The 2017 Native Watercraft BASS Australia Nation Kayak Series was announced, so I decided it was time to try my hand at bass fishing. The first round of the series was held on Clarrie Hall Dam on Doon Doon Creek which is a tributary of the south arm of the Tweed River. The dam is set among beautiful forest and mountainous terrain.
With no impoundment bass fishing experience, I decided to head to The dam prier to the prefish ban to gain some knowledge. After 2 trips and only 1 fish landed I started to think that all my bream tournament experience would count for nothing when it came to bass fishing.
I remember when I first entered a bream tournament having no knowledge about luring bream. I had very little belief that I could compete with the experienced anglers, but by doing so I have learnt some much more about luring for bream then I ever would of without the tournament scene. After the tournament is finished tactics and tackle used by the anglers are revealed. Even after 12 or more years of bream tournament fishing I still walk away from ever comp with a bit more knowledge. Not only will the tournaments improve you fishing, you will meet people and the friends you make will be mates for life.
So I’m going into the 2017 Bass series excited to learn as much as possible about luring impoundment bass.
Day 1 / session 1
With a early start and a overcast day my plan was to throw top water to the lilly pads and weed edges in the middle section of the dam. With only a 10 minute trip in my Slayer 13 to my first spot, it wasn’t long before I had a good bass in the livewell. 2 casts later and I had my 2 fish and my bag limit for the first session. The pressure was off for a while and I could enjoy my fishing.
It doesn’t get much better then a surface strike and when the bass are on the bite the explosion on the surface is amazing. I would get another 4 legal fish on surface for this session and 1 was an upgrade for a smaller fish. After the first session I was surprised to see I was placed 2nd out of 28 anglers with a bag weight of 1.82kg. I could not of hoped for a better start to my first tournament.
Day 1 / session 2
Starting at 1pm I knew this session was going to be a lot tougher for me. I had no confidence going into the afternoon session with top water, the sun was out and the session time would miss the peak bite period towards dusk. My instinct was right and I didn’t even manage a bite. So I had dropped from 2nd to mid field, 14th.
Day 2 / session 3
The final session on Sunday saw me throw top water again. With 1 in the livewell after a few casts things were looking up. I only had 2 more surface strikes within the next 1 1/2 hours with not hook ups. So I decided to change tactics to try and fill my bag. I decided to fish a plastic weedless, casting it on top of the lilly pads and hopping it into the pockets of water surrounding them. Eventually I hooked up but couldn’t stop the fish which buried me in the weed and Lilly pads.
My first bass tournament was over and I was happy with a 3 out of 6 fish limit and a 14th place finish. Credit must go to BASS Australia Nation, Drew McGrath and Lauren Kelly for running and awesome event. It’s clear to see that a lot of hard work has gone into organising this kayak series and it was a absolute pleasure to fish in the series first round.
Congratulations to Glenn Hayter for the round win and enjoy your new Native Watercraft Slayer 10. What an awesome prize for a qualifying round. BASS Australia Nation along with Native Watercraft Australia have really set the bar high for a kayak fishing series. I am so greatful and proud to be part of the team. Congratulations to Dayne Taylor and Zac Travis for making the podium and Kerry Gall for taking out the big bass.
I would like to thank Native Watercraft Australia for there support, and also Rob Searing from searingtackle.com.au
I am looking forward to my next Bass tournament which will be either Lake McDonald or Hinze Dam in Queensland. To check out the tournament calander go to bassaustralia.com.au
Cheers, Michael Maas