B.A.S.S. Australia Sessions - Corey Goldie

Post by : 
Liam Fitzpatrick
Friday, May 19, 2017

                                                 

With the hot summer days coming to an end and the bass on the move. See how this pro’s determination to find them may help you locate the ones your after.

BASS AUSTRALIA NATION’S REALITY SERIES is a brand news series that puts BASS Nation pro’s and co’s on some of Australia’s well known and not so well known bass fisheries and gives them four and a half hours to locate and catch bass while we log their every move. Autumn has just arrived, and Corey                                                

With the hot summer days coming to an end, and the bass on the move, see how this pro’s determination to find them, may help you locate the ones your after.

B.A.S.S. AUSTRALIA NATION’S REALITY SERIES is a brand news series that puts B.A.S.S. Australia's pro’s and co’s on some of Australia’s well known and not so well known bass fisheries and gives them four and a half hours to locate and catch bass while we log their every move. Autumn has just arrived, and Corey Goldie is the first angler to take up the challenge. The 42-year-old Queensland pro from Yallakool in the Burnett region represents Two Dams, One Destination. Goldie has been fishing bass tournaments for over two years now and did his time as a co-angler before stepping up to pro in a short but very successful career so far. Your 2017 season started with an average mid field finish at Lake Glenbawn but you pulled that back a little at Lake Boondooma for with a 14th place finish. I could imagine you were a bit disappointed with that result as Boondooma is one of your local dams. “Yeah It was one of those rounds where leading up to the event I was really locked in on the bass with the stable conditions but the night before the comp they starting releasing water from the gates and it really messed with my fish.” His career so far has 2 top ten finishes and is currently ranked 14th in the AOY standings. Here’s what transpired on March 8th, 2017, when we put Goldie on Lake Somerset, a popular, big bass impoundment all year round. If you have ever been torn between fishing the fish you've found, opposed to moving on to find others, this may help change your way of thinking.  

Goldie fishing on to the iconic Lake Somerset.

12:05 p.m. It’s 24 degrees when I meet up with Goldie at the boat ramp at Kirkleigh. Lake Somerset is slightly overcast and has a steady south, south easterly wind blowing up the lake. I find Goldie in his Nitro rigging and making the final preparations before we hit the water for a 12:30pm start. Goldie’s rig is a Nitro 929 CDX with a big Mercury 250hp four stroke on the back and runs a Motorguide Xi5 101lb bow mount and Lowrance electronics. He has a HDS12 Gen 3 mounted on the console and an Elite 7 HDI on the bow. Goldie has four Samurai spin rods with Lews TLP 1000 spin reels rigged on the deck along with two casting rods paired with Lew’s TPG1H reels. He has a variety of baits rigged on Unitika braid with Unitika leaders, it’s a mix of  vibes, spoons and spinnerbaits so I’m not too sure what to expect but I can see that Goldie expects flash and vibration to play a big part in filling his limit of bassin this session. 

12:15 p.m. I helped Goldie back the Nitro down the ramp and soaked the trailer as he glides off into the choppy waves blowing up the lake. As I jump up onto the massive bow with a bit of time to spare we sit at idle as I get Goldie’s thoughts on what he is expecting and how he thinks the session will unfold. “I’m a little concerned with the wind and the overcast conditions, I have planned to find deep schools of bass and mainly target them with spoons but I’d prefer calm, sunny conditions for this technique.”

12:20 p.m. With the Nitro in the water and some time to spare before we take off I ask Goldie what his favourite time of year or favourite pattern is to fish? “Ahh well my favourite time of year I suppose depends on the dam but if you talk August at BP that edge bite where you can throw anything at them, that would be my favourite time of the year but bite wise or I suppose or technique um spoons for suspended fish is probably my favourite technique my favourite technique.” 

12:30 p.m. We get underway and head straight across the lake from the boat ramp.

12:31 p.m. After a quick blast we just pulled up directly across from the boat ramp on the Kirkleigh flats and Goldie starts sounding around the contour of the old creek bed at the northern end of the flat. He’s got his Lowrance HDS12 Gen 3 set up with a four way split, Genesis maps next to left and right side imaging set to 80ft followed by colour 2D imaging and Down Scan imaging last of all. Water temps is 47.8° and we are currently doing a search pattern up and down the contours of the old creek bed and up on to the flat. The edges of the the flat range in depth from around 20ft on top of the flat and drops off as you follow the contour down to the old creek bed to around 50ft. 

Silver Halco Twisty  - Goldie choose the 20gram size.

12:36 p.m. Goldie has come across a massive bait ball of most likely bony bream sitting in 17.2ft of water at the moment just adjacent to the creek bed on the drop off and the way we’re drifting we are going to drift back down the edge there is a couple of fish sitting just below this bait ball. Goldie picks up his Samurai F69 2-6lb spin rod and casts a 20g chrome Halco Twisty fitted with Atomic Trick Bits on the Lew’s reel spooled with 8lb Unitika braid, with a 8lb Unitika fluorocarbon leader.

