Well the dust has settled and it’s time to take a quick look back and see how the BC News anglers fared at this marvelous event. We had BC Tackle head honcho David Moore fishing with Brian Nordberg (this pair have won in the past) and then ATC newbies Dean Brookes and Craig Parkes along with Brendan and Austin Pass.
Austin and Brendan had been in town for a few days and had been having some success at Emma Long, catching a fair few commons.
On arrival in Austin many new friends were made and lots of socializing was done. The organisation was excellent as were the chickenwings and pizza on offer.
Thursday night passed quickly and a bright and early start saw everyone at the Peg Draw hoping to get lucky and pull one of the favored areas out of the bag! Dean and Craig drew Peg 10, David and Brian got the I35 Bridge Swim and Brendan and Austin drew one of the favored areas at the end of the lake, Peg 1.
Day 1 and David and Brian struggled at I35 but saved the day with a couple of late fish in the shape of a 4lb baby and a nice 23lb common from under the bridge.
Craig and Dean struggled in Peg 10 with virtually no fish coming from the area, but although the fishing was slow, Craig still kept his energy up with a sandwich!
At the end of the lake Austin and Brendan were slaying the fish. In their own words:
Friday morning was the peg draw and it just so happened that we got peg 1. This peg was located on the point of an island. We arrived at the swim after a very long walk from the car and by the time we had just got the rods setup it was time for the competition to start. We had a problem; they had a very strong current flowing out the dam. This delayed us for about an hour until the water shut off and we could get to fishing. Once we got rods in the water we started to catch right away with a 22lber for my first and a 34lber for Brendan’s first which was a personal best. The rest of Brendan’s fish for the day would be all over the 20lb mark and mine in the 16lb to 18lb range. We ended up with 181lbs of fish that day and were in the lead.
Day 2 started with the same format, the dreaded Peg Draw. David and Brian got a decent area, Peg 2 where the Sprinkles had caught a fair few fish on Day 1. They started well with a nice 20, but then it was very slow until the last hour when a double hook up saved the day.
Craig and Dean pulled out the I35 Bridge swim and were hopeful of some decent action. As opposed to Day 1 there were definitely fish in the area, but the problem was they were right under the bridge, well past where it was safe to fish for them! Being the weekend there was no end of locals to keep us on our toes. In this area alone we had dogs swimming over our areas, locals casting over us, canoes, kayaks and even a squad of ‘weekend warriors’ wiping mud over themselves in Dean’s swim!
With the event winding down we managed to save the blank with a fish from under the bridge with 45 minutes to go.
Again, Brendan and Austin drew a corker of an area in Peg 22. Here’s how Day 2 went for them:
Saturday morning we arrived at peg 22. Brendan started the day off by losing two and then landing a 27lber. As he had his 27lb on the bank I landed a 30lb+.That’s when his swim shut off and mine turned on. After a long fight I ended up landing a 32lb 8oz which broke my personal best at the time by 6 ounces.
After hooking a couple more big fish I found out that I had a very snaggy swim by losing a couple to the snags which was upsetting as every fish counts. After finding out how snaggy it was over here I had to play every fish very carefully by letting them take as little line as possibly because they are very hard fighters here. Once I learnt how to fight them I landed a nice 24lber before going into a little dry spell. Maybe an hour or two later I had a really weird run and set up into it to have a strange fight. This fish would feel small at first and then gain a bunch of weight to the point where I just felt snagged most of the fight so I had no clue what it would be. Upon getting it close to shore we saw it was a big buffalo. Brendan netted it and when we got it on the mat, I was in shock at how large it was. It ended up weighing 48lbs which is the biggest fish I have ever caught or even seen in person.
After returning that fish I had one more small one at the 19lb mark before our spot died for a long time. About two hours before the tournament was over I got an absolute screamer and after fighting it for a while I knew it was a pig. We netted it and brought it up to the mat and right away I knew it beat my personal best. We put here on the scale and it shot around to 37lb 6oz a new personal best! No more fish after that unfortunately. We ended up placing second in the tournament behind by 29lbs. This lake was all I heard it to be and more! It was a trip I will never forget and will for sure come back next year!
With this flurry of fish the Pass brothers finished 2nd in a very close race with their friends from Michigan. In fact the top 3 places all went to Michigan anglers. We would like to congratulate all the anglers that competed. There were many 20’s and 30’s landed during the two days and although some teams struggled I think all will agree that this was an excellent Tournament and one we will all try and get back to. Congratulations to the winners Brian and Tom Daugherty.