Kris George, 3/9 330cm, has taken out the Rapala Lake Awoonga 3×3 Championships. George caught all his fish in a bumper first session, which included one upgrade of 114cm, which ultimately secured the event big barra prize. George, the 21 year old owner of Fish ‘n’ Bits, Toowoomba, identified his location during the prefish window and returned to the location each session. Whilst only the first session proved fruitful, it was enough to take victory in the tough, rainy conditions at the venue.
“The location was off the main basin. It was a bay of broken weed that had dirty water in the mix. We fished a point and edge in about 20 feet of water. I noticed a lot of anglers were targeting fish in the shallows. The area we fished was deeper, with the point going from 6 feet through to about 20 feet deep”.
“The conditions were tough. It took us about an hour once we got to our location to anchor up and hold fast. In the end we had to deploy two anchors to hold position. The lure that did the damage was the original Squidgies Slick Rig 130mm in true blue colour. The lure had an Owner stinger hook (size 2) added. The stinger was wire crimped to the lure eye and would protrude through the last rib of the lure”.
“We were happy with our location. We could see that the fishing was tough, and as we had caught a fish in the same location during the prefish we ultimately decided to live and die on our area. Having only been to Awoonga twice my experience is more limited than some. But having been out on the waters with some good anglers has shown me what to look for. Other spots I perhaps was going to were being fished or had come under pressure so we made the decision to stay”.
“When we got a firm anchor we began fishing. We worked as a team with one angler working their retrieve fast and the other slow. When we got our first fish we both tailored our retrieve. About an hour later I had my second fish followed by the third after dark. The moon was sporadically coming out which aided visibility and seemed to bring the fish on the bite. Thirty minutes later I had my fourth fish which was an upgrade and ultimately took out the event big barra”.
The next session saw Gorge primed for a return to his location, but motor troubles intervened. In the end he was towed to and from the start location by another boat in order to fish the session. Unfortunately the fish did not want to co-operate and the team were unable to add to their catch sheet.
“It took us about 40 minutes to get to the spot. Another angler was already there, but in a show of great sportsmanship moved on of their own accord. The wind had changed direction and the water temperature had dropped 4 degrees. The whole dynamics of the area had changed and as a consequence the fish weren’t active”.
“We overcame the motor issues and returned to the same location in the final session. One catfish fell victim and we had a hookup that couldn’t be translated into a fish. Ultimately with the fishing being tough we wanted to be on a spot we had confidence in. With the bite windows sometimes being a short as 5 minutes, we wanted to maximize the opportunities at the chosen location. As such the decision was made to stick it out”.
“The key was slowing the retrieve speed. Also I have experimented in the past with multiple hook sets. For some reason this technique was loosing more fish than I like, so I reverted to a single strike and just played each fish to tire them out. Using low rod angles I would keep the pressure on and as a consequence the fish would jump less. As it worked out the fish stuck and I was able to boat enough to take the win”.
Georges out fit consisted of a 7’2″ rod teamed with a 3000 size reel spooled with 14lb Berkley Crystal Fireline and 60lb Pioneer invisible fluorocarbon leader.
George notes, “The breaking strain of my mainline was above its stated. It stood up to fish and multiple snags without any problem. I even had some hooks come off second best”
“A big thank you to Carl Jocumsen and Ian Miller for their help and support throughout the tournament. To my Quantum partner, Matt Anderson, also a big thanks. And finally to Fish ‘N’ Bits at Toowoomba, I couldn’t do this without their support so thank you for making this possible”.
Kerrin Taylor, 2/9, 217cm, took out second place. Taylor boated a fish in the first and third session, continuing to build on his consistent tournament performances.
“We fished a weed edge on the western side of the dam near the quarry. It was a location identified in the prefish. As the fishing was tough we made the decision to return to this location. We were fishing shallow in 2-4 meters of water over the top of weed. It was tough with only one fish coming in the first session. We returned to the same location in session two, fished another spot nearby, but found no fish”.
“In the final session we went back to the original location. It was fishing hard, so required a fair mount of persistence and patience. Eventually after dark we got a fish, but after that we didn’t get any more bites so finished with the single fish”.
The lure of choice was a Rapala X-Rap 15cm in gold. The lure was retro fitted with Owner trebles. Taylor explains the technique, “I was working the lure over the top of shallow weed, perhaps 1-2 feet under the surface. It would be a matter of mixing up slow rolling with twitches. If the lure got caught up, a quick twitch to break it free kept the lure in the strikezone. The barra were deep in the weed, so it was a matter of getting them to react as the lure traveled through the area”.
Taylor’s outfit consisted of a Millerods Salty Barra rod teamed with a Shimano Chronach reel spooled with 20lb Fins braid in yellow and 80lb Black Magic leader.
Thanking all his sponsors including Shimano, Evinrude, Millerods, Plano, Lowrance and Rapala, Taylor was upbeat about the event and the tournaments to follow. With the southern BARRA AOY still in the mix, it is anyone’s game at this stage of the season.
