he could bump over structure and made a bigger splash when it hit
|BASS Pro: St Clair BASS Pro Grand Final
|1||Mark LENNOX||NSW||2||2.06||2||1.57||2||2.3||6||5.93||Trip to the USA|
|2||Callum MUNRO||Qld||2||1.67||2||2.13||2||1.73||6||5.53||Engel Fridge/freezer|
|3||Alan MCNAMARA||NSW||2||1.73||2||1.88||2||1.8||6||5.41||Uglyfish Eyewear|
|4||Daniel CLANCY||NSW||2||2.35||1||0.99||2||1.97||5||5.31||Uglyfish Eyewear|
|5||Peter PHELPS||NSW||2||1.76||2||2.08||2||1.28||6||5.12||Uglyfish Eyewear|
Pro: St Clair BASS Pro Grand Final Non-Boater Results
|1||Luke MULHOLLAND||NSW||2||1.73||2||1.96||2||1.81||6||5.5||Hobie Pro Angler kayak|
|2||Shaun FALKENHAGEN||Qld||2||1.47||2||1.54||2||1.77||6||4.78||Engel Fridge/freezer|
|3||Dylan MOTT||QLD||2||1.91||1||0.81||1||0.98||4||3.7||Duffrods Jigstik rod|
|4||Greg MITCHELL||QLD||2||1.65||2||1.68||4||3.33||Uglyfish Eyewear|
|5||Ray HOLMES||Qld||2||1.1||2||1.39||1||0.67||5||3.16||Uglyfish Eyewear|