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Tournament

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FREE GUIDEBOOK

Guide

BASS PRO SERIES

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BARRA AUSTRALIAN OPEN

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BREAM SERIES

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Australian Bass Tournaments

BASS AUSTRALIAN OPEN

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BARRA SERIES

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BREAM AUSTRALIAN OPEN

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ABT Tournaments

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BASS ELECTRIC AUSTRALIAN OPEN

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BASS ELECTRIC SERIES

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BREAM QUEENSLAND OPEN

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calendar of events 2020abt

ALL ENTRY/MEMBERSHIP FORMS AND EVENT DETAILS AVAILABLE AT WWW.ABT.ORG.AU

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Costa BREAM Series Qualifier Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 Grand Final Australian Open Queensland Open

BREAM SERIES

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BREAM AUSTRALIAN OPEN

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BREAM QUEENSLAND OPEN

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Sufix BASS Pro Series

Qualifier Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Grand Final BASS Australian Open

BASS PRO SERIES

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BASS AUSTRALIAN OPEN

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Date 4-5 February 8-9 Feb 7-8 March 11-12 March 4-5 April 30-31 May 25-26 July 29-30 August 26-27 September 6-8 November 29 April - 1 May 22-23 February

State VIC VIC TAS TAS WA NSW QLD NSW QLD NSW NSW QLD

Location Gippsland Lakes Gippsland Lakes Derwent River St Helens Mandurah Forster Bribie Island Richmond River Gladstone Port Stephens Sydney Harbour-Hawkesbury River Moreton Bay - Gold Coast

Date 21-22 March 25-26 April 23-24 May 20-21 June 18-19 July 8-9 August 3-4 October 12-13 September

State NSW NSW NSW QLD QLD QLD QLD NSW

Location Lake St Clair Clarence River Glenbawn Dam Cania Dam Wivenhoe Dam Somerset Dam Cania Dam Glenbawn Dam

Sponsor Sufix Megabass Keitech Bassman Spinnerbaits Ecogear Evinrude Sufix Rapala

Casino Outdoors and Disposals BASS Electric Series

Qualifier Date Round 1 1 March Round 2 5 April Round 3 2-3rd May Round 4 7 June Round 5 12 July Round 6 23 August Grand Final 19-20 September BASS Electric Australian Open 17-18 October

BASS ELECTRIC SERIES

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BASS ELECTRIC AUSTRALIAN OPEN

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Zerek BARRA Tour

BARRA SERIES

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BARRA AUSTRALIAN OPEN

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Presented by

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Sponsor Casino Outdoors & Disposal Green Energy Edge Rods BKK Green Energy Sufix Casino Outdoors & Disposal Humminbird

Date 30-31 October 26 November 27 November 29 November 1-2 December

State QLD QLD QLD QLD QLD

Location Tinaroo Kinchant Dam Teemburra Dam Peter Faust Dam Peter Faust Dam

Sponsor Edge Rods Wilson Fishing Lowrance Power Pole Samaki

BARRA Australian Open

29 Sept - 1 Oct

QLD

Awoonga Dam

Venom

State VIC NSW VIC WA NSW QLD NSW WA NSW TBA

Location Bemm River Sydney Mallacoota Blackwood River Woy Woy Gold Coast Forster Albany St George’s Basin TBA

Event Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 Australian Championship

Date 29 Feb - 1 March 28-29 March 18-19 April 2-3 May 16-17 May 20-21 June 19-20 September 3-4 October 17-18 October TBA

2020 West Australian Bream Classics

WA BREAM CLASSICS

Location Richmond River Coldstream River Lostock Dam Moogerah Dam Hinze Dam Clarrie Hall Dam TBC Wyaralong Dam

Event Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5

2020 Hobie Kayak BREAM Series 12

2020 HOBIE KAYAK BREAM SERIES

State NSW NSW NSW QLD QLD NSW TBC QLD

Sponsor Costa ZMan Cranka Mercury Sunline Daiwa Garmin Atomic Mercury Costa Daiwa Samaki

Event Boat Round 1 Kayak Round 1 Kayak Round 2 Boat Round 2 Kayak Round 3 Boat Round 3 Kayak Grand Final Boat Grand Final

2020 Vic Bream Classics Event Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Grand Final

Date 15-16 February 8 March 24 May 14 June 13 September 25 October 14-15 November 28-29 November

www.hobiefishing.com.au Sponsor Strike Pro Cranka Lures Mortgage Corp Lurefans - JML Atomic Tackle Tactics Lowrance Power-Pole - Gerber Pro Lure Daiwa

Facebook: WA Bream Classics Location Nornalup Inlet, Walpole Swan River, Perth Moore River, Guilderton Murray River, Mandurah Peel Inlet, Mandurah Swan River, Perth Murray River, Mandurah Blackwood River, August

www.vicbreamclassics.com.au Date 1-2 February 21-22 March 25-26 April 20-21 June 17-18 October 28-29 November

Location Marlo Metung Mallacoota Nelson Warrnambool Marlo

Sponsor Atomic Club Marine Daiwa Glenelg Shire Glenelg Shire NS Rods Sunline


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Tournament Angler Guide

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Tournament Angler Guide

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We are ready to roll! From a little company established in 1998, ABT’s done some pretty big things over the years. Established in the era of consolidated media and a real bait fishing and trolling culture, I truly think that we have changed the way we fish. You guys are innovators and early adopters. You’re

always the first to take on new tackle, techniques and gear and happy to share the fruits of your labours. Every year, more and more of you are happy to run cameras and show the fans what you’re doing out on the water. ‘Who Shares Wins’ has never been more relevant or more widely adopted. Thank

This is where we all want to be – holding up the perennial trophy at the end of the season and enjoying the accolades being an ABT winner offers. The new boat is nice, too. 4

