The first of this year’s Motorguide ABT BASS Electrics was held at Clarrie Hall Dam and as always anglers were keen to to hit the water at the begginning of the tournament year with this year’s tournament no exception. A total of 34 anglers in 28 boats and 1 canoe travelled from surrounding areas and as far away as Toowoomba to compete in the six hour event .
Conditions on the previous day were as good as the north coast can offer, but a late change on Saturday evening saw a falling barometer heavy cloud cover and intermittent showers greet the anglers early on the Sunday.
A big increase in the Salvinia weed infestation as well as profound increase in lily pads had the launching area and the first half kilometre of the dam looking very choked . At 7am an almost indian file procession of boats headed down stream into the main body of water .
Having run the event at the dam for the last few years you come to know many regulars and to say thier was some bass expertise fishing the event was an understatement . Many north coast and Sth eat Qld anglers are prolific Bass anglers with thousands of hours of fishing this dam competed.
By 10am it bacame very evident that the days event was going to be very tough as anglers began to report nil catches up to that point . By 12.30pm the boats started appearing early now that usualy means that catches were good or the anglers had had enough .The weigh in bags stayed motionless for some time till John Ski posted two fish for a total of 1480 gms . It was nearly ten minutes before the next fish was weighed . In total fifteen fish were weighed with only three anglers weighing two fish tough times indeed .
1. Rod Shorten with a 700 and 800 gm fish for a total of 1500g.
2. John Ski with a 660 and 820 gm fish for a total of 1480g.
3. Ian Galloway with a 680 and 780 gm fish for a total of 1460g.
This event’s Big Bass went to two time winner of this event Col Singleton with a fish of 880g.
So it was to the presentation where the question of how it was done was met with answers of ‘luck’ and ‘in the right place at the right time’. The lures ranged from Jackal 50s to spinnerbait to Beetle Spins and grubs.
So as Ian Galloway put it, there was no pattern!
However if there was a common thread that I could see it was that those who did finish on the podium or with fish, fished as hard as they possibly could for the entire event and used every bit of bass angling skill in thier possesion, making educated choices and every cast in with a chance of hooking a fish.
Sometimes catching two bass is not as easy as it sounds. At somewhere between 30 and 40 thousand casts for the day catching two out of the 15 legal weigh in fish was a mighty effort.
These sorts of days are more often harder to win than those with heaps of fish caught from schools.
I would also like to qiuckly thank all those who participated in the NSW Fisheries Research by supplying data on the day, and to the level of sportsmanship, cameraderie and and good conduct afforded to each other. It certainly made running the event for myself and son Jason a pleasure. May 14 is our next MotorGuide Bass electric event at Clarrie Hall Dam. – Gary Prerost.