Blue Fin Boats Bjelke Petersen BASS Pro
  |  First Published: July 2005

A difficult bite on Bjelke-Petersen challenged anglers for the third qualifying round of the 2005 Yamaha BASS Pro Series.

2000 Grand Final winner and two-time Angler of the Year champion John Schofield demonstrated that he's the man to beat during shut-down conditions. Compiling a 6/6, 8.02kg limit, Schofield outclassed the rest of the field. Similarly efficient fly angler Gavin Dunne secured second place with his 5/6, 6.00kg tournament bag.

Schofield, who spent the tournament flyfishing, targeted schooled and scattered bass in one location. Fishing near the dam wall, Schofield anchored his boat in 17-18 feet and presented his fly to bass holding on the rocky and rubble-littered bottom.

“With the boat anchored I cast the fly up onto the rocky slope,” Schofield explained. “This had the fly in about 8-10 feet of water, then I simply retrieved the fly back across the bottom with a slow, drawing retrieve, interspersed with a couple of short sharp strips.

“Finding fish and getting them to hit the fly didn't prove that difficult. The hard part was getting them to take the fly deeply enough to secure a hook-up.”

His successful fly was the Bass Vampire in both black/purple and black/green with glow eyes. He fished them on an Innovator HLS 6wt rod, Scientific Angler Concept large arbour reel, spooled with a 6wt Striper Taper IV fly line, and finished off with a 10 foot, 12lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon leader.

When quizzed after the event, Schofield explained how he managed to crack the pattern during the tough conditions.

“Friday was the key for me,” he said. “I tried a variety of techniques, locations, and presentations, and found the most active fish to be those in the 17-18 foot depth range. Then it was just a matter of matching the right presentation to the seemingly lock-jawed mood of the fish, and fly for me proved to be it."

Event runner-up Gavin Dunne showed he was one of the gun anglers when it comes to a fly-bite tournament, claiming the other instant Grand Final berth.

Fishing the same area near the dam wall as Schofield, Dunne also opted to fish at anchor, positioning the boat in 16-20 feet of water and presenting his fly to the fish holding in the 4-16 foot depth range.

Fishing to the bass hanging on the steeply contoured, rock-covered bottom, Dunne presented his fly with a subtle twitching, constant retrieve to imitate the small shrimp often found in the area.

For Dunne the approach proved successful, compiling a 1/2, 1.27kg bag in session one, a 2.79kg, limit in session two, and a 1.94kg limit in the third and final session.

For Dunne the killer fly was an all black Wolverine pattern, presented with a Strudwick 6wt rod, Loop fly reel loaded with a 7wt, Scientific Angler Striper Taper fly line, and finished off with a home twisted leader, rolled out of 12lb Yamatoyo Razor fluorocarbon.

Claiming the title of Champion Non-Boater and fourth place overall was Nambour resident Kevin Jones. Fishing with boater Jason Jovanovic on day one and Jason de Forrest-Haddleton on day two, Jones, like many, spent his time targeting the schooled and scattered fish near the western boat ramp.

Focusing his attention on the fish holding in 20 feet of water on day one, and those at 40 feet on day two, Jones opted for a lipless crankbait styled lure, casting a hard Jackall to bass.

Compiling a 4/6, 5.13kg, tournament limit for the three sessions, Jones found the most productive presentation to be one that had the lure in the fish’s face and not moving too fast.

Jones used a, 6'6" Daiwa Procyon rod, Daiwa TDA reel spooled with 4lb Fireline, and finished off with 10lb Berkley Vanish as his leader.

The title of Daiwa Big Bass champion was hotly contested, with two anglers, Justin Scott and Trevor Foote, jointly claiming the prize with their 2.06kg specimens. Each receiving $250 for their outstanding fish.

The Yamaha BASS Pro Series continues its tour of the east coast, travelling to Lake Boondooma on July 2-3 for the fourth qualifying round of the year. For more information visit www.australianbass.com.au or phone Simon Goldsmith during business hours on 0427 32 64 64 or (07) 3268 3992.



Place AnglerFishWeightPayout
1John SCHOFIELD68.02$2,750
2Gavin DUNNEQLD56$1,200
3Craig SIMMONSQLD65.38$1,000
4Kevin JONESQLD45.13Prize pack
5Bruce MOSSQLD34.55Prize pack
6Nicole JOVANOVICQLD44.46$700
7Ian BLACKQLD34.43$600
8David HISLOPQLD44.14Prize pack
9Paul FLEMINGQLD44.05$500
10Carl JOCUMSENQLD33.83$400

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