The third round of the 2008 Skeeter BASS Pro Series produced one of the toughest bass bites in ABT history with only 46 bass delivered to the scales by the 122-angler tournament field.
Mastering the mental and physically repetitive bass grind of the weekend the best to score his first win on the BASS Pro tour was 43 year old Scone Builder Neil Scott (2/6, 2.75kg). Relegating Adrian Melchior (3/6, 2.44kg) to second place at the Gamakatsu presented Lake Borumba BASS Pro event.
Fishing the main basin of the lake for the duration of the tournament Scott targeted the points, positioning his boat in about 20-25 feet of water, before casting up into the shallow edges and working the lure back down the contour of the drop off and into the deeper water.
“There were fish under my sounder all weekend so I was trying to intercept any active fish that were moving up into the shallows to feed,” he said.
This approach delivered Scott his first scorer for the tournament on the Saturday afternoon with the willing bass scoffing the slow rolled and hoped gold ghost coloured Jackall TN60.
His second fish for the event showed a liking for something shallower, falling to a black coloured River 2 Sea Bubble Pop 60 early on Sunday morning.
“It nailed the lure six feet out from the bank, finally hooking up on its second go at the lure,” he said.
Scott’s tackle included a 6’6” G.Loomis baitcaster rod, Pflueger reel spooled with 20lb Spiderwire and a 20lb Berkley Vanish leader.
Victory for Scott delivered him with a healthy $3000 boost to his career earnings on the BASS Pro tour and a berth into the 2008 Skeeter BASS Pro Grand Final at Lake St Clair in October.
In contrast to Scott, second-placed Melchior opted to fish three quarters of the way up the Yabba Arm of the lake to compile his bag. Finding the fish late in the final session on day one Melchior targeted the edges of the creek, working the bank with an assortment of lures including a Jackall Mask Vib 60 (red belly/black), TN60 (purple), and Megabass Baby Griffon (black).
“I cracked the first fish late on the Saturday, and on Sunday I went straight back there and started using the Baby Griffon working the shallows and following the retreating shaded as it disappeared with the rising sun,” said Melchior.
The presentation involved Melchior holding his boat in about 20 feet of water and casting perpendicular to the bank and working the lure back to the boat and past all the hot-spots that were likely to hold fish.
The approach delivered Melchior with the greatest number of fish for the tournament but unfortunately not enough weight to overcome the size of Scott’s bag.
Melchior’s gear when fishing spin included a Megbass Lyacon rod, Daiwa Luvias 2500, spooled with 10lb Unitika PE, and 8lb Aiger fluorocarbon. While his baitcaster outfit included a 6’6” Samurai S006 rod, Daiwa Steez 103 reel, spooled with 15lb Unitika jigging braid, and 14lb Aiger fluorocarbon.
Securing victory in the non-boater division was ABT BASS Pro debutant Matthew Hawkless from Toowoomba who compiled a, 2/6, 2.17kg limit to kick start his BASS Pro career in grand style.
Fishing with Tony Mott on day one and Danny Robinson on day two, Hawkless waited until the second day to add his name to the score board, picking up two fishing in quick session just after 10am in the Yabba Arm of the lake.
“We were fishing scatter timber in about 15-20 feet of water and I was slow rolling and fast twitching a purple coloured Jackall TN60 just above the bottom when I got hit,” said Hawkless.
The gear used to present his Jackall included a 7’ G.Loomis IMX P400 rod, Shimano Sustain reel, spooled with 6lb Fireline and 12lb Nitlon leader.
Hunter Valley basser Alan McNamara claimed the Daiwa Big Bass prize for the round for his 1.72kg specimen captured during session one on Saturday morning. Falling to a silent Jackall TN60 in ayu colour McNamara picked up the fish just past the junction of the Yabba and Kingaham arms, tempting it with a slow rolling presentation in 40 feet of water.
Gamakatsu value added the rewards for anglers, presenting each angler with a complementary cap or beanie at the briefing, and a $250 plus prize pack for the largest bass caught on a Gamakatsu product each session. Harry Watson picked up the prize in session two, while Peter Derksen claimed the win in session three. Session two didn’t produce a winner, with the pack randomly drawn and presented to one lucky angler.
The next round of the 2008 Skeeter BASS Pro Series sees the tour travel north for the Unitika Lake Monduran BASS Pro on 12-13. For entries and event information visit www.australianbass.com.au or phone ABT (07) 3268 7958. – ABT