With low water levels affecting many of SEQ’s impoundments, the venue for the third BASS Pro round for 2006 was moved to Lake Boondooma.
47 boats and 87 anglers took part in what was a tough weekend of fishing. Anglers battled to crack a pattern and the leader board continued to change throughout the event.
It was 48-year-old Jackall importer Harry ‘Hank’ Watson from Boonah who jumped ahead of the field in the last session. Watson weighed 5/6 fish for 5.35kg, jumping in front of the closest competitor by 0.55kg. Watson managed to compile his bag with larger fish than his rivals, meaning he was able to outclass those who weighed a full 6/6 limit.
During the prefish day on Friday Watson found a 100m stretch of bank that was holding bigger bass. It was this location that yielded most of his fish in the tournament. Harry’s bank had a 30 taper with a healthy weed edge extending 20m into the lake. Smaller fish showed on his Lowrance sounder below the boat in 5m of water. These fish weren’t in Watson’s sights. It was the larger fish that were holding tight against the weed edge that formed his winning limit.
Harry varied his approach, using two successful lure types with a similar retrieve for both. He alternated between both, finding that one would produce better than the other at certain times. Watson opted for a TN60 Jackall in the Purple Shad colour to look for reaction bites, with a G. Loomis 783 Crankbait rod and a Shimano Chronarch 50mg reel used to deliver the presentation. The Chronarch was spooled with 12lb Platypus Superbraid and topped off with a length of 12lb Siglon Fluorocarbon leader.
When the Jackall failed, Watson chose a small plastic to do the job. Using a painted 2” Illusion Shad rigged on a 1⁄4oz round ball jighead to work through the same water he had explored with the Jackall. Harry’s soft plastic outfit comprised of a G.Loomis SR 842 IMX rod, teamed with a Shimano 1000 Sustain reel. The reel was spooled with 2lb Platypus Superbraid and finished off with a 8lb Siglon leader.
Watson explained how he fished differently to other anglers working similar areas.
“I’d cast into the edge of the weed and let the lure hit it. Then I’d start ripping it out hard to shed weed off the lure. Once free of weed, I used a medium paced retrieve and let the lure touch the tops of the broken weed on the way back to the boat,” he said.
Harry walked away with a $2500 prize cheque for his first placing, plus a $500 winner bonus presented by Skeeter Boats as part of their Sponsor Bonus Program.
The non-boater section was taken out by the consistent Glen Casey from Bassman Spinnerbait fame, with the happy-go-lucky lure manufacturer compiling a 6/6, 3.95kg tournament limit to secure his win.
Using two techniques to fill his bag, Casey was on a roll right from session one, when he told his boater Mike Connolly to get the net ready after his first cast. Glen used a combination of casting green pumpkin Slider Grubs to the weed edge and bouncing the bottom with the largest Nils Master ice jigs to achieve his limit.
Glen explained his successful ice jigging technique by saying, “I was just letting the jig pad the bottom after each hop. It was nothing fancy. The fish were hitting the jig hard and I had a great time”.
Glen’s fish all came from the Pelican Point area in the Boyne Arm of the lake.
The $500 Daiwa Big Bass Prize went to Dale Mullins for his 1.71kg specimen caught on fly along a steep rocky point in the main basin of the dam.
“It was the first bass that I’ve ever caught on fly in a tournament,” Mullins said.
“It fell to chartreuse and black Bass Vampire fly, that was double the size most guys use. The fact that it turned out to be the big bass for the tournament makes it that much more special,” he said.
For more information visit www.australianbass.com.au or phone ABT on (07) 3268 3992 (b/h) or 0427 32 64 64 (b/h). – ABT