With a wild and windy prefish, Lake Glenbawn looked like it was up to its usual tricks, however, by Saturday, it had passed and 46 boats hit the water.
The favourite for the weekend was Michael Pascoe. By the end of the first session Pascoe had a good lead with the heaviest bag of the weekend with two fish for 2.15kg. The fishing was tough and the big Glenbawn bass of times gone by had disappeared. This tournament was going to be tight.
With only three seconds left on the clock at the end of the second session Pascoe secured his second bass for the session.
Heading out in first place on Sunday, the pressure was on Pascoe to capture his limit if he wanted the $5000 cheque up for grabs for first place. The local stuck to his techniques and with two bites for two bass, now had a deposit for a house.
Pascoe used a G.Loomis GL3 matched to a Shimano Integra reel spooled with Castaway 10lb PE braid and 6lb Siglon FC Leader.
Usually an avid fly fisherman, Pascoe stuck with plastics all weekend, throwing Berkley Bass Minnows in pearl blue and pearl watermelon rigged on 1/16 jigheads and Berkley Jigging Grubs in watermelon rigged on 1⁄4 jigheads.
Fishing what he called the ‘middle section’, Pascoe would look towards the banks for weed and timber in 3ft of water. While the sun was still rising he would cast the lightly weighted bass minnows in amongst this structure using a 1, 2, 3 hop to keep the lure above the weed.
“I found the bass would usually hit the plastic on the first cast, or after the hop and pause,” Pascoe explained.
Once the sun had risen, he moved to deeper water and slow rolled the jigging grubs looking for bass in 20ft of water.
Second place, Stephen Almond was fishing a similar area to Pascoe and caught his bass using a Daiwa Procaster rod and Daiwa TD SOL 2000 spooled with 4lb Berkley Fireline and 10lb Vanish.
Almond also relied on his Berkley plastics, using a 3” Gulp Grub in watermelon rigged on a 1⁄4oz Nitro jighead.
Late in the first session with no fish in the well, Almond grabbed a rod rigged with a Jackall Chubby and scored 2 bass lurking tight in the shallows.
When throwing his plastics he would sit in 17ft of water with a steep drop off and with long casts he slow rolled the lure back, staying in contact with the bottom at all times.
“It was tough fishing all right, I only scored two bites per session,” Almond said.
Winning non boater for the weekend was Craig Ellis from South Australia. Rubbing salt into the other competitors’ wounds, claiming this was the first time he had ever caught a bass.
Ellis used a Daiwa Heartland Z rod and Daiwa TD SOL 2000 spooled with 4lb Fireline and 6lb Basic FC. Throwing Berkley Gulp Shrimp and pumpkinseed Minnows rigged on 1/8oz Lure Strike jigheads, Ellis found the bass to take a soft nibble of the lure whilst he was performing a slow bouncy jig.
The Daiwa Big Bass of the weekend was slightly above the average size with a 1.14kg specimen caught by Mark Mangold. Usually a bream angler, Mangold was methodically working a weedy point with a Jackall when instinct said to throw a 3 inch pearl watermelon bass minnow rigged on a 1/11 Nitro jighead and ‘whack’, the bass hit.
Being the last qualifying event for the year, the major meant there were three boater spots up for grabs as well as the last chance for anglers to score valuable AOY points and make the Grand Final.
AOY leaders Tim Morgan and Carl Jocumsen were away filming the new episodes of AFC and Stephen ‘Killer’ Kanowski used this opportunity to pounce. Finishing in third place, Kanowski had secured the AOY title for the third time and never in consecutive years.
For this Kanowski wins the coveted AOY trophy and free entry to all 2008 qualifiers.
In the non boater AOY, Peter Kelleher swooped from second place to take out the title, finishing third at Lake Glenbawn. In his first year as a bass angler Kelleher has adapted well to bass and now has the bragging rights.
With the Grand Final week soon upon us, invitations for the Bass Electric Convention and Bass Pro Grand Final have been sent out. This intensive bass fishing week also sees the Megabucks at Lake Borumba. For more information or entry forms visit www.australianbass.com.au or phone ABT. – ABT