Mercury AFC Angler Matthew Mott claimed the sixth BASS Pro win of his career with victory in the Lowrance Lake Boondooma BASS Pro.
Mott cracked a pattern when many anglers struggled to get a bite, with the 40 year old using a spinnerbait and metal blade approach in the trees to catch his winning fish.
Not to be overshadow was event runner-up Steve Eldred who used a tandem lure approach to catch his fish, throwing a combination of lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits.
Victory though belonged to Mott.
“I was hurting after such a bad St Clair event two months earlier so when I got back home I made a concerted effort to prefish Boondooma and work them out,” said Mott.
Not wanting to sting his fish in the prefish the day before the tournament Mott simply motored around content to look for new water and waiting for the first day of competition before he showed his hand.
Heading straight to his go-to spot he didn’t have to wait long, with the first fish coming within the first hour and his limit completed by 8.30am. The technique that delivered the quick returns was text book timber and dirty water fishing. Casting a 1/2oz IB coloured Smak spinnerbait tight to the edge, Mott then worked it back with a slow rolling retrieve that kept the lure close to the bottom and in the strike zone.
The second fish for the morning was the standout, a 2kg beast that went on to claim the Big Bass Prize for the event.
“I knew there were big fish about and the second fish just proved it. Once I got it I stopped fishing so my non-boater could get his limit and so I could save the fish for next session,” said Mott.
Heading into the second session Mott had over a 2kg lead but with the wind increasing in strength Mott decided not to return to his honey hole and instead fish a spot that he believed was more suited to the conditions.
Mott focused on a shallow area at the back of a timber laden bay in the Stuart Arm of the lake that he affectionately refers to as the Pig Pen. With the fish holding a little deeper Mott swapped from a spinnerbait to a 3/8oz Evergreen Little Max blade in colour 217. The retrieve was a simply lift, hope and roll, to keep the lure in close contact with the bottom. The approach was spot on with Mott catching around ten fish for the session.
With 2.83kg hitting the scales for the session, Mott was on track to complete one of his main goals for the weekend, a 6/6 limit.
Day two would prove a lot tougher with a host of boats fishing the same area and making it hard to get the fish to bite.
“I was 90 minutes into the session and didn’t even have a bite, so I pulled the pin and returned to my session one spot and then went looking for new water,” said Mott.
Mott was to find no joy though and he returned to the weigh-in empty handed, disappointed that he’d missed getting his full limit for the tournament but accepting that it was just part of tournament fishing.
Post victory Mott was open about the key aspects to his victory and how he formulated his game plan leading into the tournament.
“I knew the bites would be hard to come by so I upsized my tackle to reduce the chance of losing fish in the timber. I also stuck to the technique and choice of tackle that I found worked best in the lead up to the tournament. I didn’t change I just stuck with my gut instinct,” said Mott.
Mott’s tackle included a G. Loomis BCR803GLX rod, Daiwa Zillion HLC reel, spooled with 16lb Sunline Castaway PE and 16lb Sunline V Hard fluorocarbon leader for his spinnerbaits. While his outfit for throwing blades included a 7’ Daiwa Heartland XA rod, 2500 Daiwa Certate reel, spooled with 8lb Berkley Fireline Exceed mainline and 14lb Sunline V Hard fluorocarbon leader.
Mott now prepares himself for his trip to the US that he won at his 2009 BASS Pro Grand Final, and once back he’ll be keen for a solid performance at the last qualifying round of the series at Lake Somerset.
For event runner-up Steve Eldred is was a tournament that could have been quite different had he cracked the pattern earlier.
“I went straight to plan A in the first session and it failed. Had I swapped to plan B earlier than session two then I may have weighed fish each session,” said Eldred.
The plan that worked for Eldred involved fishing a timber strewn stretch of bank half way up the Stuart Arm of the lake with dark coloured lipless crankbaits and white coloured spinnerbaits. With his boat in about 18-20 feet of water Eldred would cast up into the shallows (4-10 feet) then work the lure back to the boat.
“The retrieve for both lures was nothing special. Cast it to the edge, sink it to the bottom, then slow roll it back so the lure stayed in touch with bottom,” said Eldred.
Initially the bites were ever so slight, so wanting to make the lure as appealing as possible he lathered up his lures with the new crawfish scented Megastrike, and with good result.
“The hits went from the softest of touches to aggressive hits,” explained Eldred.
The approach delivered Eldred four fish for session two and his full limit in session three. Had he worked the fish out earlier he may have had the fish needed to give Mott a run for his money.
Eldred’s choice of tackle included a Samurai Reaction 351 rod, Daiwa Steez 103 reel, spooled with 14lb Unitika PE and 11lb Unitika fluorocarbon leader.
Claiming the non-boater title at the event was 41 year old Loganholme Maintance Fitter Ken Brider. Fishing his first BASS Pro event for the season Brider showed his skills hadn’t faded during his quiet time with the Brisbane basser winning the event by nearly half a kilogram over his nearest rival.
“There was no real pattern as to where the fish would come from. Two of the bass ate the lure half way back to the boat and the other ate it next to a tree. So you needed to make sure you stay focused and worked the lure through the whole retrieve”, explained Brider.
The lures that did the damage were a deep diving Jackall Chubby in clear shrimp colour and a Lucky Craft Clutch in colour 270. The remainder of his tackle included a 7’ Strudwick spin rod, 1500 Daiwa Capricorn reel, spooled with 3lb Fireline and 6lb fluorocarbon leader.
Make sure you visit www.australianbass.com.au to see all the results and find out who qualifies for the Skeeter BASS Pro Grand Final. – ABT
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