Anyone who has fished Somerset can tell you how great it can be. They will also tell you how hard it can be. At the third round of the Daiwa Bassin’ Qld Series the competitors got to experience a bit of both.
123 participants, including 8 juniors and 12 sub-juniors from as far away as Gladstone, Murwillumbah and Lismore lined up for the start in 64 boats ranging from 13ft tiller steer tinnies and small tenders through to the latest model Skeeters and Nitros sporting more horses than an outback rodeo.
The Friday night briefing saw some changes to the start procedure with boats progressing to the end of the 6 knot zone before the official start time of 7am Saturday morning.
Early fog and dead stillness marked Saturday morning, and the rustle of warm gear and tackle started early as eager anglers anticipated the day. The early promise didn’t eventuate for most anglers however, as Somerset’s fish proved hard to wake up.
By the end of the first session experienced veterans and beginners alike were shaking their heads and still sporting dry livewells.
While it was tough, the fish that were captured showed how Somerset has gained its reputation with a number of fish around the 2kg mark emerging from a few lucky angler’s live wells.
Mark Hockey’s impressive first session bag of 2.88kg topped the mornings efforts, with only 29 fish weighed.
The second session proved no more forgiving than the first. Boats were desperately seeking out schools of fish only to have them non-responsive, or suddenly disappear from the sounder.
Those who were catching told similar stories, they were fishing hard and having no luck, when suddenly the fish came on for a moment and than the switch flipped again and they were back in the desert.
The Saturday night Bassination session brought out a sea of eager faces, all looking to find out what it was that was working when they had emptied the tackle box. And as the leading competitors began telling their stories the answer emerged. What was working? Nothing and everything.
Mark Hockey managed to hold his lead with a single bass in the second session bringing his total to 4.36kg, but Trevor Foote and Brett Kleinschmidt weren’t far behind. It was still anyone’s race, if they could pull out 2 thumpers in the last session.
Dylan Mott took the lead in the Juniors with a 1.95kg bass that went on to take out the junior Big Bass honours for the weekend. In the sub-juniors Hayley Dakin was proving consistent with the only 4 fish bag weighed in. Jack Hislop mounted a challenge in the second session with a 1.57kg bass that was the Sub-juniors top catch for the weekend.
The prizes and raffles proved a hit, as did Dave’s clinic on Ecogear, Sliders, and Jackalls as well as soft plastics rigging and knot tips.
After another beautiful morning on the water the previous day’s pattern continued with fish proving hostile at best. And while the trend continued (29 fish in the first session, 28 in the second, and 27 in the third), neither the fog nor the slow fishing seemed to dampen the spirits of the competitors.
Some impressive fish were weighed in, with John Siggs 2.31kg bass rocketing him up the standings. When Mark Hockey emerged from the timbers he didn’t need a fog light, his smile was enough. Catching his second bass of the session within sight of the weigh in point. His bag of 3.36kg secured him in top spot above Trevor Foote and Siggs. He also pipped the big bass with a stonker at 2.33kg.
Hayley Dakin bagged out, producing the only perfect 6 for the weekend and secured top spot in the juniors above an ecstatic Jack Hislop and Adrian Male.
At tournament’s end there were plenty of smiles. A post on the Daiwa Bassin Series Forums summed it up nicely: ‘Just wanted to say thanks for an awesome weekend. My first comp and I guarantee I'll be back. 1 keeper fish (and what a beauty) but learnt more in 2 days than in the last 3 months, will be aiming for much better next time round. Very Happy! Thanks to Dave and everyone else for making me feel welcome and for making the whole weekend so easy and enjoyable.’ Signed Murray Fox. – Paul Martyna
The Winner: How and Where
|Lure:||Grasshopper Green 1/2oz and 5/8oz spinnerbaits|
|Zone:||7-9m of water in 6 knot zone.|
|Good advice from Nancy at the Kiosk sent me towards the timbers. I couldn’t get the overloaded little boat (3.75m Bushman Poly w/20hp Merc ) on the plane so we decided to troll. Started with a PB 48, got another||40 right on the bell. Final session got a 38 first up, than nothing until we were almost back when I got the 52. Motties spinnerbait still had line on it when he gave it to me and it worked a treat for me!|