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you for that. It helps the industry grow, our sport grow and it helps you raise the bar as anglers. Increasingly, we are able to reach more and more people with what we do. Fifteen years ago, it was magazines and the AFC TV show that promoted growth in our sport. Nowadays we still use the magazine network (after all, you’re reading this in one) of Fishing Monthly Magazines, and a variety of other channels to get out our other content. Last year, ABT produced videos reached 549,000 people through our digital platforms. That number rises every year. All of it has a hub on the ABT website (www.abt. org.au). Each event, the front page story for that event has links to the preview stories, results, image galleries, videos and everything else we publish - wherever we publish it. So you don’t need to trawl through a site, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to get what you need. Just visit the site and it’ll all be there for you. On that note, it’s worth mentioning that we will be transitioning our platform for our live weigh-ins from the Facebook platform to our YouTube channel in 2020. It may take a while to train our viewers to look for it there, but remember, it’ll also be embedded in ABT’s page for that event. If in doubt, go to www.abt.org.au. If you’re a YouTube

Main: You’ll see this van kicking around the ABT circuit again this year, sometimes with a stage trailer on the back and sometimes with the Fishing Monthly boat. Say g’day if you see us on the road! Above: The ABT website is the hub of all ABT information and media streams. You’ll find the 2020 weigh-ins embedded here from this year forwards. subscriber, the channel to follow is ‘ABT Tournaments’. Make sure you subscribe and hit the little bell – that way you’ll be notified when we go live from each weigh-in – just like Facebook occasionally does for you now. And like we see every year, you can watch it from your phone, from your computer at work or streamed to your 70” telly at home! We have a new boat sponsor this year – Bluefin Boats is back. Bass Cat is still a minor ABT sponsor (through Manning River Marine) but the declining Aussie dollar has put the brakes on a Bass Cat for a major prize for the moment. We’ve given away plenty of Bluefin boats in the past, some at BASS Electric Conventions and some at the ABT Grand Finals. Graham Franklin and Neil Kelly won a pigeon pair at the Lake

Macquarie BREAM Final in 2017 and Jeremy O’Connell won one at a BASS Electric Convention at Hinze that I saw on the water at the Australian Open this year. Brad and his team from Bluefin Boats have been long time supporters of ABT. This year, we have a prize boat for the boater winners of both the BREAM and the BASS Grand Finals AND for the winner of the BASS Electric Grand Finals. That’s three Bluefin boats that’ll go to new owners at the conclusion of the tournament season. A BassPro 498 in the BASS, a Bass Pro 463 in the BREAM and a decked out P-Series in the BASS Electric. And if you think that we’re just giving away tinnies, think again. Bluefin’s new Alloycraft Bass Pro

models have the looks, the storage and the affordability to be a serious contender for boater bucks when it comes to getting on the water. Check out their rigs on www. bluefinboats.com.au. ABT also gets great support from outboard motor suppliers. After all, at our first BASS series in 1999, the average horsepower on a tournament boat was under 30hp. Nowadays, most fields average between 150 and 200hp and we are definitely spending more money on our boats than ever before. Mercury in the BREAM and Evinrude in the BASS offer owner bonus programs to reward ABT anglers who perform well and support their product. We also have some out-of-industry sponsors who help the machine roll. Neil Carstairs from Mortgage


Corp immediately saw the value of live broadcasting and has been helping us do it ever since. Without Neil’s help you’d still be wondering what’s going on at weigh-ins and on the water. Instead, we can stream it to you – LIVE! What you mightn’t know is that Neil can also help you with your fishing. He’s a specialist at re-financing your mortgages in your favour. The way it works is that the less you have to pay the banks, the more you can spend on boats and doing what you love. Seriously, give him a call if you think that you’re a slave to your bank and see what he can do about it for you. It won’t cost you a cent to ask and he has helped more of your fellow anglers than you’d think. And lastly, of course, there’s the broad range of tackle sponsors that keep ABT ticking. We’ve always had a theory that a lot of companies kicking the can a little bit is the healthiest thing for our sport. A GFC, dozens of natural disasters, a massive change in the media landscape and a generational change in the anglers and we are still going strong thanks to their support. They provide the product for the prize packs and some coin to pay our

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Tournament Angler Guide

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After 20 years, there’s plenty of history being created. Aaron Sharp named the Queensland Open trophy ‘Geoff’. After all, he’s been looking after it for a lot of its life. hard working ABT staff. New sponsors on board this year include VMC hooks, Megabass and we see the return of Atomic, BKK Humminbird and ProLure. We have a new ABT Tournament Director starting this year, so we hope that you’ll make him welcome.

Want to know who it is? You’ll find out at the BREAM Queensland Open when he starts his role. Nicholle Smith has become the backbone of ABT sponsorship and media and Kym Rowbotham the hub of all entries at the ABT head office in Shailer Park

in Queensland. Plenty of you met them during the year and at the Grand Final dinner on the Gold Coast. Keep playing nice with these ladies and they’ll make your tournament smooth and enjoyable. And finally, there’s you guys. Thank you for your business and your

membership of ABT. Your membership fees help to keep the wheels turning back at the office and it is appreciated. We’ve had excellent uptake of the digital subscription tokens that we send out each month with the ABT member email newsletter. Instead of a single,

posted copy of the magazine for your state, we now offer you all four of the Fishing Monthly magazines in a digital form for you to read at your leisure. Going to a tournament interstate? No worries – read up about the areas before you go. That’s where it’s powerful. Not getting your ABT member newsletter? Call the office and make sure that we have your correct email address. Also, check your Junk Mail folder, sometimes your mail server doesn’t know the difference between quality email content and that letter from the Nigerian millionaire that wants to give you all the cash. Prefer a printed copy? Call the office and Kym will swap you across to a print version for your state. Call (07) 3387 0888. There are several event changes in 2020, you can read about them in the pages of the 2020 Tournament Angler Guide. We’ve added a BARRA event in Tinaroo, added an event to the Costa BREAM Series, changed the Samaki BREAM Queensland Open to a multi-venue, weekend event and we’re leaving the BASS Pro tour exactly as it is! See you on the water in 2020.

