Urquhart all class at convention
  |  First Published: November 2015

Joseph Urquhart, a 23-year-old patio installer from the Gold Coast, took out the season ending Bluefin BASS Electric Convention held at Lake Cressbrook.

Urquhart, who won with 4/4 and 6.45kg, was the only angler in the field to find his tournament limit each session and accounted for his nearest competitor by over 1.40kg. One of the most respected anglers, and electric organisers, on the BASS Electric circuit, Urquhart secured the top prize of a 3.7m Bluefin Estuary Pro with Haswing electric bow mount motor. In addition he was the recipient of a limited edition Christopher May Australian Bass print as a memento of the victory.

During the prefish for the event Urquhart travelled around the entire edge of the dam in search of bass. Fishing with fellow competitor Prue Rodriguez (8th overall). Urquhart was searching for fish when Rodriguez spotted a good fish on the sounder. Soon after a cast was made they came up tight on a 50cm fork length fish. Sounding up plenty of bony bream in the area, the decision was made to focus on the location during the tournament.

“The location we found was at the back of the dam; it is a 20m section of water with a depth around 40ft. The point we targeted was a gradual slope that dropped into the creek bed, it was an easy location for the bass to move up to feed on the bony bream. There were good concentrations of baitfish in the area, and importantly the profile of the bait was quite small”, explains Urquhart.

Come the first session, Urquhart headed straight to the location. Arriving first at the position the action was fast and furious with a two fish limit in the livewell after only 10 casts. The key lure used was an OSP HP Shad Tail rigged on a 1/4oz TT jighead.

The retrieve was varied between slow rolling the plastic and aggressively ripping the plastic off the bottom.

“My limit came slow rolling the plastic, with the one upgrade coming on the more aggressive retrieve”, Urquhart explains. The quality of Urquhart’s bass was evident at the weigh in with his 2/2, 3.39kg limit the standout in the field.

Come day two it was always going to be a question of if the bass were still in the same location or had the pressure of day one shut down the bite. Urquhart didn’t have to wait long to reveal the answer.

“The bite on Sunday was exceptional, with my first six casts delivering my limit for the session. The only downside was a shoulder strain I picked up from fist pumping too energetically! It was truly an amazing bite”, said Urquhart. The 2/2, 3.06kg limit secured Urquart his first Bass Electric Convention victory!

Urquhart says the tackle used was pivotal to getting the bass to cooperate.

“My Edge 701 ISR 4-6lb rod was crucial in feeling those tentative bites and setting the hook. I used a Megabass Luvito reel spooled with 10lb Toray super strong braid and 6lb Toray super hard as leader. The OSP HP Shad Tail worked so well in the clear water because of their slim tight swimming action,” he explained. The key for Urquhart during the tournament was spending the time on prefish to find the fish. From that point onwards it was a question of getting to them and catching them before they shut down. The use of his Humminbird 898 proved pivotal in finding the bait and the active bass feeding on them.

Manolea on song for second

Adrian Manolea, a 19-year-old student, was runner up at the 2015 Bluefin BASS Electric Convention. Manolea sat in fifth place after day one, but then rocketed into overall second position courtesy of his second session tournament limit (3.40kg), the largest of the tournament.

During the prefish Manolea, fishing with his father Cristian, found the fishing tough, only catching one fish off the edge at the back of the dam. They also identified a couple of schools to be used as back up in case the anglers couldn’t secure their limit early off the edges.  

Manolea hit the edges straight up at the start of each session. When the bite went quiet Manolea moved into deeper water to focus on schooled bass.

“We primarily fished the edges of the dam. The schools were located in the middle of the dam. On the edges we focused more on rocky banks that sustained more structure and the schools that we were fishing were throughout the water column at 35ft,” Manolea said.

Manolea brought one bass to the weigh in for the first session. On day two it was always going to be a battle to chase down Urquhart, however Manolea went for the jugular in an attempt to pull off the seemingly impossible. In the end he couldn’t quite catch the leader, nevertheless he highlighted the tenacity and depth of skill present in the BASS electric series.

“On both days the bass that I got caught off the edge came within the first hour. On the second day I caught my second fish halfway through the day from a school. When targeting the edge I would cast the Jackal as close as possible to structure, letting it sink all the way down before slow rolling it back to the boat with a couple of short pauses halfway back. In the deeper water the technique was hopping as well as slow rolling blades off the bottom,” Manolea explained.

The key lures were a silent Jackall TN60 in ‘ghost ayu’ colour and an Impact Tackle Bladez in bluegill colour. Manolea had two individual outfits for presenting his lures; a Megabass Destroyer X7F2 rod teamed with a Daiwa Steez 2506 spinning reel and a Megabass Destroyer X7F4 rod teamed with a Daiwa Steez baitcast reel. Both outfits were spooled with 10lb Sunline saltwater special castaway braid and 8lb Sunline leader.

A big thankyou to all participants of 2015 BASS Electric Series, especially to the BASS Electric organisers who made the events possible. Finally, a massive thankyou to Bluefin Boats, Haswing and all ABT sponsors for making these events possible. Stay tuned to www.abt.org.au for the 2016 BASS Electric calendar and some exciting innovations for the forthcoming BASS Electric series. – ABT


Place Angler TF TW Prizes
1 Joey Urqhart46.45 Bluefin Estury Pro 3.7m, Haswing Electric motor
2 Adrian Manolea3 5.02 $300 Haswing Voucher & Prize Pack
3 Adrian Wilson3 2.36 $200 Haswing Voucher & Prize Pack
4 Jonathon Bale2 2.21 Omen Envy rod & Prize Pack
5 Robert Butler1 2.01 Omen Envy rod & Prize Pack
6 Les Smith1 1.97 Bass Mafia Prize Pack
7 Justin Thompson 1 1.8 Engel Prize Pack
8 Prue Rodriguez1 1.64 Engel Prize Pack
9 Brett Renz1 1.47 Engel Prize Pack
10 Tim Steenhuis2 1.42 Prize Pack
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