Defending Lake Glenbawn BASS Pro champion Peter Phelps executed a perfect tournament to secure back-to-back wins at the opening round of the 2013 Smak Lures BASS Pro Series.
Weighing in the heaviest bag for the tournament in the final session, Phelps leapfrogged from 9th to 1st to claim his second career victory and relegate day two leader, Atomic Bass Pro Adrian Melchior to 2nd place.
Fishing a calculated game plan throughout the tournament Phelps started each session fishing for his bag before moving to areas that held less fish but were more inclined to produce larger fish.
Starting out each session fishing the higher concentrations of small fish on the flats (40-50ft) Phelps used a typical NSW deepwater vertical presentation.
“I’d electric along the flat, cast the plastic out in front of the boat, let it sink to the bottom, then slow roll it back it in,” said Phelps.
When he did get a bite he wouldn’t strike he’d just keep retrieving the lure. This in turn enticed the fish to fully eat the plastic and soon had the rod loaded up.
The early flats approach delivered Phelps his limit in the first hour of the first two sessions; session three however started a little different.
“I found a deep rock wall late in session two that held quality fish, so I went straight there first up on Sunday morning. I picked up two small fish quickly then I caught a kicker fish. It was the big fish that I was looking for and it turned out to be the fish that pushed me up the leader board,” said Phelps.
His approach on the Sunday morning, and the one he used to catch his upgrades on Saturday wasn’t too dissimilar to his flats approach, it just had a slight twist.
“I was fishing deep rocky edges (60-80ft) and targeting isolated and single fish that were hanging on flooded timber. The technique was the same, find the structure (and in-turn the fish) drop the plastic to the bottom, then slow roll it back to the surface,” said Phelps.
While the approach produced less fish it did produce better fish with Phelps catching one upgrade in session one, four upgrades in session two, and his winning kicker fish in session three.
When quizzed post victory Phelps attributed his success to two main points of difference over his competitors.
“I made sure I didn’t fish all the usual spots that I, and most of the other anglers, fish. I also didn’t fish the same lure as everyone else. I fished a Z-Man because they look different, have a great action and last longer than most of the lures that get thrown, and Glenbawn bass just love them,” said Glenbawn victor Peter Phelps.
For event runner-up Adrian Melchior it was close, but not close enough one. Melchior lead into the final session before getting run down my a strong finishing Phelps.
Like Phelps, Melchior went away from the pack and fished further up the lake than the majority of the field to catch his fish. Fishing a long sloping point near The Boot, Melchior keyed in on a particular drop-off as the hot spot to fish.
“The point extended out and dropped off quickly, then tapered down as it extended out into the lake. I had the boat in 56ft of water then cast to the edge and worked the lure over the drop-off into about 30ft of water,” said Melchior.
The technique involved letting his Atomic Metalz blade (ghost gill brown) sink to the bottom before working it with three hops followed by a slow roll.
The mood of the fish and their response to his Atomic Metalz varied throughout the tournament, session one saw seven fish caught, session two nine fish, and session three was when they really fired.
“They were red-hot on Sunday morning, I caught approximately 20 fish, I just didn’t get the big bite I needed to hold off Phelps,” said Melchior.
Three consistent sessions on Glenbawn did however deliver Melchior his equal best BASS Pro result, added $2,200 to his career earning and booked him a berth in the 2013 Smak Lures BASS Pro Grand Final.
“It was a great way to start the season I couldn’t be happier. I also couldn’t have done it without the support of my sponsors, Frogleys Offshore, Ballina Marineland, Lowrance and Bassman spinnerbaits,” said Melchior.
Newcastle basser Ben Scotman (6/6, 6.43kg) claimed the non-boater title at Lake Glenbawn. He fished a deep water 3” Berkley Gulp Minnow Grub approach to catch his first six-fish limit, and in turn secure the event win.
Fishing only his third ABT BASS Pro event, Scotman fished with Callum Munro on day one and Steve Richards, and mastered the art of vertical fishing Gulp Grubs to catch his limit each session.
Fishing the Boat Harbour on day one Scotman focused his attention on flooded trees in 45ft of water and worked them with a vertically retrieved camo green Gulp Minnow rigged on a combination of 1/4oz and 1/6oz TT jigheads.
“The presentation was straight forward: drop the plastic to the bottom then slow roll it back to the surface,” said Scotman.
The approach delivered Scotman nine fish in the first session and another six in session two. Session one was the standout with Scotman weighing in the second biggest bag for the tournament (2/2, 2.73kg). A standout limit that gave him the event lead, and one that he never surrended.
Fishing with Richards on day two the approach was the same. Drop the plastic to the bottom where the fish were holding, and were pin-pointed with the sounder, then slow roll it back. This time the result was three fish for the session, including one upgrade. While his session three limit was his smallest for the event, and the third lightest of the top ten, it proved enough to deliver Scotman his maiden BASS Pro win.
Gladiator Big Bass
Champion non-boater Ben Scotman secured the Gladiator Big Bass prize at Glenbawn with the first round winner catching the winning fish in session one a 3” Berkley Gulp Minnow. Caught at 10.30am it fell to a vertical presentation and delivered Scotman a $500 pay day.
Rod: Daiwa Sol 701LFS
Reel: Daiwa Sol 2000
Line: 3lb Berkley Fireline
Leader: 6lb FC Rock fluorocarbon
Lure: Z-Man 2 1/2” GrubZ (watermelon red)
Phelps steered clear of the pack, both with lure and location. He fished areas that rarely get fished and used a lure that was different from what everyone else was using.
|1||Peter PHELPS||6/6||7.25||$3700, 1st Pro ($350),|
|3||Gregg FLETT||6/6||6.64||$1600 + 2nd Pro ($150)|
Place Angler FishWeight(kg) Payout
1Ben SCOTMAN 6/66.43Prize Pack + $500 Gladiator Big Bass
2Dave HEDGES 6/66.25Prize Pack
3Joshua EVANS 6/66.17Prize Pack
4Luke PARSONS 6/66.06Prize Pack
5Dylan MOTT 5/65.67Prize Pack + 1st Pro ($400)
6Matt CUSCHIERI 6/65.59Prize Pack
7Michael BRITTEN 6/65.47Prize Pack
8Troy DANES 6/65.43Prize Pack
9Clinton JAMES 6/65.3Prize Pack
10David MANN 5/65.27Prize PackReads: 1058