McNamara shakes and twitches to win
  |  First Published: August 2015

Muswellbrook’s Alan McNamara (6/6, 7.54kg) claimed his maiden BASS Pro boater win and punched his ticket for the end of the season Grand Final with victory in the OSP Lake Glenbawn BASS Pro, 4/5th July.

Fishing steep rock walls near the 8knot speed zone in the upper reaches of Lake Glenbawn McNamara’s winning approach involved casting his offering tight to the wall then letting it sink down the rocky slop while imparting a series of shakes and twitches.

“The bigger fish were feeding tight to the rock so it was important to keep the lure close to the wall”, explained McNamara.

McNamara’s lure of choice was a 1 ½" Slider Sea Grub, a small bite size offering that the bass ate with gusto. As is often the case with moved and paused soft plastic retrieves the bites came just after the lure was shaken and twitched. While the technique produced the big bites it didn’t produce a lot of fish with McNamara only catching three fish in the first session.

“I wasn’t worried about not catching many fish, I was just hunting for quality, and I was quietly confident that the spot I was fishing would produce quality,” explained McNamara.

Delivering the heaviest bag (2.87kg- Duffrods Big Bag) for the tournament to the scales in session one, McNamara hit the water for session two far from brimming with confidence about what session two would bring.

“Glenbawn hadn’t really been fishing well in the afternoon for a while so I knew there was a good chance that it would be a grind and that I may have to move around a bit,” explained McNamara.

With one fish from his rock walls in the first hour McNamara soon moved, hitting a series of other locations, including stand timber, and weedy points. His mobile and open-minded approach paid off with Al catching three fish for the session. Weighing in a 2.42kg limit, and equal second heaviest bag for the session, McNamara retained his number one spot, to once again lead the field out on the final morning.

“I was confident that I’d get fish, but wasn’t confidence that the big fish would still be there,” explained McNamara.

My 8am McNamara had his two fish in the well, once again falling to his shaken and twitched soft plastics fished down the rock wall. While getting the lure tight and fishing it close to the rocks was crucial to getting the bites it was a fine line between getting it close enough and getting it too close.

“You really needed to pay attention to what you were doing, if you let the lure sink too much and gave it too long of a pause you’d hang up on the rocks,” explained McNamara.

McNamara’s careful and steady approach paid off delivering him a 2.25kg limit for the session, and in the end claiming him a comfortable wire-to-wire victory over 2015’s man on fire Warren Carter.

Post victory McNamara accredited much of his win to his soft plastic. McNamara explains,

“While a Slider is nothing new, the 1 ½” Sea Grub I was using is smaller than what we usually use, and was perfect for the finesse winter bite that we get this time of the year. Its colour was also something different. It was one of the older, paler muscadine colours, rather than the darker stronger coloured muscadine colour that’s more commonly available today. I think using the more transparent version made a big difference,” explained McNamara.

Fishing his first event of the 2015 Toray BASS Pro season McNamara has now booked himself a spot in the Grand Final, slater for 24/25th October at Lake Glenbawn. With a victory at this venue already under his belt for 2015 McNamara will definitely be one to watch in October.

Carter Carts for Second

Victoria’s Warren Carter continued his hot bass form for 2015 with the 48 year-old tournament veteran finishing 2nd to add to his 1st and 3rd from the first two rounds of the year. Fishing the upper reaches of the lake, Carter focused his attention on the weeded points and bays to catch his fish.

Keying in on the areas with the thickest weed as the prime spots to fish Carter would position in boat in 10-20’ of water before casting to the weed edge and working the lure back to the boat.

“The sounder on the bow of my boat wasn’t work, so I had no eyes below showing me fish that may have been sitting out from the weed edge so I just focused on the weed edge and the fish that were holding in it and close to it,” explained Carter.

Fishing a mixture of 2” and 3” Keitech Easy Shiners rigged on 1/4" TT jigheads Carter’s technique involved worked the lure out from the weed edge with a combination of small hops and shakes followed by a slow roll. The fish were active early in session one with Carter filling his limit in 40 minutes, followed by eight upgrades for the session. Session two proved more frugal with Carter fishless for the first two hours of the session.

“It wasn’t until around 4pm that I finally caught my bag. I got four bites in total and lost a big fish at the boat. It was certainly a lot tougher,” explained Carter.

Weighing in 2.47kg for the session Carter found himself sitting in 2nd place, and with a hot morning bite hopefully ready to greet him on the final day, another BASS Pro podium finish was definitely on the cards. Picking up where he left off on Saturday morning Carter found the fish on the edge and eager to again and by 7.15am he had his limit. Two upgrades were to follow and another dropped fish at the net rounded out his session. Weighing in a 2.29kg limit for the session Carter’s bag while heavier than McNamara’s wasn’t enough to rein him in.

