With low water levels affecting the majority of Australia, the decision was made to move the Eagle St Clair BASS Pro round to Lake Glenbawn.
This did not discourage anglers too much, with 113 registering to compete in the weekend event.
Strong winds greeted anglers at the Friday night briefing, but it was relieving to find pleasant conditions come Saturday morning.
This obviously helped Kylie Cornish who weighed in 2/2 bass for 2.48kg, giving her a considerable lead, after the first session.
Session two on Saturday was much tougher for most, with the reliable and consistent anglers faring well.
At the end of the day, Borumba’s major winner Carl Jocumsen was leading with 4/4, 3.09kg. Only 340g separated the top ten, Sunday’s session was important and the $2750 cheque was still up for grabs.
With a thick fog rolling over the lake early Sunday morning the field set off at 6am under a 6 knot limit. Tensions ran high and with a great top water bite predicted, anglers were excited to reach their destinations.
The 11am weigh-in came quickly and some of the best bags of the tournament were being presented.
The final winner with 6/6 bass for a total weight of 5kg was the consistent local Michael Pascoe. Second was Mark Cutler (6/6, 4.87kg), third was Andrew Pulbrook (6/6, 4.84kg), fourth was Carl Jocumsen (6/6, 4.72kg) and fifth was Brad Smith (5/6, 4.59kg).
Pascoe used a G.Loomis rod and Shimano Sustain reel spooled with a 6lb Berkley Fireline and a 10lb Berkley Vanish.
Fishing the Big House Bay location for the tournament, Pascoe used a variety of techniques to suit the conditions and acquire his bag limit.
With fine early morning conditions, Pascoe worked a green Megabass Popper X surface lure until 9am. He then moved to the trees located in 35ft and deeper and dropped green Berkley 3” Gulp Grubs down the trunks and slow rolled them back.
In the Saturday afternoon session he spent his time fishing flies, targeting schooled fish in the back of bays. He then tempted these with a homemade Bass Vampire imitation with a 2-3 strip, pause retrieve.
Second place Mark Cutler used a G.Loomis 783 crankbait rod matched to a Daiwa Pixy reel spooled with 8lb Platil Superbraid and 10lb Berkley Vanish leader.
In the mornings, Cutler headed to the Lost Island region, positioning the boat in 15ft and throwing to the weed edges. Working a Jackall SK Pop 60mm surface lure, Cutler explained the technique he used.
“I would cast the lure touching the weed edge, then with an aggressive first retrieve, I would pause the lure for a long period. I found the bass would strike when the lure was sitting stationary,” he said.
The other successful technique he employed for the weekend was working a 3/8 TT Revhead rigged with a black pumpkin Slider plastic, thrown to the rock walls.
“I would let it sink for 5 seconds then retrieve, half way back I would let it sink again, with the fish usually taking the lure on the second retrieve,” Cutler explained.
The clear winner in the non-boater session was Joel Quinlan with 4/6, 4.09kg bag. Despite not scoring a fish in the final session, day one’s kicker fish of 1.59kg was enough to maintain his lead to the end.
Quinlan used a custom G.Loomis IMX 782 rod and Daiwa Alphus spooled with 16lb Yamatoyo Saltwater PE braid and 16lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon.
Working a variety of structure including rock walls, timber and weed edges, he found that by slow rolling his Kustom Lures spinnerbaits in green and white skirts and following the contour of the bank, the bass would generally hit the lure while it was sinking.
His kicker fish, caught in the first session however, came on a 1/4 TT jighead rigged with a Slider grub. Putting the lure in the face of this fish, Quinlan called it a pure fluke.
Taking out the Daiwa Big Bass in the final session was 6th place winner Michael Collins’ 1.61kg specimen which scored him $500 and a Team Daiwa Advantage reel.
With the low light conditions early, Collins threw a Storm Hopper Popper surface cricket imitation lure to the thick weed edges. Working the lure back slowly with 6-8 second pauses he was able to tempt the big bass back to the boat.
The ABT Bass Pro season now moves to Lake Monduran in July. Better known for its barramundi population and a new tournament venue for the circuit, it’s sure to produce plenty of surprises.
For further information log onto www.australianbass.com.au. - ABT