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Tournament Angler Guide

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Samaki Queensland Open changes for 2020 The Samaki Queensland Open has had an interesting history. It’s an event that has had many names over the years. It was an Invitational at the old Brisbane Tinnie and Tackle Show and it’s been both a teams and singles event at the Cleveland Boating, Caravan and Outdoor Expo for a number of years. And now 2020 sees the format become more mobile and locked into a two-day, weekend footprint. The Daiwa BREAM Australian Open uses multiple venues to test anglers across the tournament days. Brisbane’s waterways have the same potential, so from 2020, the Samaki Queensland Open will feature two

There’s a great mood involved in a Queensland Open event. Anglers fishing a wide arena tend to look after each other and share some great days on the water.

How’s this for a mean assortment of breamers? We expect fields to increase in 2020 with a reduction in days to two-days and a weekend footprint. Payouts are based on 100% of entry fees paid back plus added prizes.

SAMAKI QUEENSLAND OPEN Event: Samaki BREAM Queensland Open Dates: 22-23 February 2020. Venue: Gold Coast (1-day), Moreton Bay (1-day). Venue order will be weather dependent. Entry Fee: $550, 100% payback. Coverage: Full ABT Live weigh-ins plus Garmin highlights cameras. Format: Boater-only with paired observers is available.

days on two different sections of Brisbane and surrounding waterways. And with the massive arena divided, anglers will need to formulate different plans if they’re able to take the trophy off encumbent Queensland Open Champion, Jamie McKeown.

The arena will be divided at the Powerlines at the mouth of the Logan River. ABT Director, Steve Morgan said, “The split of the Sydney arenas has had nothing but positive feedback in the Australian Open, so we’re looking To page 8

McKeown displays the bait that caught him the winning fish in the 2019 Queensland Open – the Tiemco Lonesome Sweeper.

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Tournament Angler Guide

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forward to rolling out that theory in the Queensland version. “We’re also aligning the event with a weekend footprint to see if we can encourage more Queenslanders to come and test themselves in this boater-only, Open format. “Naturally, we’ll also have spots available for observers, so that if you want to spend a day aboard with some of Queensland’s best breamers, you just

Tournament Angler Guide need to let us know and we can allocate you with the leading anglers. It’s a great way to accelerate your learning curve.” McKeown, who is currently looking after both the BREAM Australian Open and the Samaki BREAM Queensland Open trophies, added, “It’s such a big arena and you’ll need to have a variety of spots and plans if you want to take the title in 2020. “And you don’t need to be a local to do well.

We’re unsure how often this will happen. Jamie McKeown won the 2019 Daiwa Australian Open and the 2019 NuLook Floors Queensland Open in the same year. Amazing effort!

Dave Mackenzie (commonly known as TNB: Tristo’s Non Boater) chanced his arm alone at the 2019 Open and finished just out of the money. His name is on the perpetual trophy plenty of times.

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abt.org.au Last year South Australian, Wally Fahey, fell one legal fish short of a win by focusing on a simple, canal fishing pattern and sticking to it for the whole event. Get in the groove and anyone can take home the win,” he continued. The other change for the Queensland Open this year is the time of year. Originally held at any time between March and September, the last few years have seen it run in spring. The move to late summer will mix it up again,

with bream in a different phase of their yearly cycles. Are you keen? You just need an ABT capable boat (3.7m or greater with 20hp or greater) and a 60L recirculating livewell. Fill out the entry forms when they become available and you’re in.

BREAM QUEENSLAND OPEN

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Moreton Bay rat Denis Metzdorf is always up there at a Moreton Bay event. His success in the Queensland Opens, Australian Opens and Grand Finals has elevated him into the top 5 ranked BREAM anglers at the end of 2019. The Queensland Open gets you plenty of rankings points.


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Barra events expand in 2020 Arguably, the ABT BARRA tour is the best fun you can have fishing. Socialising by day and catching barra by night, the 50-odd anglers who make the trip each year sample the best that the Mackay and surrounds can offer when it comes to catching big, impoundment barra. In 2019, there was plenty going on in BARRA events. We added the Venom Rods BARRA Australian Open at a resurgent Lake Awoonga to take advantage of this fishery, which is coming back strong. A 100% payback and some great prizes from Venom will

Mick Detenon broke through for his first BARRA event win at Faust in 2019. Let’s hope he can continue the momentum in one of the six 2020 BARRA events.

Who could forget the 137cm Kinchant Dam beast that graced the deck of John Campbell’s boat in 2019? At a tad under 50kg, the 2020 events will still reward big fish with their estimated weight, but the AOY points will reward numbers of barra a little more. This fish set social media alight!

ensure that this event grows from year to year. In 2020, this event will be held on the lead up to the early October full moon, a few weeks later than the 2019 event. According to Awoonga guide, Justin Nye, this is the best time of the year to catch these fish. It’s a three-day event with the final night landing right before the full moon. And, for the first time in over a decade, ABT BARRA is headed back to Tinaroo Dam. A lake famous

What would a BARRA Tour be without a Colin Brett? This man is dangerous with a barra rod or a beer in hand. for world record barra, it’s a fishery on the rise and according to locals, it’ll fish great on the early November full moon when the event is scheduled. There are two full moons in November. The one at the end of the month is

traditionally when the Zerek BARRA Tour is held, and 2020 will mimic the popular rotation of lakes in a weeklong, four-event series that will end up crowning the 2020 BARRA Team of the Year. There’s a calendar hereby for you to lock in the dates,

