Team Evinrude E-Tec’s Mike Connolly and Simon Barkhuizen showed a clean pair of heals with 12/12 for 12.6kg, eclipsing the gathered 34 team field at the 2008 Humminbird BASS MegaBucks at Lake Glenbawn on 6/7 October.
Hot on their heals and 830g in arrears was Team G.Loomis/Sunline’s Dave Young and Chris Galligan with 12/12 for 11.70kg.
As the lead-in event to the Skeeter BASS Pro Grand Final, the skins-based Humminbird BASS Megabucks drew anglers from Queensland and New South Wales in pursuit of big money and Lake Glenbawn’s legendary big bass.
Fishing the grass-lined edges in the upper reaches of the lake, Connolly and Barkhuizen worked a 400m stretch of bank on the eastern side of the lake near the 8 knot speed zone.
“We held the boat in about 10-12 feet of water and cast tight to the edge, then burned the lure out from the bank briefly, before slowing the lure and working it along the contour of the bottom and back to the boat”, explained Connolly.
While the stretch was relatively featureless, there were distinct hot spots that the bass gravitated towards and hung on in numbers.
“There were the remains of an embankment or old dam wall sitting under the water and the bass were holding on it in good numbers”, said Connolly.
The strikes were brutal with the bass nailing the lure as soon as it bumped over the top of the sunken wall. And on the grass-lined edges the switched-on mood of the bass was just as noteworthy.
“Most of the strikes came within five to six cranks of the handle. With the well conditioned bass hitting hard and fighting well above their weight”, said Mike.
Their lures of choice were the 1/2oz Bassman spinnerbait in white and the Jackall TN60 in brown dog.
The boys caught their limit within 15 minutes of starting and landed 15 fish each for the session.
Fishing for an out wide edge bite, Flett and Pepperall hit the upper reaches of the waterway to fill their bag and add $1250 to their career earnings.
With their boat in about 30-40 feet of water the pair made long searching casts, sinking the lure to the bottom before slowing it across the bottom and the scattered debris strewn throughout the area.
“We fished wider than most teams, working the secondary drop-off rather than the primary edge that most competitors worked over”, said Flett.
The tackle used by the pair to compile their money-winning limit included a G.Loomis Drop Shot DSR822 rod, Shimano Chronarch MG reel, spooled with 15lb Platypus Super Braid and 14lb Sunline leader.
The 1.29kg kicker fish in their bag came late in the session and held the Big Bass prize until it was bettered in the last session by Team Basscast Boats.
Their lure of choice was the 1/2oz Secret Creek Spinnerbait in brown and green, which was fitted with a stinger hook.
Fishing adjacent to Connolly and Barkhuizen, Young and Galligan followed the same approach as their neighbours, hitting the grass-lined edges to compile their limit.
As the last team to weigh-in in the failing afternoon light, the pair relegated the session one winners to second place, and shattered their chances of making it a clean sweep victory across all three sessions.
“We positioned the boat in about 12-17 feet of water and cast our offerings up into the shallows to the grass-lined edges”, said Young.
Alternating between three different lures, a Jackall TN60, TN60 silent in kishu ayu and 3/8oz Bassman spinnerbait in black and white, the pair presented an assortment of lures, colours and styles to fish.
“The retrieve was a slow constant roll, working the lure down the contour of the bank and back to the boat”, said Galligan.
The approach paid dividends with the pair landing 12 fish for the session. The winnings were welcomed by the pair, with Young recently taking delivery of a new boat and Galligan soon to move into his newly built house.
“There were three structure laden spots that we pin-pointed as the prime fish holding locations”, said Connolly.
“We focused on these, working down wind to lengthen our casts and provide a less threatening presentation of our lures and boat”.
Dropping the spinnerbait from their repertoire for the session, the pair stuck with a Jackall approach to fill their well, doing so again in the first 15 minutes of the session.
The tackle used by Connolly included a G.Loomis GLX Walleye 840 rod, Daiwa Steez reel, spooled with 20lb Sunline PE Jigger line and 10lb Sunline leader. Barkhuizen in contrast used an Angler Rod and Daiwa reel combination.
Saving their best until the end, Connolly and Barkhuizen scored their biggest bag for the tournament in the third and final session.
The first boat to hit the area from the take off, the pair completed their limit within half and hour of the start.
“We struck them early and found our biggest fish of the tournament”, said a jubilant Barkhuizen.
“We didn’t catch as many as the previous sessions, landing only nine, but they made up for it with size”.
The bite died early for the Humminbird champs, with little action forthcoming once the sun got high in the sky and the light intensity increased.
“It was to be expected that they’d quieten down, we’d hit them hard for the last three days, and it was a glassed out bright morning. Not ideal conditions when fishing the shallows”, said Barkhuizen.
Their go to lures were once again the 1/2oz Bassman spinnerbait in white and the Jackall TN60 in brown dog.
Fishing the middle reaches of the waterway near Glenbawn’s famous ‘The Boot’ area, Wilson and Anderson took a different tack to the majority of teams, opting to spot hop and hit timber laden points scattered throughout the dam’s many bays.
“We targeted timber and lantana cover points using a combination of spinnerbaits and Jackalls”, said Wilson.
The approach saw the pair slow rolling 1/2oz JMH and Bassman spinnerbaits down deep through the structure, while the silent TN60 was swum shallower, trickling its way across the top of the timber. The pair upgraded three times during the session, and scored the kicker fish in their bag on a Rapala Skitter Pop first up in the morning.
“We stumbled across the pattern on the first day, and it wasn’t until the final session that we nailed the big fish that we knew were on offer with the technique”, said Anderson.
