Champion Non-Boater for the Gold Coast ABT round 2017
Taking part in the ABT Gold coast round as a non boater in Queensland, Team Member Michael Maas had a great weekend taking out 1st place in a tough venue. Here is Michaels report of how it all went down....
" Last weekend I took out the Non-Boater division in the ABT Gold Coast Bream round. Here is how it played out...
On day 1, I drew Craig Greenaway from Newcastle, NSW. With terrible conditions on Friday (prefish day), Craig told me he had struggled to find numbers of fish to make a plan of attack for day 1. Having fished the weekend before the prefish ban with my dad in some of my favourite spots down the Jumpinpin, I had a good idea where the fish may still be holding. But it was not a sure thing as I didn't get out on Friday for a fish.
With Craig willing to take my advice, we headed to a favourite bank at Jumpinpin and within 25 minutes of arriving I had my bag limit and was ready to upgrade. With the boat sitting in 5 metres of water and a cast from the bank, we would pitch our lures tight to the mangrove-lined mud edge. The strong westerly winds pushing waves into the bank helped with the aggressive nature of the fish, smashing my Damiki D Grubs and minnows not long after hitting the water.
I managed to land 40 legal Bream there and slowly upgraded my bag to a weight of 2.12kg putting me in 4th place after day 1.
For day 2, I drew a good mate - Stephen Wilson from the Gold Coast. I knew this was going to be a great day as Stephen fishes similar areas and techniques to myself. Surprisingly, he had a bad day 1 fishing the seaway area and so he had planned to fish the same bank I fished the day before. Some times you need a bit of luck and today was that day!
After arriving at the same bank, I had noticed the wind had backed off a lot from the day before which had made the bite tougher. It took me 2 hours to fill my bag from the edge bite, and the fish size was down on the day before with a lot more undersize fish hitting the deck.
As we worked the bank Stephen kept a close eye on his Simrad sounds, and with the side scan he noticed large schools of fish off the bank in 5 metres of water. He could tell from his sounder that the fish sitting deeper off the bank were larger. So we started to target these fish and instantly started upgrading with quality fish. Stephen bagged a great limit weighing 2.53kg while I improved on my day 1 bag by weighing 2.21kg, catching 25 legal fish for the day.
I knew by weighing a larger day 2 bag I would possibly stay at the pointy end of the field, but to my surprise I managed to weigh the heaviest limit for the combined 2 days, and took out the Champion Non-Boater title securing a place in the Grand Final at the end of the year.
The majority of my fish came on the Damiki D Grubn Clear Motor Oil rigged on TT Jigheads ranging from 1/20th to 1/8th, depending on wind and tide strength.
Thanks to my boaters: Craig Greenaway for being open to suggestions on where to go as he was not familiar with the area; and Stephen Wilson for his help in pinpointing the larger fish with the Simrad Electronics on his boat. Thanks for an awesome weekend guys! Also, Rob Searing from Searing tackle for all his support. And a special thanks to all the team at ABT for organising and running such a great event, as always.
Cheers, Michael Maas"