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but there’s also a full BARRA Tournament Angler Guide published later in the year, so keep an eye out for that in the Fishing Monthly publications. BARRA TEAM OF THE YEAR There was a lot of discussion on the 2019 BARRA Tour about trying to reward the teams who catch a limit of fish. With the length/ weight curve used to run the

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Tournament Angler Guide

abt.org.au events, a big barra can beat a whole limit of little fish. ABT won’t be changing the app-based system that converts verified lengths into weights of fish in 2020, but we will be modifying the points system that we use to decide the Angler of the Year to reflect the numbers of fish caught. Teams have always received 100 points for an event win and one less point

for each place down the list they finish. In 2020 there will be a bonus point awarded for each barra caught in the session (up to a limit of 5 fish). Therefore, you can now technically get up to 105 AOY points in a one day event, and each fish caught matters in the AOY race. So we now have a Team of the Year trophy that’s skewed to reward consistency, and an event system that’s designed

Jimmy Reid’s now retired from running tournaments and weighing fish, but you may well see him around with a rod in the hand in 2020 events. to reward big fish. Finally, the 2020 Team of the Year will count your top 5/6 events, allowing you to drop or miss a round. Canny anglers will also realise that a three-day event will offer plenty of opportunities

for bonus points (up to 15 bonus points available in a three-day event) where a single day event will only offer potential for an extra five points. That makes the Australian Open look

appealing, doesn’t it! Want to get on board? Lock in the dates, stock up on your Zereks and organise your time off. We’d love to have you there for any or all of the BARRA events in 2020.

2020 BARRA EVENTS Date Event Sep 29 - Oct 1 R1: Venom Rods BARRA Australian Open Oct 30-31 R2: Edge Rods Tinaroo 2-Day Nov 26 R3: Wilsons Lake Kinchant Event Nov 27 R4: Teemburra Dam Evening Event Nov 29 R5: Faust All-nighter Dec 1-2 R6: Faust 2-Day

Dylan Brier-Mills is stoked that the Zerek Barra Series is coming to Tinaroo in Spring 2020. He’s a gun on the lake and reckons that fishing will be ‘grouse’.

Location Lake Awoonga Tinaroo Dam Kinchant Dam Teemburra Dam Peter Faust Dam Peter Faust Dam

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Humminbird BASS Electric Open to boom in 2020 ABT

Joey Urquhart

With the new year upon us and the regular BASS electric season about to get underway, let’s fast forward to the end of the season to the pinnacle of the calendar, the BASS Electric Australian Open. 2019 saw the inaugural Valleyhill BASS Electric Open take place at Wyaralong Dam in Southeast Queensland, and following

its initial success, it’s back in 2020 with a new naming sponsor: Humminbird. It promises to be bigger and

Day 1 Highlights

better while offering 100% pay back in cash plus prizes to all bass anglers wanting to get their hands on the trophy. Most people won’t have heard of Wyaralong Dam as it only finished construction in 2011. Only weeks after construction, however, the large catchment area received massive rainfall which filled the dam in a matter of weeks. Located about 15 minutes’ drive west of Beaudesert and only a 1-hour drive from Brisbane and northern NSW, it’s perfect for day trips.

This puts a new meaning to catching them in the trees. Blades fished right amongst the timber yielded results in 2019.

Two typical size Wyaralong bass. That’s right – this is the average size when you fish reaction baits in the right places. These fish came from heavy timber.

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Wyaralong is an up and coming lake that is jam-packed with plenty of big bass and huge numbers of small bass – but rest assured that the by-catch of carp and tilapia will keep you busy. The dam offers great access for all types of boats, whether it’s a 3m tinny or a 20ft bass boat, with great car park facilities to accommodate all trailers. You can leave your petrol motors attached, you just

can’t use them. BRINGING IN THE BASS Wyaralong is really a bass fisher’s dream, offering everything from rocky banks, sunken timber and lily pads to reed-lined foreshore. There’s something for every angler to target, no matter what your favourite technique is. 2019 saw the bar being raised yet again in the BASS Electric Australian Open held there. Wyaralong turned

it on with nine 6kg+, 5-bass limits, with the largest for the tournament coming in at just over 8kg. The Big Bass prize was fiercely contested, and the eventual winner tipped the scales at 2.03kg. It is really one of those lakes where you can catch them on anything, although there were some stand-out lures from the 2019 Open. Day one leader Charles West chose to target sunken timber using his lipless


cranks to great effect, and I also opted for the same technique, which helped to put me in the top three going into the last day. Talking to anglers after the tournament showed that more then half the field opted for this same technique, while eventual

Day 2 Highlights

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There are plenty of these in Wyaralong – big timber standing in open water. The bass love these areas.

Adrian Wilson weighed a cracking bag on Day 2 of the 2019 BASS Electric Australian Open with quality fish like this.

Want to be treated like a BASS Pro angler? The BASS Electric Australian Open has the same payout percentage and coverage as the BASS Australian Open on Glenbawn. Boom.

winner Jake Schwerin fished the same structure throwing a spinnerbait, keeping it in contact with the timber at all times. The trusty old blade played a big part in filling people’s limits, although the average fish size on blades was a lot smaller than those caught on reaction baits. You can see lots of the angler highlights in the videos captured at the event – just scan the QR codes hereby or search on ABT’s YouTube channel (ABT Tournaments). WHAT’S IN STORE IN 2020 Jumping forward to this year’s event, I think we will see a lot more of this lake

unlocked as anglers search and find that something a little different. In saying that, I think if you were going to fish this event you would be silly not to have a lipless crank tied, and searching different ground from the community spots could prove crucial. Rain could also play a big part in this event. Having large amounts of rain that cool the water down could see the edges fire with jerkbaits, but that’s totally weather dependent. Another way to bring in a large limit I feel could be the very popular skirted jig. It’s a technique that hasn’t been fished there a lot and To page 16

Dean Thompson’s old man was the inaugural BASS Pro Angler of the Year in 1999. The young bloke can catch them pretty well, too.

