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Australian Bass Tournament Presents

2024 13Fishing BASS Pro Series | Round 1: Blue Rock Dam

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE WINNER'S VIDEO INTERVIEWS ⬇️⬇️

Cone Finally Masters VIC’s Lake Blue Rock

Mitchell Cone had finished in second place the first two times he visited Victoria’s Blue Rock Lake - losing to mates Matt Langford and Mick Johnson in previous iterations of this event in the 13 Fishing BASS Pro Series on the picturesque Victorian impoundment. In fact, he’s led the event after Day 1 on all three occasions.

The Narrabri Basser finally took the top spot on his third attempt, along with $2,100 cash and a perfect score of 100 Angler of the Year points. He was nearly a kilogram ahead of two-time Grand Final winner, Braden Schuch at the end of the two days of fishing.

Here’s how he did it.

Cone has been refining a pattern ever since he’s been visiting the Victorian lake which has a great mix of open water and timbered habitat. He fishes shallow in the water column, finding bass in Forward Mode on his Garmin LiveScope and presenting a black Gulp! to them on spinning tackle.

These fish sit between 5 and 8 feet down in anywhere up to 100 feet of water and relate to structure in the form on drowned trees - especially those with some sort of horizontal structure.

“Last year I caught plenty of fish that were just roaming in open water, but this time, I had to target bass sitting on the timber. The more bass I could see on it, the better they would bite,” Cone explained.

He’d see the bass on Forward Mode on his Garmin and cast a black Gulp 3” Swimming Mullet rigged on a Bassman 1/4oz jighead with a stinger. He reported that 60% of the bass he landed were hooked on the stinger.

He fished the bait on a Millerods XLFC rod paired with a Daiwa Kix spooled with braided line and 6lb Daiwa X-Link leader.

He also caught a few fish in the shallows on an OSP Dunk that he cast on a Millerods Twitchfreak M and a 10lb leader, but all of his key fish came from the timber.

“It was good to finally get the job done on Blue Rock and not choke on Day 2,” Mitchell remarked, “and leading the BASS Pro AOY after the first event is a real bonus.

SCHUCH CONTINUES MOMENTUM

After winning consecutive BASS Pro Grand Finals, Braden Schuch continued his momentum into 2024 with a solid second place at the Blue Rock opener.

“I’d always kind of known what would win at Blue Rock for the last couple of visits, but I went and fished my way. This time I committed to throwing that black Gulp! and it paid off,” Schuch said.

Unlike Cone, Braden found that the fish roaming in the open water were quite receptive to targeting with live sonar - in his case, a Humminbird Mega LIVE that he set at 40 degrees in forward mode.

He never fished water shallower than 40 feet and like Cone, his suspending fish sat between 5 and 10 feet down.

“I’d cast to the fish that I saw in the beam and sometimes they’d spook and other times they’d follow the bait, I usually needed to vary the retrieve slightly to get them to commit. This might have been a quick stop and drop and other times a quicker twitch to get that reaction,” he said.

Most of his fish came off the end of a long point a couple of kilometres up and into the trees.

Braden fished the bait on a 1/4oz Daiwa BaitJunkie jighead with a light #1 hook that he threw on a Daiwa Infeet S 722 LRS and Daiwa reel matched with 0.8PE Expedition J-Braid and a 8lb X-Link leader.

On the final day he dropped leader size to 6lb to tempt the pressured fish.

GOLDIE LOVES THE BACK OF THE BOAT

2023 boater, Victorian Corey Goldie, decided that he’d spend a year fishing from the back of the boat to make some content and help new non-boaters get started.

His plan started the best way possible with Goldie taking a win at his first event as a co-angler, anchored by a 51cm bass that weighed more than the rest of his bags added together.

He caught his fish in two ways - earlier in the session with cicadas on the surface - specifically the DUO Shinmushi. He’d cast the bait as close as possible to the bank and shake the lure in the spot.

The topwater bite was elongated by the steep banks upriver which kept the banks shaded for a long time.

His big bass came on a chatterbait in the form of a HotBite Spectre rigged with assist hooks. The threw the lure straight out of the back of the boat into a timbered area and it got smashed on the slow roll.

We were pretty excited when that fish hit the deck,” Corey admitted, “It’s a true Blue Rock unicorn and to catch it in a tournament was amazing.”

