IN A first for an ABT Electric tournament, Col Singleton and John Costello shared the win in the MotorGuide Clarrie Hall BASS Electric.
With a massive field of 69 anglers, the ability to fish two up in a boat proved a popular rule change as 41 boats lined up at the start line in morning fog. Setting out at the blistering pace only an electric event can produce, the anglers were relaxed as they moved to their respective fishing areas.
After seven hours of tough fishing though, it was 19-year-old Gold Coast student John Costello and 29-year-old ceramic tiler Colin Singleton who could not be separated on the scales.
“I’m stoked,” beamed Costello as he collected his prize of a Strudwick rod and prize pack. “I don’t own a rod worth more than $25 and this rod is sensational.”
But Costello didn’t need expensive gear to claim a two fish bag of 1.9kg from a slow fishing Clarrie Hall, using a 6’6” Jarvis Walker Estuary Special teamed up with Shimano Sahara spooled with 8lb FireLine and topped off with 15lb Jarvis Walker mono. And to make things more difficult for the young basser, Costello paddled his canoe for the entire tournament, forgoing the benefits and energy saving of an electric engine.
“The 1/8oz black and gold skirted, tandem blade AusSpin spinnerbait cast into the sticks on the western bank and slow rolled out was the trick for me,” said a weary Costello. “Both of my weighers came in the first two hours of the tournament – after I’d paddled down to the middle of the dam.
“Using this technique I caught 23 fish, many of them small, with the best part being that I could see all of the fish take the lure in the shallow water. I was thankful that the wind didn’t pick up too early as it pushes you into the snags you’re trying to get the fish out of.”
Joint winner Col Singleton was ecstatic with the victory and looks forward to the BASS Electric Convention in September.
“It was great today as I went back to hard-bodied lures and stuck with them. They worked really well and I can tell you I’ll be using them more in tournaments this season,” said Singleton at the presentation ceremony.
Col used the newly released Ecogear hard baits to take his 1.9kg, two fish bag. His method involved casting the lure parallel to the bank, right next to the lilies and using a slow, constant retrieve. “I was amazed at how well the lures worked,” he said. “and to see the fish coming out of the cover and smacking the lure was really exciting.”
Singleton cast his hard baits on a Shimano Stradic 1000 filled with 10lb Yamatoya Super PE longcast line with a 10lb Yamatoya Razor flurocarbon leader teamed with a Strudwick 2-4kg Softbodz rod. He also fished on the western bank, just below the island.
“I’d heard there were a few fish around here, so I checked it out and came away with about 20 fish,” said Singleton as he accepted his prize pack and rod.
Wacol’s Baden Sparrow took the Big Bass honours with a sensational 1.22kg bass to add to his overall fourth place in the tournament.
Five anglers have now secured their place in the finals – the BASS Electric Convention – leaving 11 more tournaments for anglers to qualify. The five anglers to make the Convention were Colin Singleton, John Costello, Tony Payne, Baden Sparrow and Ian Galloway.
For more information on the BASS Electric events, call Simon Goldsmith at ABT on (07) 3268 3992 during business hours or on the new ABT mobile 04 BREAMING (0427 326 464). – ABT
Top Ten Anglers
1. The MotorGuide BASS Electric season starts in a haze of fog as 69 competitors hit Clarrie Hall.
2. Joint winner John Costello with his two fish that succumbed to the 1/8oz gold and black AusSpin spinnerbait.
3. Col singleton’s successful Ecogear hard bait. Col reckons he’ll be giving these lures a more thorough workout in future tournaments.