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Tournament Angler Guide

abt.org.au dam permits you to leave your petrol motor on the boat, there’s no excuses not to come. For more information on this event or any of the BASS electric events jump onto www.abt.org.au and follow the links to the entry forms and rule sheets. As a wrap, I personally love this dam and if you love catching XOS bass on a number of different techniques you will be mad if you miss this one. Will we see that elusive 10kg limit come in or even a 3kg bass? I know one thing for sure and that’s there’s every possibility of both happening. Hope to see you there.

From page 15

if done on the right structure at the right time could be the winning combination. Be assured though that anything could produce a big bag as it’s really undocumented and there’s a lot more to learn about this lake. The Open format allows anglers to fish for a 5-fish limit while not having the pressure of someone else in the boat. You also have the chance to take home some big prize money and at only $250 per angler entry, its great odds. This event is open to all boats, providing they are only run by electric power and given that Wyaralong

There’s a lot of great looking country in Wyaralong. Bring your own favourite baits and techniques to dissect it for yourself.

Adrian Wilson spends a lot of time at Wyaralong. “The secret is out,” he said after the 2019 Open.

A small electric-powered boat or a big bass boat are both fishable in Wyaralong. You can leave your petrol motor on while fishing the event.

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Tournament Angler Guide

abt.org.au

Braid v fluoro: what’s the best for your fishing? ABT

Steve Morgan s.morgan@fishingmonthly.com.au

It’s been interesting watching the trends of fishing line in this country. When I started working in the tackle industry in the 1980s, everyone used nylon monofilament line. Working at Mossops and The Tackle Warehouse in Brisbane, you’d sell spools of mono to customers. ANSA (Australian National Sportfishing Association) and GFAA (Game Fishing Association of Australia) guys demanded pre-tested monofilament nylon line to claim their lineclass records, because if your line broke over the designated class, your claim would be refused. Heavy tackle game fishers and fly anglers used non-stretch braided Dacron lines for their specific applications (mainline for marlin guys and backing for fly fishers). Dacron, however, wasn’t thin for its breaking strength and wasn’t eminently castable like modern braids are. The birth of ABT BREAM and BASS events 18

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and the broad uptake of soft plastic baits went hand-inhand with the acceptance of braided and fused lines made of fibres such as Dyneema and Spectra. These fibres were super strong for their diameter and eminently castable off spin and baitcast reels.

Aussies, as soft plastic newbies, needed to ‘feel’ the bites to keep their confidence up, and products like Berkley Fireline – a cheap, no-stretch line where the fibres are fused together rather than woven into a braided form – took over the market. Tipped with a fluorocarbon leader, anglers

had the feel of braid and the confidence with 5-8ft of low visibility leader connecting their lure to the highly visible main line. Switched-on anglers in general, and bream anglers in particular, became partial to the suppleness and durability of very fine, expensive,

Main: We all have our favourite lines, but how much thought have you put into choosing the right combination for your presentations? Above: Generally, if you want to set hooks and bully fish, use braid and leader. If you use a lure that you don’t impart action to, why not use straight through fluorocarbon?

woven braids that cast amazingly well compared to the fused offerings. Subsequently, breamers worked out that there was a middle ground between the zero-stretch braid and the very stretchy nylon monofilament. Fluorocarbon line fell right in the middle of the elasticity of these two products. It had more ‘feel’ them nylon and more ‘give’ than braid. And, you could use a whole spool of it at once and fish this fluorocarbon ‘straight through’ to the lure. I make no secret of the fact that I use braided lines only when and where they are needed. To me, there are only a few situations where braid is the best, and they are usually scenarios where you need to combine good castability with either a heavy leader and/or some hook setting power. These situations include: • Fishing topwater baits (where the braid floats and you set the hooks after the fish eats the lure on a slack line); • Oyster rack fishing (where you need to take charge and skip the fish over racks with no stretch); • Sight fishing with weightless plastics (especially where the

fish eats the offering on a slack line); • Using jigheads with bigger baits in deeper water; and • Any combination of the above. Everything else on my boat gets fished on straight through fluorocarbon. I’m also a believer that if you use moving baits, the fish can be spooked by the ‘line shadow’, and a solid braided line is more visible in the water than a fluorocarbon line. I know this by years of fishing with non-boaters in ABT events. Dozens of times I’ve fished side-by-side with some excellent co-anglers in clear water, with both of us using the same crankbaits. It’s incredibly rare for the angler using braded line to out-fish the angler using mono. It’s that simple. Within the fluorocarbon classes, you have to fish as light as possible while still retaining the best chance of landing the fish. In open, super-clear water, I have no problems using 2lb fluorocarbon straight through, even in Tassie where the bream weigh on average the same weight as the line’s breaking strain. By doing this, I hook many more To page 20


Tournament Angler Guide

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abt

Tournament Angler Guide

From page 18

fish and still land nearly all of them. When the water is dirtier or the structure I’m fishing is more rugged, I’ll up the line class to 3lb or 4lb when I think I’ll still hook plenty of bream. If I’m fishing a bridge pylon in dirty water or the same water over rocky reef, 5lb or 6lb fluorocarbon is the natural choice – I don’t have to make long casts in those conditions, the fish aren’t put off by the diameter, and the pulling power is sometimes a blessing. There’s a fine balance, though, between having the pulling power and actually using it. Sure, fluorocarbon stretches, but it’s still possible to tear the hooks out of a bream’s mouth with stretchy line. When I used to fish crankbaits on braid,

Straight-through fluorocarbon should be right in the zone for crankbait anglers, especially for yellowfin bream where a straight retrieve often works well.

