AFC Series 10 debutant Dean Silvester claimed victory in the fourth qualifying event of the 2013 Smak Lures BASS Pro Series with a confident win in the TT Lures presented Lake Somerset round on 17-18 August.
Sunshine coast basser Callum Munro continued his good overall form weighing in a new ABT Big Bass record in the final session to claim second place and secure the 2013 AOY crown.
For event winner Dean Silvester it was deep water affair for the weekend with the Somerset BASS Pro champ fishing schooled and scattered fish to fill his limit each session. Fishing Queen Street in session one it wasn’t until two hours into the session that he caught his first fish.
“It took a while to get them and I was beginning to wonder whether I’d made the correct decision. It all happened very quickly once we got our first fish though. Ten minutes after that first fish and both my non-boater and I had our limit. Another 30 minutes later and we’d upgraded all of those,” said Silvester.
With the importance of managing his fish for the rest of the tournament Silvester changed location and headed to the Cattle Yards. A lack of wind and slow bite added little to his bag and he finished the session sitting in 8th place.
Session two saw Silvester straight back to Queen Street but just like in session one he had to wait patiently for the fish to turn.
“Just like in the morning it took a while, but once they started to bite both my non-boater and I filled our bags in quick time,” said Silvester.
The technique was text book flats bass fishing, slow rolling a jighead-rigged paddle-tailed soft plastic across the bottom through scattered and heavily stacked schools.
“The abundance of fish on the sounder and in area varied all the time so you just needed to stay focused and make sure you kept your confidence 100% all of the time,” said Silvester.
With their limits filled Silvester and his non-boater once again left the area, choosing to rest the area for the next session rather than completely burn their fish in the hope of few upgrades. Weighing in a 4.55kg limit for the session Silvester now held the lead heading into the third and final session.
Heading straight back to Queen Street on Sunday morning Silvester’s focus was now not to manage his fish but to catch as many as he could, and the biggest fish that he could.
“I started fishing away from the pack in the hope of finding less pressured fish. While my non-boater caught fish straight off on ice jigs it wasn’t until about 8.30am that I started to get fish,” said Silvester.
With his limit filled Silvester then spent the next 1 1/2 hours catching plenty of fish, just none of the XOS fish that he was hoping for.
“I had two solid 45cm fish in my bag but I was worried what Callum had and if he had enough to run me down,” said Silvester.
With a 4.14kg limit hitting the scales Silvester in the end had enough to hold off a strong finishing Munro.
The victory for Silvester was his first BASS Pro win, a win that now accompanies a BARRA Tour round win and a QLD BREAM Open title.
For event runner-up Callum Munro it was a loss that was filled with much celebration and success. In addition to claiming the Big Bass Prize at the event, he also set a new all-time ABT Big Bass record (3.82kg) and claimed the 2013 BASS Pro Angler of the Year Title.
Hitting the edges in session one Munro caught his limit but was less than encouraged with what he found.
“I managed to catch a limit but I was not confident that the edges would provide the numbers and the quality of fish that were needed for the rest of the tournament,” said Munro.
Looking deep in session two Munro headed north to the Kirkleigh area and searched locations that had produced for him in the past. He didn’t have to search for long with the AOY champ quickly finding fish and catching them on the lure that had served him well there in the past, a 12g Smak Ice Jig. The result of his session two move was 22 for the session and third place heading into the final session.
Heading off into the fog on Sunday morning Munro headed straight back to his session two spot, a location that he would have all to himself for the final session and a location that would produce a load of fish.
“It took about 20 minutes to get them to bite, then it was a fish about every 20 minutes for the next 1 1/2 hours,” said Munro.
A 29-33’ deep flat, it was a location that, to the untrained eye, seemed to have very few fish on it.
“The fish were sitting real hard to the bottom. They were basically flat lining on the sounder,” said Munro.
His technique with his ice jig involved giving the lure a couple of short rips then letting it sink back down to the bottom. If a fish was to eat the lure it was when he went to rip the lure again that there would be a fish on.
“They were definitely eating it on the drop, inhaling it as the lure sank back down,” said Munro.
The standout fish in his bag was his fourth fish for the day, a 60cm fork length bass that would claim the Big Bass prize for the event and also set a new record for the heaviest bass ever caught in an ABT event.
“It didn’t feel very big when it first took the lure. It wasn’t until it came up next to the boat that I had any idea that it was that big,” said Munro.
A once in a lifetime fish, it was fitting that this fish secured him a podium finish and ultimately deliver him his maiden AOY crown.
For champion non-boater Ashley Bryant it was a case of lightning striking twice with the Gold Coast angler adding his Somerset non-boater BASS Pro win to his Gold Coast non-boater BREAM win from the week before.
Fishing with Jason Ehrlich on day one and Tim Morgan on day two Bryant fished a deep water flats pattern both days to catch his fish. Day one with Jason involved fishing small blades and working them with a series of small hops and pauses.
“I varied the retrieve throughout the day but it was primarily small hops and drops that did the damage,” said Bryant.
Weighing in 5.15kg in session one and 1.69kg in session two Bryant sat in 2nd place heading into the final session and only needed another hot morning bite to finish on the podium.
Day two saw Bryant return to the area between Pelican Point and Red Rock that had been so productive on day one. A 32’ deep flat, the successful lure was a hoped and dropped Strike Pro Cyber Vibe. Catching four fish for the session and weighing in a 2.08kg limit it was enough to hold off a strong finishing Shaun Falkenhagen and Bryant claimed his maiden BASS Pro non-boater win.
Turning his years of wild river bass experience into impoundment tournament success Bryant has now qualified for the Grand Final and is a chance to continue his hot run of tournament form into Grand Final success. – ABT
Callum Munro claimed the Big Bass Prize, securing the $500 cheque with his 3.82kg bag caught in session three on a summertime coloured 12g slider model Smak Lures Ice Jig.
Rod: Dobyns Champion Extreme 702 spin
Reel: Quantum EXO 25 spin
Mainline: 10lb Sunline Rock fish
Leader: 6lb Sunline Shooter FC
Lure: 3” Ecogear Power Shad (eel colour) rigged on a 1/2oz TT jighead.
Despite the fact that anglers around him were catching plenty of fish on ice jigs Silvester stuck to his soft plastics, confident that they would produce better quality fish.
|1||Ashley BRYANT||6/6||8.92||G.Loomis GL2 rod & Prize Pack|
|2||Shaun FALKENHAGEN||6/6||8.88||G.Loomis GL2 rod & Prize Pack|
|3||Greg MITCHELL||5/6||8.70||G.Loomis GL2 rod & Prize Pack|
|4||John KENNEDY||3/6||7.81||Spotters Prize Pack|
|5||Matt CUSCHIERI||5/6||7.38||Tonic Prize Pack|
|6||Ben BIGGS||5/6||6.98||Pontoon 21/Damiki Prize Pack|
|7||Warren HOWE||5/6||5.94||Austackle Prize Pack|
|8||Mitchell CONE||4/6||5.09||Prize Pack|
|9||John KOCH||2/6||4.96||Prize Pack|
|10||Adrian MANOLEA||3/6||4.86||Prize Pack|