Queensland’s Hinze Dam produced a nail biting finish in the
final round of the 2012 Bluefin Boats BASS Electric Series with 27 year old
Brisbane basser Jeremy McConnell charging through from 14th on the
final day of competition to secure victory in the Blue Fin Boats BASS Electric
Convention, 27-28th October.
In only his 2nd year fishing the BASS Electric
Series McConnell finished atop of the tournament tree in the biggest event of
the 2012 series, relegating a talented field of anglers to thoughts of what
might have been including 2nd place Dave Mann, and 3rd place Dean Thomson.
Victory for McConnell was a result of a calculated risk with
the Convention champ making the long run (9 kilometres each way) to the eastern
of the dam in search of bigger and less pressured fish.
“I knew the western arm would get a lot more pressure, so
after a prefish on the eastern arm three weeks before the convention, where I
caught a handful of good fish, I decided to make the long run in the hope of
finding untouched water”, explained McConnell.
The gamble paid off, in the end, but after a conservative
day one McConnell wasn’t too sure.
“I was hoping for big fish but I only caught three fish for
the session and my bag weighed 1.18kg. While I got my limit I was frustrated
because I dropped a 40 next to the boat”, explained McConnell.
With a missed opportunity under his belt McConnell started
the day in 14th place and headed off knowing that he was going to need
big fish to bite if he was going to haul in the leaders and that’s exactly how
it played out.
“My first came between 9 and 10am, then the second one came
half and hour later. Thankfully they were both good fish”, explained McConnell.
His first fish measured 41cm while his second tipped the
tape at 42cm.
“One good fish was nice but to get two was fantastic”,
His second fish nearly didn’t make it into the bag with
McConnell having to electric after the fish to pull it out of the snag.
With the bites being aggressive hard hits and fights
McConnell picked a lure and a reaction presentation best suited to the terrain
that he was fishing and the mood of the fish.
“The banks were gentle sloping with spindly timber scattered
over it so I fished to my strength, throwing spinnerbaits”, explained
With his boat positioned in about 3-4 metres of water
McConnell would cast tight to the edge then slow roll the spinnerbait back to
“It was important to keep the lure in touch with the bottom
and hitting the timber the timber as much as possible”, explained McConnell.
With a winning margin of 40grams it was a narrow win and one
that McConnell didn’t think he had.
“I thought I might have had enough weight on the final day
to jump up into the top five, but when they read my name out as the winner I
couldn’t believe it”, explained McConnell.
Mann Swings from the
While the final presentation was joyous for McConnell it was
tinged with disappointment for day one leader and ultimately, event runner-up,
Dave Mann. Weighing in a solid limit both days (1.97kg & 1.70kg), Mann was
the most consistent angler over both days, and was piped at the post by
McConnell’s kicker final day bag.
Fishing Ian’s Island close
to the event start line Mann fished two specific trees (6 metres apart),
alternating between them throughout both days. Keying in on the trees as the
hot spots during the Friday prefish, it was the strong showing of fish on his
sounder around each tree that held his attention.
“I’d tie up to each tree, let out some rope so I was a good
distanced from the tree (34 feet deep) then I’d fish directly to sounded fish
(20 feet deep) below the boat with soft plastics”, explained Mann.
The technique that followed was very much typical NSW deep
finesse fishing, sink the plastic to the bottom then slow roll the plastic back
to the surface super slow.
“You crank the reel handle so it was just moving, you wanted
to keep the lure in front of the fish as long as possible, yet still have the
plastic beating away’, explained Mann.
While the fish were always there on the sounder, they didn’t
always bite. Day one was the standout, while day two was tougher.
“I had my first fish on Saturday by 7.15am and my limit by
10.30. In total I caught eight fish for the session. While I got my limit early
on day two I could only manage two for the day”, explained Mann.
Mann’s fish management proved the key, with him leaving the
fish anytime he caught on.
“Once I pulled a fish I’d rest the spot for 45 minutes to an
hour. I found if I stayed and kept fishing they would shut down”, explained
With the fish more often then not biting on his return it
was a leave em’ and return approach that definitely worked.
While his approach was well calculated so was his tackle
selection and its modification. Fishing a camo coloured 3” Berkley Gulp Minnow
Grub dyed black (a camo one dyed black still has the red fleck through it
compared to using a manufactured black version), cut short and with a trimmed
tail, Mann rigged it on a 1/4oz TT jighead coloured in with a black texta, then
coated it heavily with Smelly Jelly. In addition to this he soaked it in Bang
after every second cast.