12:45 p.m. What do you like about our fishing spoons or the technique of fishing a spoon? “I suppose it’s because your mind is always in the game it's not a just as easy as a slow rolling you, I just got hit, you just don't cast out and wind it back, you have to impart a lot of action to it. Theres a lot of counting for those suspended fish so you’ve got to have your head in the game, you can’t talk and count at the same time.” 

12:48 p.m. Goldie has been slowly and steadily drifting back off the shallower water up on the flat focusing his casts along that creek bed drop off and the couple up the fish that Goldie pulled up on have disappeared and there's not a lot on the sounder anymore but he still casting searching for any bass still in the area. 

Goldie always has one eye on his electronics when fishing the flats.

12:51 p.m. I've been seeing scattered fish coming through at about the 20ft mark as I’ve been drifting away, coming out of that shallower water out to 30-40ft but I can’t catch one.” 

Goldie just noticed some fish suspended in 20ft of water as we drifted into 45ft of water. “Typically with a 20g spoon if I count it down about 9 seconds and retrieve it back I can slow roll and twitch the spoon in that 20ft target area right amongst those suspended fish.

12:57 p.m. Goldie’s delved into one tackle trays and has dug out some Atomic Trick Bits in a different colour to what he's been using on his spoon. What's your reasoning for the change? “Ahh these have glow strands as opposed to the white one I’ve been using and I’m hoping that little difference in these overcast conditions will trigger a bite from one of these bass.” 

12:59 p.m. With a freshly tricked out Twisty, Goldie makes another cast back up onto the flat. His retrieve so far has varied, he either makes a long cast and lets the bait sink all the way to the bottom burns it back up the first few feet to trigger a reaction bite then goes into a steady retrieve until the bait ids about halfway back before free spooling back to the bottom and repeating. His other retrieve consists of a count to get the bait to fish he has sounded at a specific depth and imparts and twitching action to the bait as he retrieves the bait through that depth in the water column with a steady retrieve. 

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4 HOURS LEFT

1:03 p.m. Goldie just noticed a couple of fish coming through at 20ft followed by a group ofd three or four fish showed hugging the bottom and he instantly drops the spoon vertically straight down to those fish and proceeded to do a burn retrieve straight off the bottom for about 5 to 6ft straight up through and above the fish then free spools back through them. “I think I may of had a bump just then but it was it was only a small one.

1:05 p.m. With this wind blowing down the dam and across these main points the current affect caused by the wind should see some fish build up at some point on some of these larger more predominant points around the main basin.

1:12 p.m. Goldie has left the northern tip of the Kirkleigh flat and travelled about half way back down and is sounding out the southern end. He finds a few scattered small fish but no signs of any large fish or substantial concentrations.

1:17 p.m. On some of the other dams I fish, on days like this with the wind we’ve got and the waves breaking on some of these points I’d expect to find fish on the windward side of these points.

1:29 p.m. Goldie has finished sounding the flats south of Kirkleigh and had a quick sound over a point. He steers the Nitro back across dam and a little further south towards Queen Street continuing his search pattern up and down the old creek bed and across the edge of the flat then back down the contour to deep water searching for some schools of bass.

1:41 p.m. After sounding around Queen Street, Goldie has made another move down the lake and has pulled up in the old creek bed out from Bay 13. He gets straight back into his search pattern along the creek bed heading towards Pelican Point. We come to the Northern, leeward side at the start of Pelican Point and Goldie is hoping to find the fish schooling along the drop of with any current caused by the wind and waves breaking across the shallow point giving them something to relate to and a reason to school there. 

1:47 p.m. Goldie sounds a few bass at various depths along the drop off and gets up on the bow and deploys the Xi5, grabbing his spoon outfit in the process and makes a cast straight back over the the fish on the sounder.

1:48 p.m.I reckon that fish followed it up if you look at the sounder.

1:58 p.m. Goldie gives up on those scattered fish and returns to his search pattern following Pelican Point and the old creek bed out and around towards Waitangi Creek.

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3 HOURS LEFT

2:03 p.m. With three hours to go and no bass in the live well, what are your thoughts on the session so far? “Ahh this sessions tough, I’m not finding a lot of schooled fish so I’m either going to have cover some water to find the fish or change up the technique to get some of these 1’s and 2’s to bite.” Conditions have stayed pretty consistent with the temperature still hovering around the 24 degree mark and the wind blowing about 5-10knts out of the south east. We still have scattered cloud cover defusing the sunlight and impacting on any flash Goldie has been trying to utilise with his spoons. 

