After a long absence the ABT BASS Tour returned to the Burnett Valley’s Bjelke Petersen Dam for the final event of the 2008 MotorGuide BASS Electric Series – the MotorGuide BASS Electric Convention, 27/28 September.
There were 54 anglers, from 23 qualifying rounds held throughout the year, that made the journey to the drought-influenced impoundment. The event consisted of two angling sessions, a Friday night trivia quiz and Saturday afternoon casting comp to test the angler’s multitude of skills.
Jesper Noiesen claimed victory in the first of the two skins-based angling sessions, compiling a 2/2, 3.48kg bag to take away the first of the three Blue Fin Boats 345 Trekker and MotorGuide electric rigs on offer for the event.
Fishing for an edge bite early, Noiesen located a honey hole of fish left of the main point upriver of the tournament start line.
“It was a small stretch of bank no more than 20 yards in length”, explained Noiesen. “I held the boat in the one position and made repeated fan casts, and worked the area over thoroughly”.
With his boat in about 20ft of water, Noiesen alternated between a Jackall TN60 in ghost atu colour and a 1/2oz TT jighead rigged Slider in smoke yellow core colour, casting the offering to the edge then working it back with a slow rolling retrieve.
“The trick was to cast the lure tight to bank then work it back to the boat following the contour of the bottom”, explained Noiesen.
His approach paid dividends, producing 20 fish for the session, and a winning margin of just under 1.5kg.
The tackle used by the session one winner included a 6’9” G.Loomis Bronzeback rod, Daiwa Fuego reel, spooled with 10lb Penn braid and 14lb Nitlon leader.
The tightness of competition was evident in the minor places with a mere 10g separating second and third, with Evan Johnson claiming the runner-up position with his 2/2, 2.00kg bag. Fishing upriver of the tournament start-line Johnson fished for an edge bite early, working over a small point located in one of BP’s many large bays.
“The kicker fish in my bag came at about 11.15am and fell to a purple coloured Jackall TN60 hopped across the bottom in about 1.8m of water”, said Johnson.
Sunday produced another fog-covered waterway for anglers, with the field scattering to all parts of the dam in their quest for their single biggest fish and the second Blue Fin and MotorGuide bass rig.
Maclean’s Big River Bait and Tackle store proprietor, Paul Kneller, waited until the final moments of the six hour session to finally add something of worth to his livewell, landing his 1.82kg winning fish with only half an hour to spare.
“I’d resigned myself to only getting the just-legal fish I had in the well for the session”, explained the 2009 Toonumbar BASS Electric organiser. “I was daydreaming and casting with little enthusiasm when the fish hit the lure with about half an hour to go”, he added.
The approach for Kneller and his fishing partner Brenton Smith involved fishing the edges with a burn and kill reaction presentation. Casting a Jackall TN60 tight to the edge (into 2ft of water) Paul would give the reel six quick burns of the handle then stop, allowing the lure to free fall back down. Once the lure was worked out from the edge he would free fall the lure, sinking it towards the old creek bed and the fish that were hanging on the breakline.
The tackle used by Kneller to score his session winning fish included a G.Loomis IMX C722 rod, Daiwa Zillion reel, spooled with 20lb Sunline Castaway line and 10lb Sunline FC Rock leader.
Just piped at the post by Kneller was 2008 Hinze Dam BASS Electric place getter Graham Dodds from the Gold Coast, for 1/1, 1.77kg. Fishing a slow tapering shallow point in the middle reaches of the dam, Dodds opted for a slow sinking Maria Blues Code minnow to tempt his fish.
“The retrieve was very similar to fishing a plastic with a slow lift, twitch and jerk given to the lure after it sank to the bottom”, added Doddsy.
The Friday night trivia quiz at the briefing tested anglers’ BASS knowledge with Matt Johnson and Paul Phillips claiming bragging rights over the field with their 13/14 score.
Saturday afternoon’s casting competition once again produced a comedic affair, with overruns, lost casting plugs and general mayhem entertaining the gathered crowd. BASS young gun Joseph Urqhart showed a clean pair of heals, compiling a 270 point total to leave the rest of the field in his wake.
2008 Wivenhoe BASS Electric round winner Glyn Barkhuizen claimed the final bragging rights across all activities, compiling a 367/400 total to relate Jake Schwerin and Paul Holmberg to second and third place respectively. Writing his name in the ABT records book was Jesper Noiesen who compiled the highest weight total across the two angling session to be crowned champion for 2008.
The final activity of the weekend was the random draw of the third and final Blue Fin Boat 345 Trekker and MotorGuide electric boat package, with Bundaberg basser Chris Horne the lucky winner of the ready-to-go bass rig. Blue Fin Boats representatives Marg, Alan and Darryl McMahon flew the flag for the company and were on hand for the presentation of the prize boats to the lucky winners.
“It was a fun weekend alround and it was great to see three worthy and happy anglers drive away with the prize boats”, expressed a contented Darryl McMahon. MotorGuide representative Nick Webb was equally satisfied with the Convention and the year on the MotorGuide BASS Electric Tour.
“The MotorGuide BASS Electric Series represents grass roots bass fishing at its best, and for us is one of the best ways to get our products known and into the hands of those that use them”, explained MotorGuide Marketing Manager Nicholas Webb.
Attention now turns to the 2009 BASS Electric calendar, with dates, venues and times set to be released in late 2008. For more information on the forthcoming series stat tuned to www.australianbass.com.au .
TOP TEN OVERALL WINNERS
|1||Glyn Barkhuizen||83||91||95||98||367||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod, PP, Marz Lures Collection|
|2||Jake Schwerin||77||96||83||95||351||PP, 2xShimano Eclipse rod, PP|
|3||Paul Holmberg||91||86||83||91||351||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod, PP|
|4||Brenton Smith||70||88||95||96||349||PP, 2xShimano Eclipse rod, PP|
|5||Charles West||74||76||95||98||343||PP, 2xShimano Eclipse rod, PP|
|6||Chris Horne||80||75||95||92||342||435 Blue Fin Trekker/MotorGuide (random)|
|7||Tim Steenhuis||98||56||95||91||340||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod|
|9||Will Schloss||74||72||98||88||332||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod|
Results are shown in ranking points
|1||Jesper Noiesen||100||435 Blue Fin Trekker/ Motor Guide|
|2||Evan Johnson||99||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod|
|3||Tim Steenhuis||98||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod|
|4||Paul Phillips||97||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod|
|5||Adrian Wilson||96||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod|
Results are shown in ranking points
|1||Paul Kneller||100||435 Blue Fin Trekker/ Motor Guide|
|2||Graham Dodds||99||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod|
|3||Tony Thorley||98||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod|
|4||David Trinder||97||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod|
|5||Jake Schwerin||96||PP, Shimano Eclipse rod|
Results are shown in ranking pointsReads: 1150