I’d lose heaps of bream with pulled hooks. It didn’t matter how soft my rods were, there was still a percentage of fish that wouldn’t stay connected, no matter how skilful I thought I was. The answer is to fish all line classes as if the bream is only just hooked. Treat your extra diameter (and breaking strength) in your fluoro as simply more abrasion resistance. Just because you’re fishing 6lb doesn’t mean that you have to have a heavy drag. The bonus with doing this is that if the fish does make it home into some structure, it will be much harder for the fish to break a line under less pressure. Any line, at breaking point, will part instantly when it touches a sharp, underwater object. The same line at only To page 22

abt.org.au

Fishing unweighted plastics, you need to set those hooks hard, which means the braid and leader combo is the natural choice.

SPOOLING FLUOROCARBON

SPOOLING BRAID

I’ve read plenty over the years on the best ways to spool line. Spooling light fluorocarbon onto a small spinning reel is the easiest process ever. 1. Thread the line down the guides and tie it onto your reel. 2. Stick a pen through the middle of your spool. 3. Wind the line onto the reel with a small amount of pressure. There’s none of this having the line come off this side or that side of the spool to counteract the twists. That’s all rubbish. The line is untwisted when it’s sitting on the spool you buy it on. It twists slightly as the line is spooled onto the reel. As you cast, these twists are removed. Don’t make it any more complicated than that. The main danger in spooling up fluorocarbon is to not overheat the line. Heat kills fluoro very quickly, and you can create too much heat if you’re trying to wind the line on under too much pressure. Add the pressure with your bare fingers, and if it gets too hot for your fingers, it’s too hot for the line.

You spool braided line in exactly the same way that you spool fluorocarbon, apart from the pressure. A little bit of heat doesn’t damage the braid the way it can destroy fluoro, and braid spooled under too little tension can cut into itself and create problems. Use a piece of rag to add enough pressure to keep the braid tight as you’re winding it on. If you’re using a shallow spool that doesn’t need backing, use some sticky tape to help anchor the braid to the spool. If you don’t do this, the whole spool of line can slip on the spool. A deeper spool that needs backing can be backed with cheap nylon monofilament line. The braid will never slip on mono backing. Just make sure that the knot between the backing and the main line is good. You never know when you’ll need the connection to remain fast.

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abt From page 20

20% of its maximum tension will be very forgiving. This leads me into my ‘softly-softly’ approach. FIGHTING A BREAM SOFTLY If a bream swims around structure when you’re fighting it, the worst thing you can do is to pull as hard as you can. This will invariably break your line. In contrast, I have landed hundreds of bream from sticky situations by

Tournament Angler Guide easing the drag back to nearly nothing and slowwinding the fish back out the way it came. Let me explain. When a bream is hooked, it will, naturally, swim away from the perceived danger. When the pressure is relieved, the bream will often stop and then focus on the lure in its mouth. At this time, gentle pressure will often result in you being able to ‘lead’ the fish back along the lay of the line. If it is swum around a

abt.org.au

couple of pylons, then very often, it will let itself be led back the way it came. It’s pretty important to do all of this work with the reel and not to move the rod much. If you try to ‘pump and wind’ the fish, the pressure is uneven and each time you drop the rod tip, the bream has a chance of turning its head around and changing direction. You don’t want it to change direction. You want it to keep swimming the way you’re

Left: It’s a dead-set walk in the park to re-rig your fluorocarbon rods. Cut the line, tie a knot and you’re done. Right: When it comes to connecting your braid to a leader, modern knots like the FG are vastly superior to the Albright connectors we all tied when ABT started.

The shadow of the line spooking fish may be a foreign concept to some, yet braid throws a much bigger shadow than light fluorocarbon does. Food for thought.

winding it. Whenever I extract a bream like this, I make sure that I don’t do the drag back up when it’s clear. The line may be damaged and break at a fraction of its advertised strength. The fish will eventually see you – or the boat – and try to swim away again. There’s no better example of why you should do this than the 1.47kg yellowfin bream I landed on the second day of a

BREAM Australian Open on Sydney Harbour. I was fishing a flat in around 3ft of water with two, large rocky outcrops on it with an SX40 and 3lb fluorocarbon straight through. The lure bounced over a rock pile and got clobbered by the bream, which then bolted up the gap between the two rocks and buried itself in a crack. Instinctively, I loosened the drag, put the electric motor on 100% and headed straight for the rock. The

armature of the motor hitting the rock at around two knots spooked the fish, which then took off over the flats. Drifting with the current and after nearly 10 minutes of back and forth with the light drag, the bream succumbed to the net. When I removed the hooks and tested the line, it broke at around 250g of pressure. Keeping the drag backed off with the damaged line make a kilogram difference to my final bag.

