The Daiwa Bassin Qld Series continued its run of well-attended and enjoyable tournaments at the second round on Boondooma Dam in April.
The superstitious could have been forgiven for worrying about the competition – not only was the briefing kicked off on Friday 13, but even worse, the Dam level had fallen to 13%. To quote Skip Hislop, “The tide is definitely out at Boondooma!”
However, bad luck and low dam levels weren’t enough to keep the 109 competitors away. Fifty-nine boats ranging from the family run-about to the latest in custom MakoCrafts and Skeeters competed for space on the diminished water, and this mimicked the tight competition in the angling.
Saturday morning saw the majority of boats heading up the dam. Lots of competitors remembered the successful techniques from Bassin Round 6 in 2006. So it was no surprise that many were trying the fly around Treasure Island (even though it had been fully submerged at the last round) and flicking Jackalls and spinnerbaits at the edges.
With the decreased water levels there were fewer defined weed edges and this meant a lot more searching to find the active fish. A trend began to emerge quite early with many anglers catching fish that were either undersize or the wrong colour.
Many boats lingered to the last second before racing back to the weigh-in, while others chose to call it a day a bit early in order to be able to listen in on how the others were catching fish. By the end of the second session on Saturday only 48 of the 109 competitors had caught legal fish.
This didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the Saturday night Bassination Session however. In fact, it probably heightened it as all the competitors knew they would get a chance to hear directly from the leading competitors as well as the usual discussion of techniques.
The results were tabulated, with William Peterson followed by young Jack Hislop leading out the sub-juniors. And once again proving the competition to be a family affair, Dylan ‘Mini’ Mott had captured the lead in the Juniors above Hamish Stewart and Jake Schwerin. Dylan’s father, Matthew Mott, was leading the Seniors ahead of Troy Ward. There was a dead-heat for third between Mike Delisser and Jacinda Schloss.
The two main techniques discussed were casting or trolling Jackalls along the edges and fishing to suspended fish. Matthew Mott gave a very informative session on using soft plastics to catch suspended fish in very deep water. After using the sounder to spot fish hanging at a depth of 20-25ft of water in 80ft near the dam wall, the Mott Team experimented with different counts to find the right wait-time before retrieving, ensuring they were presenting the lure to the school.
People were listening. On Sunday morning the buoy line near the dam wall was packed like sardines with boats lined up one next to the other along the buoy line. It is a great testament to the culture of this tournament that anglers were happy to allow other boats into close confines for a chance to fish the schools, with no evidence of boat rage and not a single 10-ball cast in anger. Although of course, the jet skis didn’t come near….
Many chose to stick to their own techniques however, and the Jackalls saw a lot of water further up the dam. This proved to take some of the bigger fish, and Jack Hislop secured first place in the sub-juniors with the second largest session bag of the competition at 2.2kg.
With one of only four full bags for the weekend, the perennial favourite amongst the juniors, Mini Mott, weighed in a 3.5kg total bag, putting the seniors on notice to beware once he jumps weight classes.
Mighty Mike Delisser again proved he is Mr Consistency, bagging six out of six. However, it was not enough to hold his place, as Cameron Oster ousted him from third position when he nailed the Big Bass award for the round with a 1.7kg thumper. Cameron caught this fish on a purple TN70 Jackall, adding more evidence to the ‘big lure, big fish’ theory.
Cindy Schloss took out the top female spot with a five fish, 3.1kg bag and as always, a great show of enthusiasm upon beating the blokes in her camp.
Matthew Mott had the final six-bagger, but graciously accepted second place as Troy Ward weighed in a 2.35kg bag to top the scales at 5.3kg of fish. Troy was using the Brown Dog Jackall that hadn’t left his line all weekend.
Once again the depth of support from the sponsors was shown in the huge array of prizes. The encouragement awards and lucky weight prizes were a hit as always because many who weren’t on the leader-board (or even on the board) walked away with some new gear and a smile.
With four rounds left in the Bassin series it is still anyone’s game, even new entrants. The Angler of the Year competition only takes the best four results, so everyone is in for a chance at the top honour. Every round fished also gives entrants a chance to win the fantastic Makocraft/Yamaha boat package.
For more details check www.bassinqldseries.com.au or contact Dave or Kaylene Hislop on (07) 5497 9075.
Hope to see you all at Round 3 of the series at Lake Monduran on May 26 and 27! - Paul Martyna
Troy Ward (First Place)
G. Loomis Mossey Back 7’1” 10-14lb
12# braid, 12# Nitron leader
Brown Dog TN60 Jackall
Technique: worked the banks further up the dam, and stuck with a confidence lure.
Matthew Mott (Second Place)
Black Diamond 7’ Flats Ranger 2-5kg
Diawa Certate 1500, 4# green Berkley Fireline, 10# Berkley Vanish leader
Ecogear rainbow trout or Slider soft plastic (in camo) on 1/2oz Nitro jighead
Technique: sprayed lures with garlic Spike-it Oil and counted down to 20 then slow rolled through the suspended fish.
Cameron Oster (Third Place)
Strudwick Sik Stick
Pfluger Spin reel, 6# Berkley Fireline, 10# Penn leader
Purple TN70 Jackall
Technique: slow rolled on the banks with occasional sharp hops. Worked far up the dam past the third marker.Reads: 1031