Dayne Taylor.

Kayak Bass Open at Clarrie Hall Dam

The author was happy with this pair of chunky bass.
kayak bass open clarrie hall dam
Wade Walker’s 1.172kg bass was the biggest for the event.
kayak bass open clarrie hall dam
Anglers prepared for the start.

OVER the past few years a dedicated group of kayak anglers have fished bass competitions around Queensland, NSW and the Australian Capital Territory.

But with the demise of B.A.S.S. Australia Nation, these anglers have limited dedicated kayak competitions available to them, with only ABT providing an avenue where the kayakers would have to compete against boats in the Bass Electric competitions, in addition to the Yak Hunters competitions. Dayne Tayler and Ken Gerk decided to run an event to determine interest among kayakers to fish in a competition, albeit in a very social atmosphere.

The first Kayak Bass Open was set down to be fished at Clarrie Hall Dam, NSW on the weekend of February 23-24. About 24 anglers intended to fish the event. Unluckily, cyclone Oma moved towards southeast Queensland and Northern NSW and the event was hampered by strong wind and rain. Numbers dwindled to only 13 anglers for the weekend but the interest shown was a positive and future events are sure to be planned.

The competition was run similar to the old B.A.S.S. Nation format of two four-hour sessions on the Saturday and a final four-hour session on Sunday morning. The first session in Clarrie Hall was tough fishing, with only four anglers presenting five fish to be weighed and Dayne Taylor being the only angler to catch the two-fish limit for the session. Wade Walker caught the heaviest bass of the session at 1.172kg.

The afternoon session fished better, with seven anglers presenting 12 bass to be weighed and Dayne still leading the way with four out of four fish from the two sessions combining to weigh 3.73kg. Wade was in second place, with three out of four fish weighing 2.271kg. At this stage Dayne had a healthy lead over the field and everyone was very keen to keep him honest for the final session.

On the Saturday night, a social evening at the Uki hotel had all the anglers primed for a big final session. The Sunday session produced good numbers of fish, with 13 fish weighed and plenty of movement in the final placings, but no one was able to catch the consistent Dayne Taylor who finished with six out of six fish totalling a great weight of 5.76kg. Congratulations, Dayne!

I was lucky enough to move up into second position with four out of six fish tallying 4.05kg and Andrew McKinnon coming home in third with four fish weighing 3.56kg. Wade Walker’s first session bass of 1.172kg held on to win the Big Bass prize for the weekend. Dayne explained he caught most of his fish on vibration Jackall lures while mine were hooked on a mixture of Atomic Plazos soft plastics on a Seekerz 1/4oz jig head and an Atomic Metalz blade in Hay U colour.

Despite the weather, all anglers enjoyed the social atmosphere and comradery of the event at Clarrie Hall and discussion was had of another event to be held at Lake Macdonald in southeast Queensland later this year before the dam is drained for maintenance. If anyone is interested in fishing this type of event, please contact Ken Gerk or Dayne Taylor through Facebook.

Thanks to Ken and Dayne for organising and also to the sponsors Spida Sports and Berley Pro for their assistance.

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