Carter Breams his Way to BASS Win
Victoria’s Warren Carter showed he’s a bass rookie to watch on the BASS Pro tour with the multiple event winning BREAM tour veteran compiling a, 6/6, 4.87kg to claim victory in the first round of the Toray BASS Pro Series. Showing experienced bass pros a clean pair of heels Carter fished to his strength, throwing his beloved bream jerkbait, a Smith Panish, to claim first blood at the Imakatsu presented opening round of the 2015 series.
Equally forging a path on the bass tour for the bream guys was event runner-up Anthony Thorpe, followed by multiple BASS Electric event winner, Haswing Bass Pro Dave Mann.
For event winner Carter it was a bream influenced affair with the Victorian tournament veteran fishing to his strengths and throwing a lure that he’s claimed many podium finishes on the BREAM tour, a jerkbait.
“The Smith Panish jerkbait is one of my go-to lures when chasing black bream, so I tied one on during the Friday prefish and caught a fish on my 4th cast,” explained Carter.
With his lure and technique locked in courtesy of a 25 fish prefish Carter kicked off session one fishing the weed edges in the main basin and soon found the fish still on the bite, picking up his limit in the first hour and catching four fish for the session.
Sitting in the top five heading into session two Carter once again threw a jerkbait, and just like in session one had his limit in the first hour fishing shallow weed edges.
Focusing on the distinct weed edges rather than the broken and more scattered weed lines Carter’s retrieve was textbook black bream jerkbaiting, three to four twitches followed by a pause. The pauses were sometimes up to four seconds long, but were more commonly 1-2 seconds long.
“It was important to fish fresh water and not just revisit the same banks all the same,” explained Carter.
This approach paid off big time on day one, on day two things however got a lot tougher.
“Sunday was really hard. I fished both new and old ground and it was hard going. It wasn’t until the change came through and the wind picked up at 11.15am that the fish started to bite,” explained Carter.
Keying in on the wind blown banks as the hot spots Carter made up for lost time, quickly catching his limit, and catching four fish in the last 20 minutes of the session. Weighing in the second heaviest limit for the session Carter in the end claimed a comfortable win. In doing so becoming one of few anglers who have won both a BASS Pro and BREAM event.
With a 4th and 1st in his last two BASS Pro events Carter is one of the inform anglers on tour at the moment, and is emerging as an angler to watch for the 2015 Power-Pole Angler of the Year title.
Thorpe Mixes it Up
For event runner-up Anthony Thorpe is was a tournament of varying techniques with the NSW tournament gun fishing both shallow and deep to catch his fish. Starting off on the eastern side of the lake early on day one Thorpe filled his limit in five minutes catching his fish on a soft plastic in the shallows.
“There was this small bay where the bass were breaking the surface as they herded up baitfish,” explained Thorpe.
To catch them Thorpe threw a Bait Breath Fish Tail Shad rigged on a 1/16oz Nitro jighead and worked it back with a slow roll and twitch retrieve.
“It was just like a surface bite and once the sun got up and hit the water the bite shut down,” explained Thorpe.
With his shallow plastic bite gone Thorpe moved deeper and began throwing an Evergreen Little Max in 25-30’ of water out from the weed edge.
Sitting in equal 1st place at the end of the session Thorpe knew that his shallow, low light, pattern wouldn’t fire until late in session, if at all.
“I went deep from the start of the session and vertical fished a 2.5” Bait Breath Fish Curly in 30’ of water, fishing it with a slow roll and drop through the water column,” explained Thorpe.
The approach paid off with Thorpe catching his limit in the first ten minutes. As the session progressed and the amount of sunlight waned Thorpe once again hit the shallower edges, throwing a Little Max to the edges and slow rolling it back out.
Delivering another consistent bag to the scales Thorpe sat in 3rd place heading into the 2nd and final day.
Returning back to his shallow bay Thorpe picked up where he left off, catching a string of fish on his rolled and twitched paddle tail plastic.
“They were active and breaking the surface just like the day before, and in five minutes I had my limit. I stayed for another 1 ½ hours so I could get everything I could out of the area, and in doing so picked up another five upgrades,” explained Thorpe.
Knowing that the bigger fish would be on the edges Thorpe stayed shallow and fished his way through a number of locations, rotating between a Little Max and a suspending jerkbait as he went.
Delivering a 1.55kg limit to the scales for the final weigh-in Thorpe’s bag was enough to secure him 2nd place and book him a ticket to the Lake Glenbawn Grand Final in October.
“St Clair played into my hands for the tournament, with the bite suiting by preferred techniques and style. This year I’m focusing more on the bass events than the bream so to finish 2nd in my first event is great,” explained Thorpe.
Draper Rips to Victory
Fishing his first BASS Pro after many years on the sideline 16 year old New South Wales angler Luke Draper confirmed long held suspicions and showed that he’s a tournament angler on the rise and an angler to watch for the future.
Fishing with David Diggins on day one Draper started his day throwing a Jackall Squirrel to the weed edge, and he didn’t have to wait long to find out if he was on the money.
“David had me three fish down so I decided to tie on a jerkbait, and it was on my first cast that I caught my first fish,” explained Draper.
Working the jerkbait with a three-rip pause retrieve, Draper’s 2nd fish followed on his very next cast.
“They were very active early, feeding along the weed line and slamming our lures”, explained Draper.
Weighing in a 2.20kg limit for the session, Draper’s opening limit not only saw him head into the session with a comfortable lead, but his XOS bag also delivered him the Duffrods Big Bag for the tournament.
With the early morning cloud gone and the sun now high in the sky Diggins and Draper went deep for the start of the afternoon session, fishing blades over the flats and Berkley Gulps down deep to catch their fish.
Weighing in a 1.49kg limit for the session Draper’s bag would have been heavier had it not been for a big fish that he had to let go due to ill health.
Fishing with Brian Everingham on day two Draper once again threw a jerkbait, this time fishing a little wider and deeper than the day before. The approach paid dividends with Draper picking up two fish in the first hour.
Hitting the stage to weigh-in a 1.49kg limit Draper blew away the field to claim his maiden BASS Pro win in his maiden BASS Pro event.
Rod: 7’, 1-4kg Duffrod
Reel: ABU Garcia Revo Size 10
Line: 6lb Berkley Crystal Fireline
Leader: 10lb Berkley Vanish flurocarbon
Lure: Jackall Squirel 61SP
Carter fished the edges knowing that the bigger fish would be there. He also fished to his strength throwing the lure in his boat that he had most experience and confidence with, a jerkbait.
Carter’s Winning Tackle
Rod: 7’ spin
Reel: 2500 spin
Line: 11lb Varivas Avani Sea Bass Max Power PE
Leader: 6lb Varivas Ganoa Absolute flurocarbon
Lure: Smith Panish DD65, colour 21 and 39
Austackle Big Bream
Champion nonboater Luke Draper valued added his winnings at Lake St Clair picking up the Austackle Big Bream prize courtesy of his session one kicker fish. Weighing in at 1.19kg, Draper caught it on his first cast of the day on a twitched and pause Jackall Squirrel.