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Tournament Angler Guide

Joseph Urquhart

1

Nathan Swanson

2

3

Adrian Wilson

2019 BASS ELECTRIC RANKINGS Ranking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 17 19 19 19

First Name Joseph Nathan Adrian Charles Aaron Jesper Matthew Pete Tom Mark Scott Dale Jake Paul Glen Nick Alan Steve Chelsey Drew Liam

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Charles West

4

5

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2019 BASS ELECTRIC AOY

Surname

Points

Urquhart Swanson Wilson West Kemp Noisen Flynn Bostock Reynolds Palazzi Bryant Lucas Schwerin McHugh Swanson Nutley Britcliffe McLean Lennon Sharpe Dutton

229 203 200 192 170 168 146 139 130 129 129 119 102 99 93 90 88 88 85 85 85

Rank

First Name

Surname

Points

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 15 17 18 19 20 20

Joey Mark Adrian Dale Tom Nathan Alan Glenn Charles Jake Liam Aaron Peter Mattew Matt Stephen Jesper Luke Drew Mark Wade

Urquhart Palazzi Wilson Lucas Reynolds Swanson Britcliffe Swanson West Schwerin Dutton Kemp Bostock Flynn Williams McLean Noisen Albone Sharp Mckay Walker

298 292 290 289 287 284 283 282 280 278 277 276 274 270 265 265 261 260 257 247 247

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Tournament Angler Guide

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ABT BREAM and BASS rankings by the numbers 2020 marks ABT’s 21st year, and over that time a total of 659 boaters and 903 non-boaters have competed in 180 BREAM events since rankings calculations started. Many Australian anglers dream of winning an ABT event, however Anglers not only seek to win events during the year but compete for Angler of the Year (AOY). AOY rewards the angler who is the most consistently highly-placed angler throughout the BREAM rounds, with points per round allocated according to placing. Tristan Taylor (Boater) and Stuart Walker

only 102 boaters can claim to have won an ABT bream tournament. This of course means there are anglers who have won multiple ABT BREAM events. 31 of these winners have won more than once, making them our superstars of the sport. (Non-Boater) took out this prestigious title in 2019. ABT also tracks the form of anglers through rankings. Rankings use the best five scores in the last 12 months added to the best five scores in the preceding 12 months (12-24 months ago). The top five ranked anglers coming into 2020 are:

TOP FIVE RANKED BREAM ANGLERS 1 2 3 4 5

BOATER Steve Morgan, QLD Jamie McKeown, QLD Mark Crompton, NSW Denis Metzdorf, QLD Charlie Saykao, QLD

1 2 3 4 5

NON-BOATER Stuart Walker, NSW Mike Hodges, VIC Craig Johnson, NSW Tanya Konsul, ACT Neil Kelly, NSW

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ABT BREAM MULTIPLE EVENT WINNERS Steve Morgan Chris Wright Warren Carter Kris Hickson Russell Babekuhl Tim Morgan Darren Borg Szarn Tink Brad Hodges Tristan Taylor Cameron Whittam Andrew Howard Chris Metcalfe Scott Towner Mark Crompton Dror Pietsch Jamie McKeown Mark Mangold Steve Steer Ross Canizzaro Ben Godfrey Ian Seeto Jarrod Healey Jay Morgan Michael Metcalfe Nigel Webster Patrick Sullivan Scott Butler Spiro Spiropolous Steve Starling Graham Franklin

11 9 9 8 7 7 6 6 6 6 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

ABT BASS in 2019 saw a massive increase in numbers, which we assume is due to the collapse of BASS Nation. As such, competition for the AOY and Rankings placings was tighter than

weighed at the BASS Grand Final in 2019 at Lake St Clair. After a cracking year, where he won the BASS Boater AOY and the Rapala BASS Australian Open, Graham

TOP FIVE RANKED BASS ANGLERS BOATER 1 Graham Ford 2 Kris Hickson 3 Keeghan Painter 4 Stephen Kanowski 5 Jonothan Bale in recent years. In fact, Grand Final spots were at a premium. We think that it will be a long time before an entire Grand Final field logs a perfect score, like the 300/300

1 2 3 4 5

Jason Martin ended the year at the best ranked angler in the back of the boat, and 2019 BASS Non-Boater AOY Paul Mazaroli landed just out of the top five after a stellar year. NON-BOATER Jason Martin Nick Price John Francis Mitchell Petty Trent Blake

Ford topped both lists, displacing fellow NSW angler Kris Hickson who spent a lot of his year deciding which country he was going to fish in next. After his Grand Final win,

It’s great to see that ABT is rewarding the increased participation in BASS with a prize boat again in 2020. The numbers back this decision up.

Anglers of the year (AOY) The other game in town, of course, is the Angler of the Year. These coveted trophies reward the angler who does the best in the season that year. Angler of the Year

