Clear skies and the hopes of Glenbawn styled big bass greeted 147 anxious anglers for the second qualifying round of the 2005 Yamaha BASS Pro Series. With AOY points and Grand Final positions on offer the event would prove to be a challenge against not only each other but a fickle and at times frustrating bass bite.
One angler stepped up to the plate, delivering the fish to the weighmaster when needed, capturing victory and his first podium finish at a BASS Pro event.
Brent Power a 25 year Plant Mechanic from Maitland proved fishing from the back of the boat, as a non-boater was no disadvantage to big to overcome to secure a tournament win.
Delivering a 6/6, 6.84kg tournament bag to the scales, Power ironically fished with last year's non-boating event winner Matt Mott on day one, and well known local Peter Den Hartog on day two, to compile his winning limit.
Finishing a close second was the 'Mr Consistency' of the Yamaha tour, 2004 Grand Final Champion David Green.
Victory though belonged to Power who chose a technique that was as simple and straight forward in its execution as the lure that it involved. Fishing to schooled fish holding on the underwater humps out from the Boot area in the middle reaches of the dam on day one, Power targeted sounded fish holding in 50- 60 feet of water.
Presenting his jighead rigged soft plastic to the suspended and bottom hugging fish, Power would swim his offering with a slow rolling constant retrieve to the rod tip.
"The presentation was dead easy", Power explained. "Once we had showings of fish on the screen it was just a matter of dropping the plastic down to the bottom and working it back through the fish. Getting them to eat the plastic was a bit more difficult though, as we all found out", he further added.
Fish proved inevitably forthcoming for Power, delivering a 2/2, 2.11kg, and a 2/2, 1.75kg to the weighmaster on day one. A two session compiled bag that held him fourth place leading into the third and final session on Sunday.
Sunday involved a slight change in tack by Power, moving to the timbered region adjacent to the 'Boot', to ply the wooded features for structure hugging bass. Now presenting his lure to fish holding in 40 feet of water Power once again opted for a jighead rigged soft plastic as his offering of choice to fill his tournament bag. Slow rolling it through the sounded fish in the same manner as the previous day.
The fruits of his endeavours proved more substantial than the previous day's, with Power saving his best to last and presenting to the crowd and the weighmaster, a 2/2, 2.98kg tournament winning bag. Anchoring the biggest two fish bag for the tournament was the event's Daiwa Big Bass, a 2.14kg specimen. For power it was the kicker fish he needed to propel him to victory an into the 2005 Yamaha BASS Pro Grand Final.
Power's tournament tackle included a Shimano 7'2" Raider Finesse rod, Daiwa Pro Shooter reel, spooled with 4lb fluro green Fireline, and finished off with 8lb Siglon leader. His lure of choice for the weekend remained the same, a medium sized Ecogear Grass Minnow (colour- 117, watermelon/pearl) rigged on a 3/8 Nitro Bass Bullet jighead.
Securing second place for the second successive BASS Pro event was 39 year old Toowoomba resident David 'Greeny' Green. Repeating the performance and largely the same the approach as the Yamaha Lake St Clair event a month earlier, Green compiled a 6/6, 5.99kg tournament limit to secure a $3000 pay cheque and 99 much envied Angler of the Year points.
Targeting schooled, scattered and suspended fish as he did at Lake St Clair Green once again opted for a 'drop to the bottom', and 'slow roll back' retrieve to tempt his fish.
Occupying the middle reaches of the dam Green worked the well patronised flats, presenting his lure to solid showings of fish holding in water that varied in depth, ranging from 45- 60 feet.
While the location of the bass in the water column varied throughout the tournament, two things remained the same, the nature of Green's presentation and the lure that he used. A 3" Ecogear Power Shad (colour- Rainbow Trout).
The impetuous for Green's decision to use the same approach, technique and lure as St Clair four weeks prior came through the advice he was given, regarding the twin like behaviour of the two impoundments and its fish. The prediction proved spot on with Green compiling a 2/2, 2.13kg, 2/2, 1.9kg, and a 2/2, 1.96kg string of limits for the event. Green's arsenal of tournament proven tackle included a DCX 841, 7' 1-2kg Angler Rod, 1500 Daiwa TDA Advantage reel, spooled with 6lb fluro green Fireline, and topped of with 10lb Yamatoyo flurocarbon leader. His choice of jighead on which to rig his Ecogear plastics, like Power came from the Nitro Jigheads stable, in the form of ½ oz Bass Bullets and 5/8 oz Dam Deep models.
For Green the event proved a continuation of the hot form he began at the MegaBucks event in 2004, and once again shows that he is one of the hottest anglers travelling on the tour at the moment.
The event once again demonstrated the productiveness of the fish rich waters of Lake Glenbawn, with the 147 gathered anglers weighing in 445 bass for a combined total weight of 373kg, and an average weight of 0.84kg.
The Yamaha BASS Pro Series makes it way to the Sunshine State in June for the Bluefin Boats Bjelke-Petersen Dam BASS Pro, Jun 4-5. For more information or to enter get a copy of the 2005 Tournament Angler Guide or phone Simon Goldsmith (07) 3268 3992 (b/h).