A cold winter’s morning greeted 36 anglers competing in this year’s second Cressbrook Electric Qualifying round. 23 boats made a start in ideal conditions but by mid-morning, a stiff breeze had turned the middle of the lake into a barrage of white caps.
In what proved to be trying conditions, it was Baden Sparrow who finished ahead of a close field. Baden’s plan to accumulate a limit of bass by fishing the edges of the steep rock wall in Cressbrook Creek failed but he noticed a lot of bass schooling in deeper water below his boat. When he moved out wider, his sounder showed good numbers of bass holding 9-10.5m (30-35ft) down in 12-13.5m (40-45ft) of water. Sparrow cast a pro blue coloured Eco Gear 3” Power Shad rigged on a 1/2oz Nitro jighead. He used long casts and a slow roll of about fifteen winds before dropping back to the bottom. This technique helped him land around seven legal bass. Sparrow produced a 2/2, 1.42kg bag for the weigh-in and also took out the Big Bass prize with a 0.86kg fish.
Sparrow delivered his plastic on a 6’6” Strudwick Sic Stik spin rod teamed with a Shakespeare Catera reel. The reel was spooled with 4lb Fireline with a 6lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon leader.
Baden’s ability to adapt to the conditions and change his plan contributed to his well-deserved victory.
Close on Sparrow’s heels was Mossop’s salesman Tri Vi-Ton. Tri compiled a 2/2, 1.36kg bag fishing in a similar area to Sparrow. Tri fished shallower water against the rocks and sticks on the big steep bank up Cressbrook Creek. Tri cast a golden shiner TN50 Jackall and used a slow rolling retrieve, in close but parallel to the bank.
Although Cressbrook produced reasonable numbers of fish, their sizes were small by past winter standards. Cooler water temperatures possibly helped anglers catch the bigger bass from the lake’s edges. – ABT