Bass Bounty Challenge Blonde Moments
  |  First Published: December 2010

All keen bass anglers should be a part of the Bass Bounty Challenge and a few months ago my partner Josh and I entered our second Bass Bounty Fishing Tournament at Somerset Dam.

The Bass Bounty challenge is great for amateur fishers like us. Dave Reynolds and the team who run the series are not only friendly and welcoming to new faces, but they also offer some useful advice.

The competition is set out in three fishing sessions, with winners in each round and a prize for the Big Bass; it’s a great way to fish and have fun, as we have learnt.

We read about the Bass Bounty fishing tournaments in QFM and decided on the spur of the moment to pack up and go fish in the tournament, with a ‘what the hell’ attitude.

We didn’t leave the Sunshine Coast until dark due to work commitments and when we arrived at Somerset Dam the office was closed.

We phoned the gentleman running the tournament who was expecting us to let him know we couldn’t get in and ended up having to tailgate another car to get into the dam (we paid and fixed it all up the next day, I promise!) Then when we got into the dam we discovered there was no camp sites left.

Blonde moment number one: always phone ahead prior to make sure you can get into the dam and book a camp site.

We entered the tournament, paid our money and set off to make camp. We planned to just throw the swag on the ground.

“She’ll be right,” Josh assured me, but when we rolled the swag out it was full of mould.

Clearly we had not slept in the swag for a while, and the humidity on the coast had creeped into to our bed in the form of disgusting mould. The car was suddenly a great alterative.

Blonde moment number two: check bedding arrangements before going camping!

After no sleep it was time to put the boat into the water, have our boat check and set off fishing.

Josh and I fight like cats and dogs when it comes to reversing the boat into the water, but funnily enough we got it first go this day and looked like we had been doing it for years!

We were sitting like ducks on the water waiting for the signal to take off. Finally our number was called, but as we went to take off the boat was very sluggish… Josh’s face fell, aghast with shame and frustration, as he realised he had forgot to put the bungs in and the boat was slowly filling up with water.

Blonde moment number three: always check to see if the bungs are in the boat, before putting the boat in the water.

Not only were the bungs not in the boat, they were gone! Did we have spares? No! But luckily a very kind stranger gave us one; 45 minutes of fishing time gone with our boat bungs.

The end of the morning session , we still had no fish. Then we discovered we also had no petrol!

Blonde moment number four: always check the fuel gage.

We dashed into town before the second session started. We were determined not to let all our shambles get us down when we started the second session.

That session I landed my first bass ever, a sweet legal 34cm fish! I caught four more fish that afternoon, using a DD Cherry lure. Josh unfortunately got nothing, but I also got bragging rights.

So after a bungled morning session and a great afternoon session we were hanging out for dinner. But of course the meat was in the esky with the ice, which had melted and consequently drowned said tepid meat. Cereal for dinner.

Blonde moment number five: don’t leave meat in an esky full of melted ice.

After another night of rough sleep it was time for the third and final session, with the bungs in and the boat fueled, off we went. The morning was going nicely; I caught four fish, making upgrades in size.

The just when Josh looked like he had caught the biggest bass of all, the rod snapped in half. He grabbed the line in his hands with the fish was still on the other end, swimming and fighting. But it must have swum under a log because the line was soon snagged.

Blonde moment number six: stay quiet and say nothing when a male looses a fish!

Despite all my blonde moments our experience of bass fishing and the Bass Bounty Challenge was thoroughly enjoyable. We met awesome people and learnt a lot and even won a bottle of bourbon.

We came in sixth overall and I won some Smak lures that work like a charm. I have a theory now: in order to catch bass you need to endure lots of blonde moments.

I would recommend the Bass Bounty Challenge to all keen anglers it’s not only a great excuse to go fishing, but to meet some great people, learn some new things and hear some big, blonde fishing tales! –Brittany Grant

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