I was packed and ready to head off to the Richmond river prior to the ban (3 weeks out), i had given myself a 6 day window in order to work out the venue as i wanted redemption after my 13th place last year. With the horrific devastation Lismore and surrounds had copped the event had to be relocated to Glenbawn Dam. As soon as i saw the news of the relocation i jumped straight in the car and headed down as i still had 4 days up my sleeve prior to heading to the US. Having never been in an event on Glenbawn in April i had no real idea on what to expect. I knew Feb/March was deep gulps and June/July is 2" plastics so i would start with both of those and see where i landed. Catching 32-35 cm fish in 20 feet schools was easy enough using 2" Keitech easy shiners, however they were not going to win an event in Glenbawn. The deep bite in the lower end seemed to be a non event so i went chasing bigger fish on the edges up in the freshly flooded grass of the 8 knot zone. Within 30 minutes i had two fish well over the kilo mark on chatter-baits. Trying other proven banks saw me catching several big fish that i thought could easily take out the win if i could accrue 6 of them in an event. Plan established.
Pre fished with Mark Ferguson in order to work out which lures and techniques would be the most effective. Easier with two people fishing different lures at the same fish to crack a pattern as early as possible. We had established we could fill a bag quickly on 2" Keitech easy shiners however the bigger fish were coming on Jackall chatter-baits tight to the edges. The bigger edge fish were somewhat sporadic and we didn't feel we could rely on it to fill a consistent limit. We moved to the deep gulp fish in the afternoon and managed some good 1.1 to 1.3 kg easily and consistently. The plan was now set to fill my bag on the plastics before moving to deep water to upgrade those fish.
Decided to start deep and return to edges later in the session if i needed to. I
had my fish within the first hour and only managed a further four fish for the session, even though the deep bite proved tougher than i expected i stuck with it in order to feel confident for the remaining two sessions.
2/2 1.99kg 5th Place
Starting the session in 5th place with such small margins i knew i needed to fill a limit to stay in contention, i started on the edges with the 2" easy shiners and within ten minutes had four fish, two of which were around 900g. i then moved up the back to the deep water and found that the guys up there were yet to get a bite. i moved around until i found some active fish sitting on structure in 68-75 feet and caught around 15-20 fish upgrading my bag to what i thought would keep me on the pointy end. With around an hour to go i went searching some edges in preparation for the final session if i needed a back up plan with the weather pattern changing. I caught around 10 fish none of which were an upgrade but i was confident that i could fill a bag should i need to on Sunday morning.
4/4 3.98kg 1st Place
Sitting in 1st place and only ten grams ahead of 2nd i knew i needed a 2 kilo limit minimum to even come close to holding my position so i had to fish deep and get the best limit i could possibly obtain. I had two fish in the well within the first 15 minutes which was a relief, the fishing was then consistent however slow until the last hour when i discovered a laydown log on the bottom in 71 feet. I managed a fish every 5-10 minutes from this spot, each fish was either a tiny upgrade or not at all. I decided to stick with it until the end and even managed a final fish after calling "last drop". I had a better bag then day 1 however still no kicker fish.
6/6 6.12kg 2nd Place (by 50 grams)
Rod: Dobyns champion extreme 703
Reel: Quantum smoke PTia 25 spin
Line: Sunline PE EGI ULT 10lb
Leader: Sunline FC Sniper invisible 8lb.
Lures: Impact tackle 1/4oz jighead with either Keitech easy shiner or gulp jigging grub