Matt Johnson (2/2, 2.59kg) has taken out the inaugural Haswing BASS Electric Major at Hinze Dam, Qld. The BASS Electric Major events are new to 2014 and offer BASS Electric anglers the chance to compete for an exclusive sponsors’ prize pool, cash prizes for the event Flow-Rite Big Bass and, to the top three anglers, paid entry into the season ending BASS Electric Convention! With 33 anglers taking up the challenge, it was a class field assembled for the first Major event at a clear and sunny Hinze Dam.
Johnson started his event in the eastern arm of the dam, focussing on a location identified in an earlier pre-fish.
“I targeted an edge, fishing tight around spindly trees,” he said. “It was a matter of weaving through sunken timber to get to the location. Once there I found good concentrations of fish and plenty of bait in the area.”
Johnstone started with a surface presentation, fishing around the trees in the area. He didn’t get the results he was after so he switched to a jerkbait presentation, specifically the Jackall 61 Squirrel in ghost gill colour. Fishing in 4-8m of water, the change met with instant results.
“The jerkbait accounted for my bigger bass,” he said. “My thinking was a larger presentation would get the interest of the larger fish, and that’s ultimately how it played out.”
When the bites slowed Johnson made his way out deeper, where he found bass holding on a deeper edge. He targeted them using a 12g Smak ice jig in green/gold colour.
“I used an aggressive lift to get the fish to react,” he said. “I could see them holding on the sounder, it was just a matter of getting them to respond.”
The ice jig presentation accounted for all Johnson’s remaining bass. In all, he landed 12 bass throughout the session with eight of those meeting the legal size.
“I had a lot of confidence in the Jackall Squirrel,” Johnson explained. “I tried a variety of lures including blades, spinnerbaits and lipless with no success. In the end the key to finding and catching the bass was time and experience on the dam.”
Colin McClymont (2/2, 2.30kg) took out second place at the inaugural Haswing BASS Electric Major. McClymont further bolstered his prizes for the top finish with an additional $120 for being the top placed pro. In McClymont’s first full year fishing BASS Electric events it was a great result that also saw him qualify for the BASS Electric Convention in October.
“I had fished Hinze once previously,” he said. “In the pre-fish I found bass holding on the points. I decided to focus on those areas during the tournament.”
Starting at the dam wall McClymont fished four main points during the event. Importantly, the points identified held underwater structure. The bass were holding in small groups in water between 3-8m deep.
“I used lightly weighted 3” Berkley Gulp Minnows in watermelon pearl colour rigged on a 1/16oz jighead,” Colin explained. “The retrieve was a super slow roll with the lure hitting structure. I had one good bass early fishing tight to structure. It had me around all sorts of underwater branches and nastiness. In the end I got it on board, but it took the best part of 20 minutes to extricate it from its lair! Later in the session I was able to get into some larger fish, but for the most part the remainder were undersize or short strikes.”
Rod: 7’ BarraBass rod XSB822
Reel: Quantum Exo
Line: 8lb PowerPro braid
Leader: 8lb Unitika leader
“Time and experience on the dam helped, as well as identifying the locations that produced fish but were less pressured than the regular haunts.”
Flowrite Big Bass
Johnson’s bag was anchored by the event Flow-Rite Big Bass of 1.86kg, taking away a further $100 for his efforts.
|1||Matt Johnson||2||2.59||Yes (1st $120)||Haswing motor, Pontoon 21 pack, Free entry to Elec. Convention|
|2||Colin McClymont||2||2.3||Yes (2nd $50)||Engel fridge freezer, Lure Pack, $200 Haswing voucher, free entry to Convention|
|3||Andrew Wilson||2||2.22||13 Fishing rod and reel, Lure Pack, $100 Yaswing voucher, free entry to Convention|
|4||David Young||2||2.09||Shimano Stradic, Lure Pack|
|5||Stuart France||2||1.89||Shimano Curado, Lure Pack|