Picture-perfect spring conditions greeted anglers for one of the premier events on the BASS calendar, the Eagle BASS Megabucks.
16 teams and 32 anglers battled hard against each other over three skins-formatted fishing sessions in pursuit of the $12,000 prize pool on offer.
Fishing Bjelke-Petersen Dam, anglers targeted bass on an increasingly active waterway. Locating and landing fish in a variety of locations and with an array of techniques, the gathered field compiled a combined tournament catch-card of 132 fish for the three angling sessions.
ABT regulars Trevor Stead and Bob Town of Team Daiwa mastered the conditions and bite to produce the largest combined limit over the two days. They compiled a 12/12, 18.49kg limit to secure the overall prize and the boasting rights that accompany it.
Securing second place in the first session, first place in the second session and second place in the final session, Team Daiwa easily beat Team Em Dee Engineering (Steve Almond and Brad Smith) to first place.
Team Daiwa spent the duration of the tournament fishing a location adjacent to the dam wall, targeting fish holding on structure scattered throughout a small hole 10-12ft deep.
With jighead rigged soft plastics, they fished the area using a slow and methodical approach.
“We cast our lure as far from the boat as we could. Then it was a matter of letting it sink to the bottom before beginning a steady retrieve,” Stead explained.
For Stead and Town the retrieve involved five cranks of the reel handle, followed by a pronounced pause, then another five cranks and another pause. Any enquiry they received was met with a continuing retrieve that, in most cases, saw an eager bass take the lure well.
For Stead and Town, the lure that did all the damage was a smoke/yellow core Slider grub, rigged on a 5/8oz Nitro jighead, and presented with an assortment of tackle.
Stead’s included a 6’6” Black Diamond Bream Reaper TE rod, matched with a Daiwa TDA 2000 spin reel, spooled with 4lb Platypus Superbraid, and a leader of 8lb Evergreen fluorocarbon.
Town opted for a 6’6” Daiwa King Bolt Battler rod, matched to a Daiwa TDA 2000 spin reel, loaded with 4lb Berkley Fireline, and finished off with 6lb Nitlon fluorocarbon as leader.
Securing second place overall and showing that consistency can really be a key to success, event runners-up Em Dee Engineering compiled three 3rd placings to take home $2,250.
Compiling a 12/12, 16.94kg tournament limit, Em Dee Engineering opted for an edge bite approach to fill their bags each session. They targeted the fish in the upper reaches of the dam, positioning their boat out from the shoreline and holding in approximately 16ft of water.
Making the best of both words, Em Dee Engineering cast their lures either side of the boat, which allowed them to present their offerings to bass holding close to the shore and out wide.
With a slow repetitious retrieve they then worked the area over, aiming to cover as much ground as possible, and as thoroughly as possible.
“The main goal we tried to achieve was to keep the lure in contact with the bottom at all times,” Almond explained. “The fish were down there, and we knew that if we put our lure in front of enough fish, and enough times, they’d have to eat it,” he said.
Em Dee Engineering mainly used a Jackall TN-60 and a jighead rigged, medium-sized Ecogear Grass Minnow soft plastic to fill their well.
The team used two outfits: a Daiwa Battler Night Hawk, 6’6” rod matched to a Daiwa TDA baitcaster reel, and a Daiwa Battler King Bolt, 6’6” spin rod, matched to a Daiwa 1500 TDA spin reel.
The baitcaster was spooled with 14lb Fireline mainline and 20lb Berkley Vanish leader, while the spin reel was filled to the lip with 6lb Fireline, and a rod length of 8lb Vanish as leader.
Victory though belonged to Team Daiwa, who added $4,200 to their bank accounts.
The event was a great lead-in to a fantastic week of bass fishing, which included the MotorGuide BASS Electric Convention, and the climax of the BASS Pro tournament calendar, the Yamaha BASS Pro Grand Final.
The Eagle BASS Megabucks will once again open the week-long bass fishing festival in 2006 when the tour travels to NSW and the Hunter Valley. Stay tuned for more information in the 2006 ABT Tournament Anglers’ Guide, due out in January 2006.
|1||LOWRANCE: Harry Watson & Peter Keidge||4/4||7.27||$2000|
|2||DAIWA: Trevor Stead & Bob Town||4/4||7.17||$1100|
|3||EM DEE ENGINEERING: Stephen Almond & Brad Smith||4/4||6.52||$750|
|1||DAIWA: Trevor Stead & Bob Town||4/4||4.51||$2000|
|2||SKEETER/SNAPBACK: Matthew Mott & John Schofield||4/4||4.25||$1100|
|3||EM DEE ENGINEERING: Stephen Almond & Brad Smith||4/4||3.67||$750|
|1||CBT: John Fooks & Michael Weger||4/4||7.76||$2000|
|2||DAIWA: Trevor Stead & Bob Town||4/4||6.81||$1100|
|3||EM DEE ENGINEERING: Stephen Almond & Brad Smith||4/4||6.75||$750|