Battling the elements at Lake St Clair in August to bring a full limit of bass to the weigh master was always going to be a challenge. But a record field of 41 anglers proved there were plenty wanting to take up the task.
The lake was glassed out when the start signal was given, however, the conditions were to be short lived. Within an hour a stiff breeze built into a northwesterly wind, gusting to 40km/h bringing several showers throughout the morning to make conditions miserable. But it was the hail storm toward the end of the session that sorted the men from the boys’!
There were anglers that had legal fish in their live well that could not get to the scales in the windy conditions. If you made the decision to head into the breeze early, you were able to use this to your advantage to return to the tag board come session end.
Twenty-nine healthy bass were weighed. Most of the fish were extremely dark in colour from living deep in the weed, feeding on the ever-present schools of smelt and gudgeons cruising the edges.
The event winner was Shoalhaven Head’s angler, Mick Skinner weighing a respectable limit of 2/2 for 2.09kg. Mick fished shallow, weedy edges early using Jackall Squirrel 61 in ayu and then moved deeper and fished Atomic Guzzlers in yellow smoke on 1/4oz jigheads. Mick’s tackle of choice was a Samaki Zecton rod and Daiwa Tierra reel, 8lb Stren braid, 10lb Rock Fish leader.
Second place was Dave Trinder with 2/2 for 2kg, who targeted schooled fish towards the lower end of the main basin. Dave vertically rolled 3” Atomic Guzzlers in old penny colour on purple 1/4oz TT jigheads. Dave used a Black Diamond Bream Reaper rod and Daiwa Tierra reel spooled with 10lb Sea Bass braid and 8lb Rock Fish leader.
In third place was Josh Carpenter with 2/2 for 1.86kg, working the points to the left of the ramp, fishing ultra light 1lb Fireline and 2lb leader, and 1/6oz TT jigheads rigged with Atomic paddle-tails. Anchoring in 25ft of water and continuously casting the same area. The big bass of 1.17kg was boated after the wind had picked up. – Justin Scott