Mid way through the 2016 calendar we witnessed what all the anglers would be playing for, as 2015 BASS Pro Grand Final Champion Peter Phelps travelled to the USA to meet up with Australia’s favourite Bassmaster Elite Series angler Carl Jocumsen. Phelps enjoyed a three-week immersion into US tournament bass fishing, marshalling at the Cayuga Lake Elite Series event and then fishing as a co-angler in the Bassmaster Northern Open on Lake Oneida. It was an experience he’ll never forget, and it’s up for grabs again at Lake Bjelke-Peterson as we conclude the 2016 BassCat BASS Pro Series.
Four qualifying events have led us to this point. Invitations have been sent and the field is almost locked in. 30 anglers will be vying for the title of 2016 BassCat BASS Pro Grand Final champion, and the all-expenses paid trip to the USA in 2017 to fish a Bassmaster Open of their choice.
“The BASS Pro Grand Final prize that we offered in 2015 and again this year in 2016 is I think as good as it’s ever been for Australian BASSers” explained ABT’s Simon Goldsmith. “It’s as close as most of us are ever probably going to get to being able to do what Carl does every week as a Bassmaster Elite Series angler. But the real benefit is being able to lean off Carl and his six years of experience. Whoever wins this is essentially getting the fishing road-trip charter of a lifetime, an experience money simply can’t buy.”
Phelps concurs, stating it was easily the most rewarding experience of his long fishing life. “That three weeks I spent in the US with Carl was arguably the best fishing of my entire life. I’ve always loved US bass fishing and to get an opportunity to not only fish a tournament over there but to ride with Carl, an Elite Series angler, meet other pro’s and marshall a tournament was the icing on an already delicious cake.”
The 2016 BassCat BASS Pro Grand Final will be held on the luscious Lake Bjelke-Peterson, in the South Burnett in the middle of September. The lake should be prime for an explosive bite from some of the countries biggest bass. Our last visit to BP for the last qualifier from the 2015 BASS Pro Series saw Grant Clements notch his maiden ABT BASS Pro victory. It also saw arguably one of the best bites we’d ever seen for a BASS Pro event. Full limits and sore arms were on the table for almost all the competitors that weekend, as hundreds of fat
Australian bass hit the deck, feeding hard after a cold winter.
Similar conditions are expected for angler this coming weekend at BP, with the 30 boater/30 non boater hitting the water at sunrise each morning as they battle for the 2016 BassCat BASS Pro Grand Final title.