Humminbird Hauls at BASS MegaBucks
  |  First Published: November 2006

Team Humminbird rewrote the record books on 19-20 September, taking a clean sweep of each session and overall honours at the 2006 Humminbird BASS Megabucks.

Staged on the under used Lostock Dam in the Hunter Valley, the 9-team BASS event provided anglers with an insight into some of the fattest bass going around and a look one of the fishiest looking venues on the BASSin’ calendar.

With recent rain and a strongly flowing Patterson River inundating the dam, anglers battled to find active and substantial concentrations of fish over the two days of competition. Claiming overall and every session honours for the tournament was Team Humminbird’s Tim Morgan and Carl Jocumsen.

Mastering the bite on offer the best, Morgan and Jocumsen compiled an 8/12, 9.59kg limit to easily secure victory over the rest of the field, including event runners up, Team Evacool/Dairy Farmers, Matthew Mott and Wayne Parry’s 2/12, 3.27kg.

In traditional MegaBucks style the primary emphasis for anglers was to make it onto the winner’s dais at the end of each day and take away a share of the skins cash on offer.

Session 1
1st: $1500 + $500 Big Bass: Team Humminbird, 2/4, 3.28kg

Heading straight to a weeded bay they located in the Paterson arm of the dam during the prefish, Morgan and Jocumsen opted for a presentation they could fish tight into the weed towers scattered throughout the bay.

“While we didn’t find many fish during the prefish, we did work out that they were holding tight in the weed,” Morgan explained.

With their boat positioned in a clearing in the weed, the pair would present their offering, casting it to the edge, before allowing it to sink deep into the weed.

“The key was to get the lure down into the weed where the bass were sulking,” Morgan said.

Once the lure was in there the next step was to rip the lure back out, and hopefully into the path of a waiting bass. The technique produced two fish, a 1.4kg fish in 3ft of water for Carl at 6.10am, and the events’ Big Bass, a 1.91kg specimen for Tim at 7.30am.

Lure: 1/4oz jighead, 2 1/2” paddle-tailed grub in dark/natural tones.

Tip: Sink lure into weeds and rip out to entice a reaction.

2nd: $750: Team Em Dee Engineering/Mackaway Tackle/Active 4X4, 1/4, 1.87kg

Fishing the spillway bay adjacent to the tournament weigh-in area, the team of Almond and Parkes picked up their only fish for the session by slow rolling a Jackall TN70 out from the weed edge.

With the boat positioned in 20ft of water, the pair presented their lure tight to the sheer faced weed bed dominating the area.

“After casting the lure to the weed edge, I let it sink all the way to the bottom, free falling it down the weed face on a tight line,” Parkes explained. “I then allowed it to sit motionless on the bottom for a few seconds, before beginning the dead slow retrieve back to the boat,” he said.

The strike came in the first couple of cranks of the handle, with the bass nailing the lure just as it moved away from the weed. At its most productive during the low light early in the session, the technique produced one more strike before dropping off as the day became brighter.

Lure: Jackall TN70 in HL gold.

Tip: Keep the retrieve slow and keep the lure close to the bottom and weed.

Session 2
1st: $1500: Team Humminbird, 2/4, 3.22kg

Morgan and Jocumsen head straight back to the bay and picked up where they left off. Tim added their first to the well at 12.45pm, another at 1.00pm, and their third and final fish for the session at 4.00pm.

“The pattern was just the same as the morning session, sinking plastics deep into the weed,” Jocumsen explained.

The other important measure taken by the pair to ensure success is making sure they have a good time.

“You see a lot of guys get stressed and uptight when their fishing tournaments,” says Tim.

“For us it’s all about going out, having fun and catching a few fish,” he explained. The results of the approach speak for themselves.

Lure: 1/4oz jighead, 2 1/2” paddle-tailed grub in dark/natural tones.

Tip: Sink lure into weeds and rip out to entice a reaction.

2nd: $750: Team Evinrude HO, 1/4, 1.01kg

“Our fish (one legal and two undersize) came from a steed faced weed bed in 12-16ft of water,” explained Connolly.