“Adding Bang to it every second cast may seem excessive but
what it does do is create a trail of scent right through the water column where
the fish are holding. I think this helps encourage them to bite”, explained
The remainder of Mann’s tackle included a Samurai Reaction
201 rod, Shimano 1000 Stella FE reel, 8lb Berkley Exceed PE, and a 15 foot long
leader of 6lb Nitlon fluorocarbon.
Mann’s result was his highest to date in a Bluefin Boats
BASS Electric Convention, with the Danjeera BASS Electric Organiser securing
some healthy ranking points and finishing his bass year on a high.
“It’s been a great year on the tour, the lakes have fished
well, I’ve had some great results and I can’t wait to hit the water to do it
all again next year.
Next year’s Bluefin Boats BASS Electric Series will kick off
again in early 2013, stay tuned to www.australianbass.com.au or grab a copy of the 2013 ABT Tournament Angler Guide in January to see what’s
in-store for BASS Electric anglers in 2013.
McConnell travelled an 18 kilometre trip round trip each day
to fish unpressured water, and fished a technique that would catch less fish,
but bigger fish.
Rod- 6’8” Daiwa Redback spin rod
Reel- Daiwa Redback 1000 spin reel
Line- 6lb Berkley
Leader- 10lb Yamatoyo flurocarbon
Lures- 1/2oz Impact Tackle S-baitz (smoke yellow colour)
The headlining prize at the Bluefin Boats BASS Electric
Convention was a Bluefin Estuary Pro bass electric tournament boat. Designed in
collaboration between BlueFin Boats and ABT the boat featured, all around
casting decks, Flow-rite tuned 60 litre tournament spec livewell, tackle
storage, rod locker and battery storage for up to six batteries. Value adding
the prizes for the event were two MotorGuide electric motors, Lox rods,
Uglyfish Sunglasses, and assorted Engel prizes.
|1||Jeremy McConnell||Pro||2||1.18||2||2.53||4||3.71||Bluefin Boats 385
|2||Dave Mann||Standard||2||1.97||2||1.7||4||3.67||MotorGuide 75lb
Bowmount Electric Motor
|3||Dean Thomson||Standard||2||1.96||2||1.01||4||2.97||MotorGuide 75lb
Bowmount Electric Motor
|4||Roy Souter||Standard||2||1.82||2||1.09||4||2.91||Duffrod Tournament Pro BassSTIX|
|5||Glen Hayter||Standard||2||1.44||2||1.45||4||2.89||Lox Yoshi Rod &
|6||Shaun Falkenhagen||Pro||2||1.35||2||1.48||4||2.83||Lox Yoshi Rod &
|7||Adrian Wilson||Pro||2||1.62||2||1.1||4||2.72||Ugly Fish Sunglasses
& Prize Pack
|8||Matt Johnson||Pro||2||1.34||2||1.34||4||2.68||Ugly Fish Sunglasses
& Prize Pack
|9||Hans Jensen||Standard||2||1.28||2||1.27||4||2.55||Ugly Fish Sunglasses
& Prize Pack
|10||Andrew Low||Pro||2||1.28||2||1.21||4||2.49||Ugly Fish Sunglasses
& Prize Pack
|11||Stuart France||Pro||2||1.07||2||1.37||4||2.44||Prize Pack||$30|
|12||Andrew Baunach||Pro||2||0.95||2||1.41||4||2.36||Prize Pack||$30|
|13||Kenny Lebherz||Standard||2||1.14||2||1.14||4||2.28||Prize Pack|
|14||Ricky Simmons||Pro||1||0.59||2||1.61||3||2.2||Prize Pack|
|15||Rob Hinton||Pro||2||1.42||1||0.78||3||2.2||Prize Pack|
|16||Tim Steenhuis||Pro||2||1.58||1||0.6||3||2.18||Prize Pack|
|17||Scott Hutchinson||Standard||2||2.12||2||2.12||Prize Pack|
|19||Wayne Baunach||Pro||2||1.01||2||1||4||2.01||Prize Pack|
|20||Christian Manolea||Pro||2||1.3||1||0.64||3||1.94||Prize Pack|