START

BOATER

NON BOATER D1

NON BOATER D2

FLIGHT D1

FLIGHT D2

1

Dane Pryce

Elyone Cloete

SPARE

2:00PM

1:15PM

2

Keeghan Painter

Stephen Mears

Elyon Cloete

2:00PM

1:15PM

3

Adam Mears

SPARE

Stephen Mears

2:00PM

1:15PM

4

Steve Morgan

Barry Reynolds

SPARE

2:00PM

1:15PM

5

Steve Muldoon

SPARE

Barry Reynolds

2:00PM

1:15PM

6

John Noble

Travis Aspinall

SPARE

2:00PM

1:15PM

7

Braden Schuch

SPARE

Travis Aspinall

2:00PM

1:15PM

8

Frank Carabetta

Corey Goldie

SPARE

2:00PM

1:15PM

9

Col Robinson

SPARE

Corey Goldie

2:00PM

1:15PM

10

Luke Gilbert

Leigh Mirams

SPARE

2:00PM

1:15PM

11

Matthew Langford

SPARE

Leigh Mirams

2:00PM

1:15PM

12

Troy Lowe

Rob Tilley

SPARE

2:15PM

1:00PM

13

Tim Jones

SPARE

Rob Tilley

2:15PM

1:00PM

14

Heath Kimber

Nicholas Brown

SPARE

2:15PM

1:00PM

15

Jayson deForrest-Haddleton

SPARE

Nicholas Brown

2:15PM

1:00PM

16

Simon Marchant

Luke Mason

SPARE

2:15PM

1:00PM

17

Tom Deer

SPARE

Luke Mason

2:15PM

1:00PM

18

Mitchell Cone

Jake Hardie

SPARE

2:15PM

1:00PM

19

Mick Johnson

SPARE

Jake Hardie

2:15PM

1:00PM

20

Steve Duff

Kris Dillon

SPARE

2:15PM

1:00PM

21

Jesse Rotin

SPARE

Ben Faro

2:15PM

1:00PM

22

Bryce Abbott

Ben Faro

Kris Dillon

2:15PM

1:00PM

 

 

Click here for 2024 13 Fishing BASS Pro Series event entry form. 
Click here for 2024 ABT Membership form. 

 

VENUE:

Blue Rock Dam, Victoria.

 

DATES:

31st January / 1st February

 

ENTRY FEE:

Boater $275, Non Boater $150. ABT Membership Required.

 

EVENT TYPE:

This event will run 100% on the ABT Tournament Series app, with length/weight curves allocated to Australian Bass. 

 

Here is the link to the instruction video for the app, which can be downloaded for free at the Apple App Store or from Google Play:

 

 

Click here to download the ABT Tournament Series App for iPhone. 
Click here to download the ABT Tournament Series App for Android. 

The App gives us real, live scoreboards throughout the event and is an important part of marketing this event to spectators, so it’s important to become familiar with it. 


PRE FISH BAN:

No fishing from Sunrise Monday 22nd January 2024 - first light Tuesday 30th January 2024.

 

PRE FISH:

From first light, Tuesday 30th January 2024

 

EVENT START LOCATION:

Blue Rock Picnic Area

 

NO GO ZONES:

No fishing/boating inside the buoyline at the dam wall or inside defined swimming areas.

SPEED LIMITS:

The lake speed limit is 15 knots. Upstream from the main lake there’s a 5 knot zone above the buoyline.

 

SESSION TIMES:

Saturday: 6.30am to 2pm 

Sunday: 6.30am to 1pm

 

BRIEFING:

Tuesday 30th January 2024
4pm at the Blue Rock Picnic Area.
Registration from 3pm.

 

PRESENTATION:

ASAP after final catch card is verified and angler catches are cross checked at Blue Rock Picnic Area. 

 

 

Entry list current as at 25th January 2024

 

START BOATER NON BOATER GUARANTEED
1 Paul Piper Nicholas Brown  
2 Dane Pryce Luke Mason  
3 Keeghan Painter Jake Hardie  
4 Adam Mears Barry Reynolds  
5 Steve Morgan Kris Dillon  
6 Steve Muldoon Ben Faro  
7 John Noble Elyon Cloete  
8 Braden Schuch Stephen Mears  
9 Frank Carabetta Mathew Szucs  
10 Col Robinson Travis Aspinall  
11 Luke Gilbert Corey Goldie Yes
12 Matthew Langford Leigh Mirams  
13 Troy Lowe Rob Tilley  
14 Tim Jones    
15 Heath Kimber    
16 Jayson deForrest-Haddleton    
17 Simon Marchant    
18 Tom Deer    
19 Mitchell Cone    
20 Mick Johnson    
21 Steve Duff    
22 Jesse Rotin    
23 Bryce Abbott    
Length (mm) Weight (kg)
150 0.050
155 0.056
160 0.062
165 0.069
170 0.076
175 0.083
180 0.091
185 0.100
190 0.109
195 0.118
200 0.128
205 0.139
210 0.150
215 0.162
220 0.175
225 0.188
230 0.202
235 0.216
240 0.232
245 0.248
250 0.265
255 0.282
260 0.300
265 0.320
270 0.339
275 0.360
280 0.382
285 0.405
290 0.428
295 0.452
300 0.478
305 0.504
310 0.531
315 0.560
320 0.589
325 0.619
330 0.651
335 0.683
340 0.717
345 0.752
350 0.787
355 0.824
360 0.863
365 0.902
370 0.943
375 0.985
380 1.028
385 1.072
390 1.118
395 1.165
400 1.214
405 1.264
410 1.315
415 1.368
420 1.422
425 1.478
430 1.535
435 1.593
440 1.653
445 1.715
450 1.778
455 1.843
460 1.910
465 1.978
470 2.048
475 2.119
480 2.192
485 2.267
490 2.344
495 2.422
500 2.502
505 2.584
510 2.668
515 2.754
520 2.842
525 2.931
530 3.023
535 3.116
540 3.212
545 3.309
550 3.408
555 3.510
560 3.613
565 3.719
570 3.827
575 3.937
580 4.049
585 4.163
590 4.280
595 4.398
600 4.519