Fishing a jighead rigged soft plastic approach the pair presented their plastics tight to the weed, sinking it to the bottom before beginning the retrieve.

“The retrieve was a slow rolling one,” explained Connolly. “When the lure touched or got stuck in the weed we’d give it a flick, ripping it through, clearing off the weed and allowing us to continue to the retrieve,” he added.

Studious attention to the sounder and the positioning of the boat also ensured that the anglers’ were getting their lure in the zone.

“The fish were definitely holding in the weed edge, and making sure you had your lure on that edge and in their face was very important,” Connolly said.

Lure: 1/4oz Nitro jighead, Ecogear Grass Minnow in rainbow trout.

Tip: Use sounder to pin point weed edge where fish are holding.

Session 3
1st: $1500: Team Humminbird, 3/4, 3.09kg

Back to the money bay. Carl landed first bass twitching plastics midwater above the weed at 6.00am, then added another at 9.00am and the third at 9.15am. The pattern however was slightly different.

“It became a bit more of a reaction bite, with the bass coming out to intercept the plastics as it twitched mid water above the weed,” Jocumsen explained.

The pattern becoming more noticeable as the wind picked up and the water above the weed became more ruffled and disturbed.

“It seemed to stir the bass up a bit more,” explained Carl.

“It was a switch from the glassed out crystal clear conditions we had for the previous two sessions and I think the bass appreciated the reduced visibility and the increased turbulence,” he added.

Lure: 1/4oz jighead, 2 1/2” paddle-tailed grub in dark/natural tones.

Tip: Work lure above weed touching occasionally to the tempt fish.

2nd: $375: Team Evacool/Dairy Farmers, 1/4, 1.55kg

Claiming equal 2nd place along with Steve Kanowski and Craig Simmons, Matthew Mott and Wayne Parry spent session three fishing steep rocky banks in the southern of the dam.

Fishing a 1/4oz TT jighead/3” Berkley Drop Shot Minnow in watermelon offering, the pair presented their lure, fishing it deep along the timber strewn rock shore.

“We fished the lure to the edge, sinking it all the way to the bottom (3m) before beginning the retrieve,” Parry explained.

The retrieve involving a standard hop-n-drop movement back to the boat, worked until it was out of the strike zone, then repeated.

“It was a boring technique, but it seemed to work,” explained Parry. “We dropped four other fish doing the same thing so we preserved and eventually one stuck,” he added.

Lure: 1/4oz TT jighead, 3” Berkley Drop Shot Minnow (colour-watermelon)

Tip: Keep the lure in the strike zone, once it is in unproductive water wind back in and repeat.

2nd: $375: Team Spotters Sunglasses/Angler Rods, 1/4, 1.55kg

Fishing a shallow weed dominated bay similar to Team Humminbird, Kanowski and Simmons fished flies, presenting their offerings slow and close to the weed.

“We worked the fly through the water column between the surface and the weed, bumping it over the top of the weed bombies,” Kanowski explained.

Using a slow strip, interspersed with regular pauses, Kanowski’s fish came from an enquiry that was long and drawn out.

“He was playing with it for ages, knocking and nudging it, but not quite committing himself enough for me to set the hook,” he says.

The hook-up was eventually forth coming, with Kanowski adding the fish to his livewell, and a $375 pay cheque to the team’s earnings for the event.

Lure: Black and purple Vampire fly.

Tip: Fish fly slow and close to weed, and add Dizzy spice scent to fly for added appeal.

To the Victor Goes the Spoils

Ultimate honours went to Team Humminbird though, with the pair banking $4,500 for their two days of fishing. When quizzed post victory both anglers were jubilant not only about their win but also the Lostock bass fishery.

“This event was the most fun I’ve ever had in a tough tournament. This dam is awesome,” explained an excited Jocumsen.

Tim was equally ecstatic, and was perhaps most satisfied after conquering a tough and shut down bite.

“It was obvious after the BASS Electric tournament that it wasn’t a reaction bite. Anglers were all throwing the same lures that weren’t working the days before. So we downsized out lures and made sure that we fished hard the whole session. The secret of this event was to be confident that the next cast would land in front of a hungry bass. And it paid off,” explained Morgan. – ABT

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