Carter’s tournament tackle included an Edge Rods FWR 702 rod, 2500 spin reel, 6lb Varivas PE, and 2” and 3” Keitech Easy Shiner soft plastics in ayu, silver/flash, gold/flash, and lime/chartreuse colours. Carter added Pro Cure scent in nightcrawler flavour to his plastics, and cut down his 3” Easy Shiners. The 2” Easy Shiners he fished un-shortened.

With a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd to his name from the first three rounds of the 2015 Toray BASS Pro Series Carter will be hard to beat for the Power-Pole BASS Pro Angler of the Year crown.

Owen Goes soft for win

Taree’s Owen McPaul broke through for his maiden BASS Pro win at Glenbawn with the TT tournament angler coming from behind in the final session to leap frog session one and two leader Peter Morgan to secure the win. Fishing with Mitchell Cone on day one McPaul fished the upper reaches of the lake and used a jighead rigged soft plastic fished parallel along rock walls to catch his fish. With the boat sitting in 40’ of water and a cast distance out from the wall McPaul would present his lure close the rock, then let it sink to bottom, then begin a slow roll retrieve.

“I found the best retrieve to be a slow roll, and when I got I bite I didn’t strike I just kept winding until the rod loaded up,” explained McPaul.

The approach paid off with McPaul catching his limit in the first three casts of the first session. Session two saw Cone and McPaul change location, moving to deep timber in 40’ of water. Using a similar retrieve, a sink followed by a slow roll, McPaul picked up his first fish in the first hour, and then late in the session he caught his second, followed by two upgrades. Weighing in 2.14kg for the session McPaul sat in 2nd place, only 460gm behind leader Peter Morgan.

Fishing with Tom Slater on day two McPaul fished the middle reaches of the lake, targeting timber and sloping banks in 27-40’ of water to catch his fish.

McPaul’s technique once again involved sinking his plastic to the bottom and slow rolling it back to the boat. Picking up where he left off from Saturday morning McPaul filled his limit in 15 minutes.

“Tom had us right on the fish, and they were eating the plastic quite aggressively,” explained McPaul.

McPaul reached double digits with the number of fish he caught, including four upgrades for the session, while the kicker fish in his bag secured the Austackle Big Bass for the tournament. Weighing in a 2.86kg limit for the session Owen turned a 460 gram deficit into a 940 gram winning margin to secure the event win, and in the process book a spot in the 2015 BASS Pro Grand Final.

The next stop of the series sees the Toray BASS Pro tour head north to Queensland Bjelke Petersen Dam for the 4th and final qualifying round of the series. For more information on the 2015 Toray BASS Pro Series visit www.abt.org.au .

Winning Tackle

Rod: 2-5kg Millerod Control Freak Bass

Reel: 1000 Shimano Sustain

Line: 3lb Power Pro Bite Motion

Leader: 6lb Ocea

Lure: 1 1/2" Slider Sea Grub (muscadine colour), rigged on a 1/6th Nitro Dam Deep jighead, and with the tail of the plastic dipped in Spike It.

Winning Ways

McNamara knew his location wouldn’t produce quantity, but it would produce quality. Fishing for size over numbers definitely paid off.

Austackle Big Bass

Owen McPaul valued added his non-boater winning prizes claiming the $500 Austackle Big Bass prize with his 1.54kg bag caught early on the final morning on an Keitech Easy Shiner soft plastic.


1Alan MCNAMARA67.54$2300 + Duffrods Big Bag (2.87kg)
2Warren CARTER67.3$1,350
3Stephen KANOWSKI67.03$950
4Peter PHELPS66.9$850
5Anthony THORPE66.8$650
6Craig SIMMONS66.75$450
7Mitchell CONE66.69
8Paul GILLESPIE66.62
9Robert BALDOCK66.27
10Kristoffer HICKSON66.21
1Owen MCPAUL67.14OSP Prize Pack + Austackle Big Bass
2Peter MORGAN66.2Bassman Spinnerbaits Prize Pack & Prize Pack
3Rebecca FAZIO65.4NS Black Hole rod & Prize Pack
4Tony NEAL65.28Tonic Prize Pack & Prize Pack
5Brett HYDE65.11Spotters Sunglasses Prize Pack & Prize Pack
6Tim OAKLEY54.9Flying Fisherman Prize Pack & Prize Pack
7Adam SHARPE44.4113 Fishing Omen Black rod & Prize Pack
8Rodney THORPE54.26Bass Mafia Prize Pack & Prize Pack
9Jamie JOHNSON43.74Prize Pack
10Paul DUNLOP43.69Prize Pack
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