The entry into rivers for the Spotters Sunglasses Richmond River BASS Pro marks a fairly huge leap forward for Australian bass tournament fishing. Locations for BASS Pro events have always been limited to the impoundments of St Clair, Glenbawn, Somerset, Boondooma, Bjelke Peterson, Cania, Borumba, Monduran and Moogerah.
With more than half a dozen locations between Brisbane and Sydney for future river-based BASS Pro events, the change of scenery has almost doubled potential BASS Pro venues. The Richmond River is enormous, there’s roughly 380km of navigable river that anglers can access. If you conservatively double that figure to work out fishable bank, you’re looking at almost 800km of structure laden riverbank to keep you entertained.
That much water presents almost too many options for competing anglers, not only having to worry about catching their biggest 4/4 fish shared limit, but also worrying about fuel conservation and travel time. There’s potential for anglers to run upwards of one hour to access fertile waters, leaving them only a few hours of fishing time to secure fish big enough to challenge for the win.
That’s going to be the game anglers will need to play as they work out their strategies and game plans for the tournament, especially the Saturday sessions. “The open slot weigh-in falling in the middle of the session will be playing on a few anglers minds.” said ABT’s Simon Goldsmith.
Competing angler Tom Slater just returned from spending a few days scouting the river and is still up in the air about what he feels will be the winning strategy come game day. “I’m really not sure whether to stay close to the start or travel a long distance and look for something special,” conceded Slater.
When anglers take to the water for the commencement of the Spotters Sunglasses Richmond River BASS Pro there’s going to be more on their minds than ever before. Building the skill set and knowledge base of anglers is one of the cornerstones of ABT’s values, so the move to river rounds for BASS Pro events could be one of the defining moments for tournament bass fishing in Australia.