The $1000 Big BASS prize for the tournament fell to Dave Trinder from Team Basscat Boats who picked up the 1.49kg specimen on the final morning of the tournament.
An extra dimension was added to the event for bassers with the inclusion of the ‘Option Up’ choice on offer for teams who backed their ability and wanted to chance their arm in winning the side pot of bonus cash. A total of 14 teams accepted the challenge, contributing $550 each to the prize pool. The pot was evenly split across the three sessions, with the highest placed participants cleaning up by winning $2275 each session. Mick Pascoe and Joel Norman from Team G.Loomis claimed the honours in session one, Harry Watson and Josh Batterson from Team Lowrance in session two, and Toby Wilson and Matt Anderson in session three.
Team Humminbird value added the experience for anglers with $5000 worth of Humminbird products on offer. Humminbird 787, 797, 383 sounders and PFDs made up the product prize pool, with non-cash winning teams sharing in the random drawn allocation of prizes.
The Humminbird BASS Megabucks provided a great kick-start to the BASS Finals Weeks, with anglers revelling in the social team format event, before hitting the road and heading to the climatic event of the tournament calendar, the Skeeter BASS Pro Grand Final.
The calendar of events for the 2009 BASS season will be released late 2008, with entries for the new season opening January 2009. For information and details visit www.australianbass.com.au or phone ABT (07) 3387 0888. – ABT
Humminbird BASS Megabucks Team Results
|1||E-TEC 200 HO: Mike Connolly and Simon Barkhuizen||4||4.25||$2,000|
|2||SECRET CREEK LURES: Gregg Flett and Ben Pepperall||4||4.13||$1,250|
|3||LOOMIS/SUNLINE: David Young and Chris Galligan||4||4.00||$750|
|4||G.LOOMIS: Michael Pascoe and Joel Norman||4||3.88||$2275 O/Up|
|5||TANNER JAMES MANAGEMENT: Les King and Melissa King||4||3.84|
|6||MEGABASS: Michael Starkey and Dean Silvester||4||3.74|
|7||COAST TO COAST BOATING: Wayne Beazley and Andrew Drennan||4||3.72|
|8||RIVER CITY MARINE NO2: Craig Simmons and Stephen Kanowski||4||3.55|
|9||GAMAKATSU: Steve Eldred and Adrian Melchior||4||3.44|
|10||ATOMIC/SHIMANO: Kylie Cornish and Vicki Winter||4||3.44|
|1||LOOMIS/SUNLINE: David Young and Chris Galligan||4||3.96||$2,000|
|2||E-TEC 200 HO: Mike Connolly and Simon Barkhuizen||4||3.94||$1,250|
|3||DAIWA: David Green and Glenn Helmers||4||3.82||$375|
|3||SECRET CREEK LURES: Gregg Flett and Ben Pepperall||4||3.82||$375|
|5||GAMAKATSU: Steve Eldred and Adrian Melchior||4||3.71|
|6||SERNE CONSTRUCTIONS: Christian Serne and Spiro Zantiotis||4||3.62|
|6||LOWRANCE: Harry Watson and Josh Batterson||4||3.62||$2275 O/Up|
|8||MINN KOTA: Matthew Mott and Paul Cooper||4||3.48|
|9||BASSCAT BOATS: Wayne Reed and Dave Trinder||4||3.44|
|10||TANNER JAMES MANAGEMENT: Les King and Melissa King||4||3.32|
|1||E-TEC 200 HO: Mike Connolly and Simon Barkhuizen||4||4.41||$2,000|
|2||HARDMAN OUTDOORS: Toby Wilson and Matt Anderson||4||4.00||$1250 $2275|
|3||LOOMIS/SUNLINE: David Young and Chris Galligan||4||3.81||$750|
|4||BASSCAT BOATS: Wayne Reed and Dave Trinder||4||3.75||$1000 BB|
|5||SERNE CONSTRUCTIONS: Christian Serne and Spiro Zantiotis||4||3.53|
|6||DAIWA: David Green and Glenn Helmers||4||3.50|
|7||GAMAKATSU: Steve Eldred and Adrian Melchior||4||3.44|
|8||COUNTRY CARPETS: Neil Scott and Ron Scott||4||3.20|
|9||LAKE GLENBAWN KIOSK: Bruce Anderson and Denis Roughan||4||2.53|
|10||HUMMINBIRD: Tim Morgan and Carl Jocumsen||3||2.27|
|1||E-TEC 200 HO: Mike Connolly and Simon Barkhuizen||12||12.60||$5,250|
|2||LOOMIS/SUNLINE: David Young and Chris Galligan||12||11.77||$3,500|
|3||GAMAKATSU: Steve Eldred and Adrian Melchior||12||10.59|
|4||SERNE CONSTRUCTIONS: Christian Serne and Spiro Zantiotis||12||10.47||Humminbird|
|5||BASSCAT BOATS: Wayne Reed and Dave Trinder||12||10.25||$1000 BB|
|6||HARDMAN OUTDOORS: Toby Wilson and Matt Anderson||12||9.64||$3525, H/bird|
|7||SECRET CREEK LURES: Gregg Flett and Ben Pepperall||10||9.59||$1,625|
|8||COUNTRY CARPETS: Neil Scott and Ron Scott||12||9.36|
|9||DAIWA: David Green and Glenn Helmers||10||9.09||$375|
|10||LOWRANCE: Harry Watson and Josh Batterson||10||8.85||$2,275|
There were plenty of giveaways and prizes on offer for the weekend.