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Big bass go missing at Wivenhoe tournament

WIVENHOE WINER: Somerset Regional Council mayor Graeme Lehmann with Wivenhoe Showdown event winner Steve Otto.
WIVENHOE WINER: Somerset Regional Council mayor Graeme Lehmann with Wivenhoe Showdown event winner Steve Otto. Contributed

THE monster bass Wivenhoe is known to produce eluded anglers at the B.A.S.S. Australia Nation Insight Genesis Wivenhoe Showdown.

It didn't matter what the location was, type of lure used or even the retrieve technique - anglers just couldn't hook that big one.

Only five anglers managed to reel in a legal size bass throughout the tournament with Steve Otto taking the win with a single bass.

However, that didn't mean the others were left standing idle, with hundreds of fish caught across the weekend.

Lake Clarendon angler John Noble joined the vast majority of the field failing to land a legal bass, but said he still had an enjoyable tournament.

"It was tougher than what everyone thought it was going to be," Noble said.

"Just, for some reason, the legals (bass) were hiding somewhere and no-one could find them.

"(But) there was a lot of fish caught - I would have caught 50 fish on the weekend they were just the wrong species or too small.

"It was still enjoyable and good to get around at 40 knots."

Noble said the Wivenhoe Showdown had been a fantastic event which would only increase in popularity in the future.

"There is a lot of potential there," he said.

"If the competition is held at a different time of year, like in June or July, when the catfish slow down, that's when its good to fish there.

He said the lake held plenty of monster bass, but anglers just couldn't find them.

"There were a few big fish caught in the pre-fishing, but no-one could sort of catch on and do it again," he said.

"There was no pattern, it was random."

Noble acknowledged the efforts put in by local restocking groups too.

"The Somerset and Wivenhoe stocking groups are doing a great job," he said.

"There were hundreds of small bass caught on the weekend.

"So, give it a year or two and they will all be legal.

"It was also a good promotion for the local area and the lake.

"People came from New South Wales and Victoria to fish it."

Tournament director Drew McGrath said it was great to add Wivenhoe to the BASS Nation Australia roster.

"It was a big deal," he said.

"Its an amazing venue and we had the elite of Australian bass fishing there."

McGrath admitted it had been tough going for anglers, but with Wivenhoe currently holding the world record for biggest bass ever caught, there was plenty of potential.

"The anglers haven't figured out where the big bass fish are yet and there is so much water to cover too," he said.

"But, as the years progress and they keep coming back the anglers will get better and better."

He hoped to see anglers hit the water again next year.

"We'd love to come back in winter next year, which will slow the catfish down," he said.

"We really want to turn it into an event with an outdoor or tackle show.

"That's the long-term vision for it."

Topics:  bass bass australia nation fishing outdoor-living wivenhoe dam


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