Big bass landed at Lake Cania comp
Early recon mission the key to winner Barry Reynolds’ success on the water
THERE is nothing easy about landing bass and that’s why the winner of Lake Cania’s Basstastic competition, Barry Reynolds, swears by a well thought out reconnaissance mission.
“The pre-fish is very important because it’s a huge advantage if you go into it knowing where you can find fish and what they are chewing on,” he said.
“There’s no set rules when it comes to bass, that’s why I have more than 50 types of lures.
“I got them this weekend on smaks by Motty (another competitor Mathew Mott’s custom made lures).”
It was on Friday’s pre-fish Mr Reynolds detected the better quality bass were in the basin, rather than by the lake’s edge as they often are.
“We didn’t catch as many as others but the ones we did catch were better quality,” he said.
“The schools were by the edges but we were going for resident fish and picking them up around the basin.”
The round two qualifyer for this year’s Basstasic was over Saturday and Sunday at Lake Cania, and most competitors stayed at local organiser Russell Nowland’s place.
After recent flooding there was much more water in Cania Dam than usual and Monto-based Mr Nowland said that made the fishing a lot harder.
“But at least we know the bass survived the flood well and truly,” he said.
“I found a school of thousands and got them on custom made black and purple smak ice jigs, made by Matthew Mott (another competitor).
“He’s never made those colours before but I thought they would work because of the nature of what’s in the water.”
Although Trevor Crofts sat out the competition to focus on his weigh-station responsibilities, he was up early and scouting out the fishing conditions before dawn.
“They were in really shallow, so shallow their fins were sticking out,” he said.
“But as soon as the fog lifted and the sun came out, they were gone.
“Luckily for the others I let someone else win this time. I’m just focusing on running it.”
Hervey Bay ice-creamery owner Dallas Harch said the fish were “not in the usual good spots” and was sitting on a duck until Sunday morning.
“They were on the banks in the end,” he said.
“I’ve fished all my life and gone in lots of competitions but bass are not an easy fish to catch. You have to work out where they are, how fast the retrieve is, what colours they are chewing on. They are just a stupid fish!
“And it was definitely harder having more water in the dam.”
He said many of the competitors sported high-powered boats, because getting to the good spots first was a huge advantage.
“You need the speed because in the end everyone knows where they are,” he said.
“And once people have settled in, you can’t just go up and fish next to them.”
I’ve fished all my life and gone in lots of competitions but bass are not an easy fish to catch.
1. Kingaroy’s Brett Turner and Brett Bliesner. 2. Russell and David Nowland march a trove of fish to the weigh-station. 3. David Nowland enjoys the day fishing at his local hole. 4. Lane and Ethan Thompson are rumoured to be gun fishermen. 5. Rob and Shara Van Haeren came away with the goods. 6. Trevor Crofts is all focus. 7. Russell Nowland and Matthew Mott kick back. 8. Aimee Thompson found landing bass tricky at first, but got two on Sunday.
CAUGHT: Brock Harch, Dylan Fryer and Dallas Harch were first to shore Sunday morning.