James Howarth has claimed his maiden bass electric win at the opening round of the 2017 ePropulsion Bass Electric Series at Clarrie Hall with 2/2 fish for 1.95kg. Not to be outdone, bass tournament regular Matt Johnson kicked his season off with a bang taking out second place and the Big Bass for the event with 2/2 fish for 1.92 kg.
Howarth used a two-pronged approach to catch his winning fish. He would first cast a Ima Foxy Fry tight to the weed edge before imparting an aggressive and constant jerking retrieve.
“I would impart the same action I use for chasing bream around pontoons on the gold coast. The aggressive approach was really firing them up,” said Howarth.
If Howarth missed bites on his jerkbait, he would then cast a cut down Ecogear Power Shad in black and gold into the same spot and slow roll the lure back to the boat.
“Once I had them fired up I would cast the plastic back into the same structure and sink it a little deeper before rolling the lure back.”
To fish these baits, Howarth used identical JML Perfection Torz 6’10 rod matched with a 2004 Daiwa Gekkabijin spooled with 10lb braid and 6lb Yamatoyo Chinu Harris leader.
With the extreme temperatures during the tournament Howarth knew that he would need to find areas that would allow the fish to retreat to cooler water as the day progressed.
“The key areas for us were in the top quarter of the lake, I used a previous tournament and my Insight Genesis maps to locate weed beds adjacent to deeper water and look for shady pockets,” said Howarth.
For Howarth it was reward for putting in the homework, “It was great to win the event using Ecogear and Lowrance products and I am really thankful for their support. I also need to thank Steve Morgan and Tristan Taylor for the loan of the boat and motor.”
Matt Johnson showed once again why he is always one to watch on the tournament trail, having another consistent finish with 2/2 fish for 1.92kg, which was anchored by the event Big Bass of 1.14kg. Johnson headed down the lake and targeted fish holding in the small bays in the middle reaches of the lake.
“It was all about finding edges with broken weed and pockets for the fish to hold in,” explained Johnson.
Once he had located the fish, Johnson targeted them with a Jackall Derabuzz in blue gill. He cast his lure onto the lily pads behind the weed bed before burning the bait back to the boat.
“I really had a short bite window. I had my bag by 8:30 and the bite died off soon after.”
Johnson’s rig of choice for this work was a Barra Bass XSB 843 matched with a Quantum EXO 25 spooled with 10lb Unitika braid and 10lb Unitika fluorocarbon.
“It was good day fishing with Shaun Falkenhagen and I am looking forward to the Electric season ahead,” explained Johnson.
For all the information on an event near you, head to abt.org.au. – ABT
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