Mild conditions and a rising dam greeted anglers for the fourth qualifying round of 2005, the Yamaha Boondooma BASS Pro. Overcoming personal setbacks, Matthew Mott topped the field of talented anglers to claim his second tour victory, and his first on home water.
Compiling a 6/6, 6.78kg limit for the tournament, Mott saved the best for last. He delivered his biggest session limit to the scales on Sunday morning, relegating Gold Coast local and Attack Boats manufacturer Drew Griffith to second place.
Alternating between a spinnerbait and a soft plastic presentation to tempt his quarry, Mott primarily focused his attention on two specific locations: the timber in the upper reaches of the Stuart arm of the waterway and the shallow sloping banks in the lower reaches of the Stuart.
Mott alternated his presentation between a 1/2oz SMAK Spinnerbait (gold/black/white), and a 3/8 oz Nitro jighead rigged 3” Slider (blue gill). He cast his presentation to the weed-lined edges before freefalling it down the face of the weed, and retrieving back to the rod tip with a constant slow rolling retrieve.
“The fish were definitely holding in the weed,” Mott said. “Working the lure across the top of the weed bed, then down the face where the fish were sitting, was the key.
“We found the fish during the Friday prefish, so I just plugged away all weekend with the same approach, and the fish slowly but surely came.”
Mott’s choice of tackle included a 6’6”, 3-6kg, Black Diamond Jigcast rod, matched to a Daiwa TDX baitcaster reel when fishing spinnerbaits, and a 7’ Black Diamond Flats Ranger rod, matched to a Daiwa 1500 Certate reel, when fishing soft plastics.
His choice of line and leader was comprised of 20lb Stealth braid and 20lb Berkley Vanish on his baitcaster tackle, and 4lb Berkley Fireline and 10lb Berkley Vanish on his spin outfit. He also used garlic scent and Egimax scent from Ecogear.
The standout lure of the two used by Mott, especially on the second day, was the more subtle soft plastic offering. It was this that delivered Mott the Daiwa Big Bass prize for the tournament.
Tipping the scales at 2.01kg, the specimen provided Mott with one of his few smiles early in the day, with his new outboard self-destructing half an hour into the final session of the tournament.
“I was ropable when the boat blew a piston," he said. "If I was able, I would have unbolted it and let it sink to the bottom of the dam.
“It wasn't easy to overcome the disappointment and frustration. It was my non-boater Wayne Gordon who largely got me back on track, getting me to focus on putting two fish in the well.”
Those two fish proved to be his biggest limit for the event, delivering Mott, by his own admission, a surprising tournament win.
Event runner-up Drew Griffith showed that he’s more than just a boat builder, compiling a 6/6, 6.78kg limit to secure the $1250 prize cheque and the second of two automatic Grand Final berths on offer at the event.
Fishing for the edge bite, Griffith targeted the weed-dwelling bass in the Stuart arm of the dam. Here he cast his Jackall TN-70 (HL black) to the shore, presenting it 4-5 feet from the edge and retrieving it over the top of the weed and down the face of the weed.
“Once the lure had cleared the top of the weed I slowed the retrieve to allow the lure to the swim deeper,” Griffith explained.
“It was just like bream fishing. I used a slow jerking retrieve once the lure was away from the weed, and the fish seemed to like it.”
Griffith’s choice of tackle included a Gladiator Master Touch IM8 rod, 4kg, 1.8m, baitcaster rod, Banax Methodology 600L reel spooled with 20lb Tortue braid, and 13lb Tortue fluorocarbon as leader.
Claiming the mantle of the highest placed non-boater was ABT debutant Simon Barkhuizen.
Compiling a 3/6, 4.55kg bag for the event, the 37-year-old electrician shone on day one, leading the event heading into the second session, as well as having his hands on the $500 Daiwa Big Bass cheque before relinquishing it in the final session.
Barkhuizen’s tournament tackle included a 6’6” Daiwa baitcaster rod, Shimano baitcaster reel, 6lb Berkley Fireline and 10lb Berkley Vanish as leader. His lure of choice was the ever-popular Jackall TN-60, in chameleon colour.
The Yamaha BASS Pro tour moves to the fifth and final venue on the tournament schedule, travelling to Queensland, 27th-28th August, for the Suncorp Lake Somerset BASS Pro. For more information visit www.australianbass.com.au or phone Simon Goldsmith (07) 3268 3992 (b/h), 0427 32 64 64 (b/h).
TOP TEN ANGLERS
|1||Matthew MOTT||6/6||6.78||$2500 + $500|