The Mary River was perfect for the Haswing B.A.S.S. Australia Nation Electric Series and Hobie B.A.S.S. Australia Nation Kayak Series because these anglers and vessels are both suited to fishing skinny, snag-filled waterways.
The Mary is both of these and the undercut banks are lined with endless structure. It seemed all you really needed to do was get your lure as close to the shoreline as possible. This tournament was held on May 31, just prior to the tidal waters closed season for bass in Queensland.
Haswing Electric Series
Team 13 Fishing Australia/Tackle Warehouse, consisting of Adrian Wilson and Charles ‘Westy’ West proved to everyone that the Mary River holds quality bass by producing a solid four out of four, 3.18kg bag.
The guys scored cash, trophies, a Haswing Marine Cayman Pro 55lb Cable Steer bow mount electric motor and prizes valued at well over $1000. With a clear plan, the two anglers decided to push out as far as possible from the boat ramp, giving them untouched water to fish all day.
With nearly zero wind and a light fog greeting the anglers early in the morning, Charles and Adrian decided to fish top water early with a Megabass Pop-X in the calm, shadowed conditions.
They cast as close as possible to the bank and slowly worked the lure back along the surface. Within the first 30 minutes, a bass completely exploded on the lure and this fish ended up tying with Team RSA for the biggest bass of the tournament at 1.14kg.
After the topwater bite slowed, the guys decided to work in tandem by casting with 1/2oz O.S.P High Pitcher and Impact Tackle spinnerbaits.
Charles cast from the front of the electric bass boat, working the lure slowly through the timbered areas, while Adrian worked each area more meticulously by rolling the Impact Tackle spinnerbait for a few turns and then letting it fall to the bottom, repeating this process back to the boat.
This ensured the duo worked the full water column, giving the bass in that area every opportunity to strike the baits. Adrian matched his Barrabass rod with a Daiwa Steez baitcaster and Charles paired his 13 Fishing Australia rod with a Concept C reel.
Both anglers used Sunline Cast Away main line and Sunline fluorocarbon leader.
The Renz brothers from team ACM Rods/JML Anglers Alliance are back near the top of the leader board and they caught plenty of upgrades to finish in second position and walk away with cash and awesome prizes.
Mitchell and Jordan Renz found some productive areas during the pre-fish and worked Ecogear ZX40 blades in Dark Night colour in deeper water to really crack a pattern. Catching 12 keepers for the session, the guys located the bass in ones and twos using their electronics before working the blades vertically to create the strike.
Rounding out the top three were Luke Clark and Callum Tewes from team Versus Meiho Tackle Boxes, who brought a three out of four, 2.16kg bag to the scales, which may have left them wondering “what if” as they were one fish short of the limit.
Hobie Kayak Series
Peter Bostock, a BCF manager from Brisbane, had a plan to head to the junction area downstream where the creek runs into the river, but after about 30 minutes of paddling and with the fog hanging over the water he just couldn’t resist fishing a surface lure.
He decided to throw a Bassday SugaPen 70 Float in MB16 colour early and it paid off, with two bass on the ruler in the first couple of hours. Once the fog lifted he switched to a Jackall Chubby crankbait to finish off his bag.
Peter was the only kayaker to catch a full bag, and with three out of three bass totalling 109cm he took home the win, cash, prizes and a trophy.
Using a Lox 2-5lb Yoshi Snapper rod matched with a Shimano Stella 2500 FI reel, Peter made the critical decision to cast as close as possible to the bank, where the bass were sitting in the undercut edges.
Slowly walking the SugaPen back to the kayak, he found the majority of strikes came around the edges and structures. Peter filled his spool with Berkley 4lb NanoFil main line and Berkley 4lb Vanish fluorocarbon.
Stephen Maas got a two out of three bag of 75cm to take out second place. Stephen decided to fish in a totally different direction to the other anglers and headed 8km upstream to catch his bass. He focused on a drop-off he had found in the pre-fish that was holding a lot of bait.
Steve was using a jig spinner from TT with a black and red Hooked On Plastics 3” fat grub that he would cast into 6m of water before slowly rolling it back to the kayak with small twitches.
Steve’s outfit consisted of a 13 Fishing Australia Omen Black rod paired to a Daiwa Lexa reel, 4lb Berkley Fireline main line and 4lb Sunline FC Rock leader. Steve also wanted to thank his major sponsor Cranka and Steve Steer for all the support he has received throughout the season.
Rounding out the top three was Windsor local Jarryd Aleckson with a two out of three bag of 72cm. Jarryd targeted bass downstream and employed quite a different method to most other anglers.
He used his Lowrance sounders to locate bass on deeper snags and slowly rolled spinnerbaits through the structure. Jarryd utilised StructureScan side scanning to find bass sitting in water deeper than 4m with lie-downs at the bottom.
Using a 13 Fishing Envy Black 610 medium rod matched with a Shimano Scorpion 1500 reel spooled with Sunline Super PE main line and Rock Fish leader, Jarryd cast his 1/2oz Damiki Short Strike spinnerbait and let it sink through the structure all the way to the bottom before beginning his retrieve.
He found the bass would hit the lure as it bumped off the structure. With the end of the season fast approaching, we have four championships to be decided by October, with the Teams, Kayak, Electric and Pro/Am series coming to a close.
This is a serious time of year for the anglers. They have fished hard all year and now it’s time to step up and reap the rewards. With over $40,000 worth of cash and prizes and Australian Championships up for grabs, over the following months we will no doubt see a change in the approach each angler has towards the tournaments and other anglers.
Best friends can become full-on rivals in the blink of an eye, and every decision can cost cash and titles. This should be fun.
For more information and a list of winners visit www.bassaustralia.com.au