Matthew Mott, a 34-year-old Murgon-based fishing guide, was the 7th angler to capture the BASS Pro title with his 2005 victory.
Compiling a 6/6, 7.64kg bag for three sessions of fishing and two days of competition, Mott outclassed the rest of the tightly packed field to secure victory over 1999 Grand Final Winner, Harry Watson of Boonah.
Mott’s consistency over the weekend saw him positioned in 8th place after session one, 1st after session two, and 1st at the end of the third session. With a winning margin of 70g over Watson, who managed a 6/6, 7.57kg bag, Mott’s narrow victory was testament to the consistent fishing on offer and the depth of the fishing talent competing.
In third place was Gavin Dunne (6/6, 7.16kg), followed by Wayne Parry (6/6, 7.16kg) and Barry Oxford (6/6, 6.96kg).
Cracking the pattern during the Thursday pre-fish, Mott’s hotspot was an area about the size of half a football field located in the Yabba Creek arm of the dam.
“It was a fairly shallow area, about 3-5ft in depth. It had a combination of flooded trees and shallow weedbeds scattered throughout, and it was here that Wayne Parry and I found the fish on Thursday,” Mott explained.
And it was here that Mott remained for the majority of the final, consistently catching fish over the two competition days.
With a Jackall TN-60 (gold and black) and a 5/8oz SMAK spinnerbait (purple and gold) as his choice lures, Mott fished the waters thoroughly and methodical.
He presented the Jackall with a fast burning retrieve, working it quickly across the top of the flooded vegetation and rapidly past the edge of the timbered structure.
The ‘eat it, or miss out’ retrieve provided the bass with a small window of opportunity to hit the lure, making for sudden and aggressive takes of the lure.
“The bass took the lure as hard and as violently as any bass I’ve caught,” Mott explained.
“It was real hand-to-hand combat, and around the trees it was heart in mouth stuff at times,” he added.
When the bite slowed and the bass became less inclined to respond to a fast aggressive retrieve, Mott modified his attack, using a SMAK spinnerbait to present a slower, more ‘in your face’ offering to tempt the fish.
Mott’s tackle included a choice of two rods, both from the Black Diamond stable. His Jackall outfit was a 6’6”, 4-7kg Jigcast rod, Daiwa TDZ 103 reel spooled with 10lb Stealth braid and a 20lb Vanish fluorocarbon leader. The set-up used to present his spinnerbait was a Black Diamond, 6’6”, 3-6kg rod, Daiwa Millionaire 203-CVZ reel, 20lb Stealth braid and 20lb Vanish fluorocarbon leader.
When quizzed post victory about the biggest win of his BASS fishing career, Mott attributed much of his success to the support and generosity of his friends on the tour.
“The social aspect and the sharing of information is what makes these tournaments as good as they are,” Mott explained.
“Wayne ‘New Guy’ Parry was integral to my success this weekend. He shared with me what he learnt during the Thursday pre-fish and offered to let me fish the spot where he found fish. I can’t thank him enough for his generosity,” Mott concluded.
For Mott the win provided him with his greatest tournament reward to date – a Blue Fin Warrior boat, Yamaha 60hp 4-stroke outboard, Special Trailers trailer, MotorGuide electric motor, Eagle sounders, a state-of-the-art Guest onboard charger, and the coveted BASS Grand Final Champion Trophy.