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abt

Tournament Angler Guide

1

Steve Morgan

Jamie McKeown

2

3

Mark Crompton

2019 BREAM BOATER RANK

abt.org.au

Denis Metzdorf

4

5

Charlie Saykao

2019 BREAM AOY BOATER Current

First Name

Surname

Points

383

1

Tristan

Taylor

494

370

2

Steve

Morgan

481

Charlie

Saykao

480

Ranking

First Name

Surname

Points

1

Steve

Morgan

2

Jamie

McKeown

3

Mark

Crompton

353

3

4

Denis

Metzdorf

316

4

Mark

Crompton

470

Alan

Lister

457

5

Charlie

Saykao

281

5

6

Alan

Lister

279

6

Wally

Fahey

435

Scott

Wilson

430

7

Kris

Hickson

276

7

8

Wally

Fahey

269

8

Jamie

McKeown

419

Allan

Murray

411

9

Cameron

Whittam

237

9

10

Tristan

Taylor

232

10

Chris

Head

345

Jason

Mayberry

341

11

Christian

Wardini

218

11

12

William

Carruthers

218

12

Stephen

Duff

318

Mark

Saric

314

13

Brad

Hodges

209

13

14

Jason

Mayberry

204

14

Christian

Wardini

268

Denis

Metzdorf

263

15

Scott

Wilson

203

15

16

Todd

Riches

195

16

Kim

McIntyre

257

Steven

Pryke

251

17

Ross

Cannizzaro

193

17

18

Allan

Murray

178

18

Craig

Templar

246

Scott

Towner

231

Zac

O’Sullivan

224

19

Grant

Kime

172

19

20

Mario

Vukic

168

20

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Tournament Angler Guide

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abt

Tournament Angler Guide

1

Stuart Walker

2

Mike Hodges

3

Craig Johnson

abt.org.au

Tanya Konsul

4

5

Neil Kelly

2019 BREAM AOY NON-BOATER

2019 BREAM NON-BOATER RANK Ranking

First Name

Surname

Points

1

Stuart

Walker

391

2

Mike

Hodges

3

Craig

Johnson

4

Tanya

5

Neil

6 7

Current

First Name

Surname

Points

1

Stuart

Walker

496

268

2

Travis

Ryan

470

247

3

Richard

Wootten

465

Konsul

238

4

Neil

Kelly

465

Kelly

234

5

Bernard

Kong

457

Colin

Wilson

224

6

Dallas

Blatchford

456

Michael

Thompson

212

7

Tanya

Konsul

450

8

Glen

Sturrock

210

8

Darren

Murphy

448

9

Bernard

Kong

207

9

Justin

Reeves

440

10

Dallas

Blatchford

205

10

Glen

Sturrock

437

11

Rodney

O’Sullivan

187

11

Craig

Johnson

423

12

Brendan

McNamara

185

12

Colin

Wilson

406

13

Shaun

Egan

181

13

Rodney

O’Sullivan

369

14

Richard

Wootten

169

14

Michael

Hodges

350

15

Peter

Breukel

152

15

Shaun

Egan

348

16

Nick

Penprase

140

16

Andrew

Williams

345

17

Travis

Ryan

140

17

Daniel

McNeice

333

18

Daniel

McNeice

140

18

Jordan

Armstrong

278

19

Jordan

Armstrong

130

19

Ahmad

Mahfoud

263

20

Grant

Oliver

128

20

Shannon

Hush

255

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Tournament Angler Guide

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abt

Tournament Angler Guide

1

Graham Ford

Kristoffer Hickson

2

3

Keeghan Painter

abt.org.au

Stephen Kanowski

2019 BASS BOATER RANK

4

5

Jonathan Bale

2019 BASS AOY BOATER Current

First Name

Surname

Points

1

Graham

Ford

383

2

Keeghan

Painter

379

235

3

Matthew

Langford

368

217

4

Jonathan

Bale

359

Bale

216

5

Jake

Schwerin

359

Lennox

208

6

Robert

Tilley

353

Matt

Johnson

203

7

Nick

Anderson

345

Tom

Slater

195

8

Luke

Draper

343

9

Glenn

Hayter

188

9

Kristoffer

Hickson

332

10

Mike

Nelson

167

10

Steve

Chang

328

11

Greg

Beattie

166

11

Mark

Parriott

327

12

Luke

Draper

163

12

Dane

Pryce

326

13

Dane

Pryce

163

13

Adrian

Melchior

324

14

Robert

Tilley

160

14

Philip

Nix

323

15

Phillip

Nix

159

15

Gregory

Burke

323

16

Simon

Marchant

157

16

Greg

Mitchell

321

17

Wally

Fahey

156

17

Tony

Thorley

318

18

Peter

Phelps

153

18

David

Browning

316

19 20

Jake Paul

Schwerin Aldous

149 148

19

Wally

Fahey

315

20

Brett

Hyde

313

Current Rank

First Name

Surname

Points

1

Graham

Ford

331

2

Kristoffer

Hickson

300

3

Keeghan

Painter

4

Stephen

Kanowski

5

Johnathan

6

Mark

7 8

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abt

Tournament Angler Guide

abt.org.au

1

Jason Martin

2

Nick Price

3

John Francis

Mitchell Petty

4

5

Trent Blake

2019 BASS AOY NON-BOATER

2019 BASS NON-BOATER RANK Current Rank

First Name

Surname

Points

Current

First Name

Surname

Points

1

Jason

Martin

239

1

Paul

Mazaroli

376

2

Nick

Price

192

2

Mick

Eastment

367

3

John

Francis

188

3

Tim

Steenhuis

362

4

Mitchell

Petty

186

4

Barry

Reynolds

357

5

Trent

Blake

184

5

Leaon

Walker

352

6

Paul

Mazaroli

183

6

Allan

Price

347

7

Bill

Rose

181

7

Shaun

Beekman

339

8

Leaon

Walker

180

8

Trent

Blake

337

9

Tim

Steenhuis

179

9

James

Browning

333

10

Tom

Deer

176

10

Brad

Wickson

333

11

Dylan

Byron

174

11

Ian

Wratten

327

12

Mitchell

Rose

163

12

Mitchell

Petty

325

13

James

Browning

156

13

Shannon

Hush

324

14

James

Hickson

152

14

Blair

Shapland

316

15

Angus

Meyndershagen

148

15

Jason

Martin

314

16

Mark

Caneris

131

16

Blake

Chivas

311

17

Mathew

Flynn

128

17

Rodney

Thorpe

310

18

Warren

Howe

122

18

James

Hickson

309

19

Mick

Eastment

116

19

Angus

Meyndershagen

304

20

Anthony

Melchior

106

20

Malcolm

Draper

304

A Winning n o i t a n i b Com + LURE

CRANK 35 MID AND DEEP GHOST GILL BROWN

WINNING ROD

lor Tristan TaINyNE R

SHINER 45 TRISTO’S RAMJET

STA BREAM S CO E ES RI

201 9

GRAND FINAL W

D

F

IN

BOATER

AL

•Q LD

ST

GRAN

1st O • GOLD C

A

SEEKERZ JIG HEADS

Distributed by FIN-4-F70 7’0 SPIN 2-4lb

abt

TAG 2020

31


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