The low level of Lake Somerset and adverse weather conditions presented 97 competitors with the challenging task of catching bass.
In a field of 51 boaters, consistency paid off for young gun Trevor Foote. Trevor, a 17-year-old apprentice plumber, managed the only 6/6 bag of fish for the weekend. In trying conditions where others failed to be consistent, Foote managed to improve the size of his bass presented to the weigh master each session. His six fish weighed 7.63kg. Although not huge by Somerset standards, they reflected how tough the fishing was.
After a successful prefish on the flats opposite Queen Street, Foote left the fish biting in the hope they’d remain in the same area during the competition. In the first two sessions, Foote secured his limit by hopping ice jigs off the bottom where he could see fish on his sounder.
“I used a pink Nil’s Master ice jig in size 2. The fish were on the sounder in 20-30ft of water so I just persisted. I’d hop the lure around 1-2ft off the bottom and let it touch back down each time,” said Trevor.
His persistence paid off. In both the first and second session, Trevor travelled back to another flats area outside Beam’s Creek. Here he managed to upgrade his limit using a 3” Slider Grub in the baby bass colour rigged on a Nitro 3/8oz jighead.
“I used a slow retrieve and paused about half way back to the boat. I then let the plastic fall back to the bottom on a tight line. The upgrades both took the lure as it started falling back to the bottom,” said Trevor.
Trevor was leading the competition after the first day. In the final session, he managed to score two more bass using his ice jigging method.
“I didn’t want to lose that last fish. We were both hooked up and luckily we had two nets. My non-boater landed his fish first in the big net. I then had to land mine using a smaller net that I usually use in the livewell,” said Trevor.
Trevor used two outfits that were the same but spooled with different lines for his ice jigging and plastic presentations. He chose a Daiwa Procaster V 6’6” 4-8lb rod and teamed it with a Daiwa Sol 2000 spinning reel. For working ice jigs, Foote opted for 4lb Platypus Superbraid fitted with a length of 6lb fluorocarbon. For delivering his Slider Grubs, he used a combination of 10lb Daiwa braid with 10lb Vanish fluorocarbon leader.
Ross Murray took out the non-boater division with 4/6 bass for 5.73kg. On day one, Ross caught his fish on the popular flats out from Beams Creek. He hopped Mask Vib 60 Jackalls in 25-40ft of water.
“I reckon that I caught better fish than some of the other guys because I used slower, longer hops. The fish seemed to like the Jackall better that way,” said Ross.
On day two, Ross proved his versatility and resorted to an entirely different technique. He cast a Tennessee shad coloured 3” Slider Grub rigged on a 1/2oz Dam Deep Nitro jighead.
“I cast the lure hard up against the bank and started a medium paced retrieve as soon as it hit the water. The boat was in 8-12ft of water and the bass were taking the lure half way back to the boat. The best tip I can give is to fish hard until the end because it can pay off. I caught my third session limit in the last ten casts of the day,” said Ross.
Ross delivered his Mask Jackalls on a 7’ Millerod Bass Buster fitted with a Team Daiwa Advantage 2000 reel. He spooled this reel with 6lb Platypus Superbraid with a leader of 8lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon. His second outfit used for soft plastics consisted of a 7’6” Nitro Distance Spin and a Daiwa Sol 2000. This reel was spooled with 6lb Fireline and 8lb Yamatoyo leader.
Toowoomba angler Peter May took out the Daiwa Big Bass prize of $500 and a Daiwa fishing reel. Peter had a great last session weighing the largest bag for the weekend. His two fish weighed 4.74kg and rocketed him to fourth place with only a 2/6 bag. His big bass was a magnificent fish of 2.64kg.
For more information on the BASS Pro Series call ABT on (07) 3268 3992 or 0427 326 464 during business hours. – ABT