This was the last of the BASS Qualifiers for the season to be held in QLD so it was important for me to have a good finish to be any chance in the AOY race. I spent more time practicing at Boondooma then i have at any other event throughout this season so far. I fished the dam on four separate occasions and every trip the fishing was slightly different due to receding water levels and changes in season. each time i cracked a pattern only to return the following trip to find out only half of what i had learned still worked.
Pre fish day:
The fishing had changed again slightly from my last visit to the dam with some of my key lures not even drawing a strike on the Friday. Most of the big fish i had my eye on were still in position on the Friday which was promising however a lot of my confidence weed bed locations had little to no weed and i failed to get any fish off them in the morning. Wanting to find a confidence lure for Session 1 i went to one of the patches of fished and played around until i was happy that the mask was going to be the lure of choice for this event. I only landed 4 fish on Friday but the average size was 45cm.
Went straight to the schooling fish early as i was away in 4th position, the fish just weren't there though. I spent an hour or so fishing and moving around the area before i decided i needed to move locations. The second spot had more fish showing but nothing like Friday, i managed to drop a big fish within ten minutes and about half an hour later dropped another. It was now about 9am and i still didn't have a fish in the well. I could see the fish and was changing around lures, i decided to stick to what i knew from Friday rather than what i thought i knew from previous trips and just grind it out till i had a limit. In the next 30 - 40 minutes i landed 6 or 7 fish with a total session limit of only 1.73kg putting me back in 13th place.
Started the session in 13th place, headed straight to the spot where i finished in the morning hoping that the fish would be more active in the afternoon. I hooked up and landed my first keeper on the first cast, the mask didn't even reach the bottom. Second cast had a similar result only the hooks pulled early in the fight. I almost had my limit in 2 casts, talk about lucky 13. The next 30 minutes turned into a slog with the stress of thinking that second fish was going to be needed. Fish started to come through on the sounder more and more until a flurry of good fishing that lasted around an hour with me landing the 3.21kg that i took to the weigh master. Knowing there was a weather change due in the morning i left my schooling fish to find an edge bite that i may have to call on for Sunday morning session. I had four hits in four casts and landed a small legal fish.
Leaving the ramp in 4th place i knew i needed a full limit today to stay in the top 5, i headed straight to the schooling fish hoping to get one before the weather settled in. I managed one fish of around 800grams before they seemed to disappear. Within 1.5 hours i knew i needed to change, i decided to head for the weed edge that i caught the legals off in hope of filling a quick bag. I caught one undersized, my non boater caught a legal and i had a strike. I thought the bank was worth another shot and i pulled a 1.4kg fish of it. That was a limit, such a relief. I fished the bank once more with no results and recalled catching good fish from a similar bank in these weather conditions two weeks ago. With ten minutes to go i caught a slight upgrade of around 900 grams and took 2.37 to the weigh station to put me into 3rd place. Couldn't be happier, or could i....
For those that know me closely they will know that Marnie has played a big roll in my fishing career in the past two years, helping me out with everything from motivation to meals. I finally proved to her how much she meant to me and proposed on the BASS Nation stage, she said yes..