ABT now moves to the Berkley Lake Awoonga Evening Championship, 2×5, 22nd-23rd Nov. Check out www.australianbarra.com.au for more information.
|1||Kris George||Quantum||Pro||3||330||3||330||$1500 + $400 Pro||Daiwa Heartland rod & Daiwa Luna reel & Prize Pack, Berkley/Rapala Big Barra Prize Pack (114cm)|
|2||Kerrin Taylor||Millerods/Shimano/Evinrude||Pro||1||111||1||106||2||217||$1,000||Millerod Twitchin Stick rod, Shimano Coriolis reel & Prize Pack|
|3||Matthew Mott||Bass to Barra||Standard||1||101||1||103||2||204||$700||G.Loomis CBR756 rod & Prize Pack|
|4||Dean Silvester||Gamakatsu||Standard||1||98||1||100||2||198||$500||Spotters sunglasses & Prize Pack|
|5||Jason Wilhelm||Shimano/ E-Tec||Standard||1||91||1||92||2||183||$400||Shimano Catana rod & Prize Pack|
|6||Rodney Milkins||Team Maverick||Standard||1||111||1||111||$300||Berkley Tacklebag & Prize Pack|
|7||Alan McNamara||Shimano/ E-Tec||Standard||1||105||1||105||$200||Prize Pack|
|8||Michael Weick||Team Nerangatang||Standard||1||103||1||103||$200||Prize Pack|
|9||Mike Connolly||ETEC Evinrude HO||Standard||1||99||1||99||Prize Pack|
|10||Jon Millard||Rapala/JT Reel Repairs||Standard||1||98||1||98||Prize Pack|
|11||Simon Barkhuizen||Samurai Reaction Rods||Standard||1||97||1||97||Prize Pack|
|12||Roderick Walmsley||Sunline 2||Standard||1||97||1||97||Prize Pack|
|13||Trevor Burgess||Berkley||Standard||1||96||1||96||Prize Pack|
|14||Glyn Barkhuizen||Samurai Reaction Rods||Standard||1||96||1||96||Prize Pack|
|15||Greg Mitchell||CJR Industries||Standard||1||91||1||91||Prize Pack|
|18||Matt Fraser||Berkley Nitro R&D||Standard||1||88||1||88|
|19||Andrew Black||I’m On Lures||Standard||0||0|
|19||Ben Durkin||Team Gin Gin Hotel||Standard||0||0|
|19||Ben Vonpein||CJR Industries||Standard||0||0|
|19||Boyd Read||Young Guns||Standard||0||0|
|19||Brian Todd||Sunline 2||Standard||0||0|
|19||Cameron Golightly||Rum Pigs||Standard||0||0|
|19||Carl Jocumsen||Millerods/ Fish N’ Bits||Standard||0||0|
|19||Colin Brett||Lethal Lures||Standard||0||0|
|19||Craig Griffiths||Rapala Street Team||Standard||0||0|
|19||Daniel Grech||Rapala/JT Reel Repairs||Standard||0||0|
|19||Daniel Roth||Rapala Street Team||Standard||0||0|
|19||David Reynolds||Bass to Barra||Standard||0||0|
|19||Dean Thompson||Team Ecogear||Standard||0||0|
|19||Dustin Sippel||Young Guns||Standard||0||0|
|19||Elaine Sanderson||Tackle Warehouse Ladies||Standard||0||0|
|19||Gavin Dunne||Team Ecogear||Standard||0||0|
|19||Geoff Newby||The Likely Lads||Standard||0||0|
|19||Glen Smith||Team Nerangatang||Standard||0||0|
|19||Ian Miller||Millerods/ Fish N’ Bits||Standard||0||0|
|19||Jake Schwerin||Fish Catching Machines||Standard||0||0|
|19||Jason Jones||Dairy Farmers||Standard||0||0|
|19||Jason Medcalf||Team Polycraft||Standard||0||0|
|19||Jason Sizeland||Shitty Tinny||Standard||0||0|
|19||John Cinciano||Aussie Boat Loans||Standard||0||0|
|19||John Schwerin||Fish Catching Machines||Standard||0||0|
|19||Karl Rembacher||Shitty Tinny||Standard||0||0|
|19||Katie Sanderson||Tackle Warehouse Ladies||Standard||0||0|
|19||Ken Berry||Orion Lures||Standard||0||0|
|19||Ken Best||Orion Lures||Standard||0||0|
|19||Leon Parmenter||ETEC Evinrude HO||Standard||0||0|
|19||Mark Larsen||Dairy Farmers||Standard||0||0|
|19||Mark Lennox||Berkley Nitro R&D||Standard||0||0|
|19||Matt Hazell||Team Predator||Standard||0||0|
|19||Matt Martin||Team Predator||Standard||0||0|
|19||Matt McArthur||McArthur Customs||Standard||0||0|
|19||Neville Parmenter||Team Maverick||Standard||0||0|
|19||Paul Habijanec||Team Polycraft||Standard||0||0|
|19||Peter Derksen||Aussie Boat Loans||Standard||0||0|
|19||Phil Lyons||The Likely Lads||Standard||0||0|
|19||Rob Wood||Team Gin Gin Hotel||Standard||0||0|
|19||Simon Black||I’m On Lures||Standard||0||0|
|19||Spencer Troxell||McArthur Customs||Standard||0||0|
|19||Stephen Lill||Lethal Lures||Standard||0||0|
|19||Steven Wright||Team Reef Suzuki Marine||Standard||0||0|
|19||Trevor Cassidy||Rum Pigs||Standard||0||0|
|19||Wayne Cox||Team Reef Suzuki Marine||Standard||0||0|