Michael Collins, a 40-year-old fishing guide, claimed the title of BLA Leisure Wear Sunday Shootout Winner, and wins an all expenses paid trip to the USA to compete in a bass tournament.
Bagging a two-fish second session limit of 2.48kg, Collins snatched the trip to the States, making a fitting end to a tournament that saw Collins dogged by chronic back pain.
With the field of 30 BASS Pro Grand Final anglers spilt into five pools based on their ranking after the Grand Final, anglers fished over a shortened three-hour session with the objective of catching the largest bag of their pool.
The completion of session one saw five pool winners, plus two wildcard entrants, qualify through to the second and final session. Trevor Foote (2/2, 2.13kg), David Green (2/2, 2.25kg), Gavin Dunne (2/2, 2.11kg), Kerry Ehrlich (2/2, 1.93kg), Michael Collins (2/2, 1.93kg), Scott McKenzie (2/2, 1.81kg), and Trevor Stead (2/2, 2.32kg), all took their positions on the starting line.
With anglers feeling the effects of nerves and the fishing becoming difficult, they struggled to find fish in ample quantities.
Three tense hours for spectators and anglers provided a nail biting final weigh-in, with honours falling to Michael Collins (2/2, 2.48kg), followed by Trevor Stead (2/2, 2.1kg), Gavin Dunne (2/2, 1.67kg), David Green (2/2, 1.56kg), Kerry Ehrlich (2/2, 1.49kg), Trevor Foote (1/2, 0.6kg), and Scott McKenzie (0/0, 0.00kg).
In compiling his two session limits, Collins focused his angling on a submerged point located in the Yabba arm of the dam.
Presenting his lure to fish holding in 10-15ft of water Collins cast his offering tight against flooded trees littered through the area. Using lipless crankbaits, Collins allowed his lure to sink to the base of the trees before beginning a slow rolling retrieve back to the boat.
“The key was to get the lure down to where the fish were, then work it back past them with a steady constant retrieve,” Collins explained.
Like most in the field, Collins opted to use a Jackal TN-60 (black/purple) as his main lure. To provide variety in his offering, Collins also used an Ecogear VT-65 (Ayu), a 7cm Rattling Rapala, and a Storm Wiggle Wart. Collins also added Ultra Bite every 10 casts to his lures.
“This was probably more about confidence than making the lure more appealing,” Collins explained.
“But confidence is everything in fishing, so it definitely played a part,” he concluded.
Collins tackle included a 6’ Silstar Evograph, 4-6kg rod, Okuma Nemesis reel spooled with 15lb Tuff Line, and an assortment of 12lb and 14lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon as leader.
His performance provided him with a pick me up on a weekend racked by pain and discomfort, and an all expenses paid trip to the USA to compete in a bass tournament. Further adding to his prize is a complete fit-out by BLA of all the wet and cold weather clothing he’ll need to handle the conditions during his travels.
Information for the 2006 BASS Pro Series will be available in the 2006 Tournament Anglers’ Guide, mailed to all ABT members in 2006. Call Simon Goldsmith during business hours (07) 3268 3992 for more information. - ABTReads: 764