After very dry conditions and record low levels at Lake St Clair, the 2006 Eagle St Clair BASS Pro moved to Lake Glenbawn on March 18-19.
Fishing Monthly Group Director Stephen Morgan looked outside the square to compile a 6/6 limit to take out the event with a bag weight of 5.82kg.
Morgan pre-fished Friday and decided that the best fish in the lake would be holding in the main basin, due to the dropping water level. Targeting fish holding on the edges of minor points and small bays was the key, as they were areas other anglers wouldn’t think to target. Fishing in 20m of water Morgan used only his electric mounted sounder to locate single fish or small schools, then presenting his brown crawdad 3” Atomic Paddle Tails on 3/8 or 1/2oz TT jigheads.
“The fish were very tentative, almost bream like.” said Morgan, who found the fishing a challenge and felt it was a definite feel bite.
“Some fish seemed to keep coming with the lure while others took the lure when dropped back down to them.”
Morgan focussed his attention where scattered fish were hanging on the edge of submerged tree lines. Moving closer over the timber didn’t pay dividends as the quality fish were on the outside.
“In the first session I landed eight legal fish and upgraded twice,” said Morgan, who went on to catch three fish in the second session and two in the final to complete his bag limit of six fish.
“I went out there to have fun and keep it simple, so simple I only used one rod all weekend,” he said. That rod was a Daiwa Heartland X fitted with a Daiwa Airity 2500 reel, spooled with 2lb Platypus Superbraid and 8lb Yamatoyo leader. He eclipsed the field, finishing each session at the top end of the leader board and also claiming the Daiwa Big Bass prize with a 1.59kg fish that was taken 10 minutes into the first session on day one. It gave him the confidence he needed to take out the title of Champion Angler for the first round of the ABT BASS Pro Series.
Stephen Almond finished in second place, qualifying for the BASS Pro Grand Final with a 6/6, 5.71kg bag. Almond, a 53-year-old mine worker from Singleton, used local knowledge to locate his fish.
“My sounders helped give me the edge,” said Almond, who used his sounders to locate suspended schools, then target the bigger fish just off the edge of the schools.
Using a Procaster rod matched with a Team Daiwa Advantage reel spooled with 4lb Berkley Fireline and 10lb Berkley Vanish leader, Almond targeted fish suspended in 35 feet of water next to trees, using a very slow roll as he moved the lure through the schooled fish. In the final session he changed tactics and concentrated on the flats, presenting his 3” Gulp Minnow in Pumpkinseed to fish in around 40 to 45 foot of water.
“I tried lots of other lures to get bigger fish but the Gulp was the only one that seemed to get results,” he said, over the moon with his result.
Champion non-boater Andrew Low, a 29-year-old tackle salesman from Maitland, carried his form from the BASS Electrics where he has already qualified for the Electric Convention. Low spoke highly of his boaters Tim Morgan and Brad Smith. During Saturday’s two sessions Low and Morgan fished drop-offs targeting suspended fish in around 35 to 40 feet of water.
“Marking our lines at 40 foot was essential,” said Low, who couldn’t believe how many fish he and Morgan caught in the first session. Low upgraded three times each session with a day one total of 4.58kg.
Day two and a change of boaters meant Low had to adapt his fishing style as he and Smith targeted fish in deep water, landing only three fish for the session and the largest coming from the bottom in 65 feet of water. Low’s choice of tackle was made up by a Team Daiwa SOL 2000 reel matched with a Daiwa rod rigged with 4lb Rapala Braid and 6lb Siglon leader material. After trying numerous plastics his number one lure was a Chartreuse/Black Core 3” Slider rigged on a 5/8oz Nitro Dam Deep jighead.
The series rolls on with round two on the 5-6th of May back at Lake Glenbawn. Anyone interested in testing their tournament skills should visit www.australianbass.com.au or call ABT on (07) 3268 3992. – ABT
|1||Steve MORGAN||6/6||5.82||$3000 + $500 Daiwa Big Bass|
|2||Stephen ALMOND||6/6||5.71||$1500 + Qualify|
|3||Andrew HOMANN||6/6||5.7||$1250 + Qualify|
|1||Andrew LOW||6/6||5.73||Angler Rod, Shimano Curado, Prize Pack + Qualify|
|2||Mick ELSLEY||6/6||4.02||Strudwick 6-8kg, Pflueger reel, Prize Pack + Qualify|
|3||David MUDD||5/6||4||Spotters Pack, Prize Pack + Qualify|
|4||Glen CASEY||5/6||3.93||Nitro rod, Prize Pack + Qualify|
|5||Brooke KENNETT||4/6||3.87||Nitro rod, Prize Pack + Qualify|
|6||Gavin DUNNE||5/6||3.87||Strudwick rod, Prize Pack + Qualify|
|7||Adrian MELCHIOR||5/6||3.82||Shimano Raider rod, Prize Pack|
|8||Ward ELLWOOD||4/6||3.43||Shimano Raider rod, Prize Pack|
|9||Troy URQUHART||5/6||3.37||Prize Pack|
|10||Dale MULLINS||5/6||3.28||Prize Pack|