Why don’t we have both? More importantly, why don’t you have both? Bream and Bass that is!
Anthony Thorpe has been in ABT circles since 2008. A seasoned veteran of the BREAM series, Thorpe recently turned his attention to the freshwater as he looks to improve upon an impressive first season over the 2016 ABT BassCat BASS Pro series. Thorpe almost had the perfect start to his 2015 BASS campaign; narrowly missing the win at the season opener on Lake St. Clair, and finishing second to the Victorian fish catching machine, Warren Carter. Thorpe went on to finish the season in seventh place in the Angler of the Year points race, even though he opted out of the final qualifier of the year.
Thorpe came into the 2015 BASS Pro series after arguably his most successful season on the BREAM tour which he finished in fifth place in AOY. So why the sudden change from the salt to the fresh? A set of new challenges and a sense of readiness was just the push that Thorpe needed. “I felt that with what I’ve learnt over the last couple of years fishing the impoundments in the Hunter Valley, along with the confidence I have gained through my results on the BREAM tour over the last couple of years, 2015 was the write time to jump ship and compete a full season on the ABT BASS Pro tour and be competitive doing it.”
The NSW impoundments of St Clair and Glenbawn lend themselves really well to the skills and techniques mastered over years on the BREAM tour. All too often NSW bass anglers are faced with a finesse bite, whether it’s the wintertime shallow style soft-plastic bite, or the deep water vertical ‘grubbing’ that dominates warm weather tournaments. It’s those times when Thorpe believes the skills he has learnt on the salty water prepare him for success on the fresh. “A lot of the time with bream fishing we have to take a finesse approach due to high pressure situations, I feel that I have been able to adapt this to my bass fishing and it’s resulted in some great success for me.”
The first leg of the 2016 BassCat BASS Pro series kicks off in early March, and Thorpe is sure to feature on the leader boards when the NSW road trip rolls around. Three top-ten finishes at the two venues last year would seem to back up this assumption of success for Thorpe in 2016. Though, it’s more than just success on the leader board that keeps him coming back, hungry for more. “The best part about the BASS Pro series is the people you meet, how willing the anglers are to help each other out and how relaxed the events are, that’s what really drew me to them.”
Anglers that cross over and dabble in both species is something that’s been more and more common over the last few years. With anglers like Kris Hickson, Tom Slater and Warren Carter fishing all or parts of both tours with great success. No longer are anglers content to stick to a singular species, the crossover of techniques and tackle is greater than it’s ever been and there’s no better time than now to expand and try your hand at a new species in 2016.