Kris George, 3/9, 330cm, has taken out the Rapala Lake Awoonga 3x3 Championships.
George caught all his fish in a bumper first session, which included one upgrade of 114cm, which ultimately secured the event Big Barra prize. George, the 21 year old owner of Fish‘n’Bits, Toowoomba, identified his location during the prefish window and returned to the location each session. While only the first session proved fruitful, it was enough to take victory in the tough, rainy conditions at the venue.
“The location was off the main basin. It was a bay of broken weed that had dirty water in the mix. We fished a point and edge in about 20ft of water. I noticed a lot of anglers were targeting fish in the shallows. The area we fished was deeper, with the point going from 6ft through to about 20ft deep,” said George
The conditions were tough. It took them about an hour once they got to their location to anchor up and hold fast. In the end they deployed two anchors to hold position. The lure that did the damage was the original Squidgies Slick Rig 130mm in true blue colour. The lure had an Owner stinger hook (size 2) added. The stinger was wire crimped to the lure eye and would protrude through the last rib of the lure.
“We were happy with our location. We could see that the fishing was tough, and as we had caught a fish in the same location during the prefish we ultimately decided to live and die on our area. Having only been to Awoonga twice my experience is more limited than some. But having been out on the waters with some good anglers has shown me what to look for. Other spots I was going to were being fished or had come under pressure so we made the decision to stay.
“When we got a firm anchor we began fishing. We worked as a team with one angler working their retrieve fast and the other slow. When we got our first fish we both tailored our retrieve. About an hour later I had my second fish followed by the third after dark. The moon was sporadically coming out which aided visibility and seemed to bring the fish on the bite. Thirty minutes later I had my fourth fish which was an upgrade and ultimately took out the event Big Barra,” said George
The next session saw George primed for a return to his location, but motor troubles intervened. In the end he was towed to and from the start location by another boat in order to fish the session. Unfortunately, the fish did not want to co-operate and the team were unable to add to their catch sheet.
“It took us about 40 minutes to get to the spot. Another angler was already there, but in a show of great sportsmanship moved on of their own accord. The wind had changed direction and the water temperature had dropped 4ºC. The whole dynamics of the area had changed and as a consequence the fish weren’t active.
“We overcame the motor issues and returned to the same location in the final session. One catfish fell victim and we had a hook up that couldn’t be translated into a fish. Ultimately with the fishing being tough we wanted to be on a spot we had confidence in. With the bite windows sometimes being a short as five minutes, we wanted to maximize the opportunities at the chosen location. As such the decision was made to stick it out,” said the champ.
“The key was slowing the retrieve speed. Also I have experimented in the past with multiple hook sets. For some reason this technique was loosing more fish than I like, so I reverted to a single strike and just played each fish to tire them out. Using low rod angles I would keep the pressure on and as a consequence the fish would jump less. As it worked out the fish stuck and I was able to boat enough to take the win,” said Kris.
George’s outfit consisted of a 7’2” rod teamed with a 3000 size reel spooled with 14lb Berkley Crystal Fireline and 60lb Pioneer invisible fluorocarbon leader.
“The breaking strain of my mainline was above its stated. It stood up to fish and multiple snags without any problem. I even had some hooks come off second best.”
“A big thank you to Carl Jocumsen and Ian Miller for their help and support throughout the tournament. To my Quantum partner, Matt Anderson, also a big thanks. And finally to Fish ‘N’ Bits at Toowoomba, I couldn’t do this without their support so thank you for making this possible,” said George.
Check out www.australianbarra.com.au for more information. – ABT
|1||Kris George||Quantum||3/9||330||$1500 + $400 Pro|
|3||Matthew Mott||Bass to Barra||2/9||204||700|
|5||Jason Wilhelm||Shimano/ E-Tec||2/9||183||400|
|6||Rodney Milkins||Team Maverick||1/9||111||300|
|7||Alan McNamara||Shimano/ E-Tec||1/9||105||200|
|8||Michael Weick||Team Nerangatang||1/9||103||200|
|9||Mike Connolly||E-TEC Evinrude HO||1/9||99|
|10||Jon Millard||Rapala/JT Reel Repairs||1/9||98|