2:10 p.m. After sounding around the old creek bed on the northern side of Pelican point Goldie’s found a few fish suspending at 20ft in 65ft. He turns off the outboard, drops the Xi5 and spot locks. He then turns and makes a cast with his spoon back over the fish in a similar process he has been attempting throughout this session. 

2:14 p.m. Goldie has made a series of casts spread out across the area he sounded the fish and employs his countdown technique to target the exact depth that they were sitting in the water column.    

2:16 p.m. Sounding along the contour of the old creek bed in a search pattern from 20-40ft Goldie has found some fish schooling along the bottom and up to about 10ft off it in about 35ft of water opposite Pelican point. He proceeds to cast his spoon into one of the best showings he has found so far this session. 

2:20 p.m. With these fish holding close to the bottom, Goldie varies his retrieve from a steady wind to a burn and kill type retrieve. Each cast he tries a different retrieve imparting a different action to the baits desperately trying to trigger a bite and crack a pattern that will fill his limit. He tries hopping his spoon, giving it high lifts with the rod tip and allowing it to flutter back down through the fish, still waiting for that big bite.

2:31 p.m. We have just past the two hour mark of the session, what are your thoughts up until this point of the session? “Well winds dropped off so I’m hoping the fish might come on this afternoon with that wind dropping but I will have wait a see. These fish I have under the boat right now are hugging the bottom and I’m not sure if they’ll bite but they look like good bass.” He has now had a few casts with his spoon and is trying to fire these fish up with a series of burning retrieves.  

2:35 p.m. After working these fish for awhile Goldie puts down the spoon and picks up a Jackal mask Vibe rigged on a Samurai Reaction 252 4-10lb spin stick spooled with Unitika 8lb braid and Unitika 8lb leader. He makes a long cast along the edge of the creek bed and allows the bait to sink to the bottom, then goes straight in to a hopping retrieve, lifting the bait about 6ft off the bottom with long high draws of his rod before allowing the bait to sink back to the bottom and repeating the process. 

2:41 p.m. With fish still sitting under the boat in 35ft of water and no attention on the Mask Vibe 60 Goldie puts the Mask down and picks up another Samurai and Lew’s combo rigged with a  Ecogear ZX 40 Blade in Dark Night colour and proceeds to vertically jig it amongst some the fish holding in the Lowrance’s transducer beam. 

2:42 p.m. With no bites jigging the bait he begins to fire some casts out and starts hopping the blade.

2:44 p.m. Goldie makes a move and continues sounding around past Red Rock and around the southern side, opposite of Pelican Point. Goldie cross’s the creek bed and heads to the opposite bank Where he sounds up a few fish in 33ft of water.

Goldie hooked up to a solid bass.

2:48 p.m. Goldie finally got one these fish to bite and doesn’t hook up but now there are actually quite a few bass stacking up under the boat in 30ft of water. It’s the best show on his Lowrance electronics he's had all afternoon. 

2:50 p.m. Goldie has loaded his Samurai rod up twice now but has failed to set the hooks of his spoon, he's just loaded up again he sets the hooks and he’s on and is fighting his first fish of the session.

2:52 p.m. Goldie lands his first keeper and it’s a solid bass of 1.21kg and looks to be in good condition as he wastes no time getting it in his live well. The bass have lit up underneath the boat now as Goldie has drifted out into 32ft of water. They’re stacked 15ft deep now as Goldie drops straight back down with his spoon, he's a focused man now. 

Goldie lands his first keeper.

2:54 p.m. You’ve just caught your first keeper,  how are you feeling now? “Yeah it’s been a struggle all afternoon but that fish wanted that, that was two strikes, dropped it both times then let it waft back down. Just had another hit on the drop just then, yeah well it’s the first time I’ve found some schooled fish all afternoon so I’m looking forward to it and the next ten minutes anyway.

2:59 p.m. Goldie’s just hooked another fish, it came on a slow rolled spoon replicating the previous retrieve. The fish are still stacked in 32ft, water temp is up a fraction at 27.6 degrees, the sun is just starting to shine through the scattered cloud cover and the wind has dropped out as Goldie lands his second keeper weighing 1.32kg.

Goldie fills the limit after a tough start to the session.

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2 HOURS LEFT

3:01 p.m. Goldie’s just put his second keeper in the well, his sounder now has active fish all over it. He makes another cast, it’s taken him a while but he’s put the time into sounding them up and now he’s found a big school he is making the most of it. 

3:02 p.m. Goldie just got another bite but couldn't convert it, he’s put the hard yards in and done a lot of sounding this session. Some anglers may have panicked thinking that they are wasting valuable fishing time but as a pro you can’t think like that. 

3:05 p.m. So you’ve got a limit in your well and your catching them pretty good now, you’re fishing a technique your confident with and have found an active school, what are your thoughts? “I’m very happy at the moment um”, as he loads up and sets the hook another fish, “there we go again um yeah I’ve been working really hard I was starting to stress, all those things that go through your head in a tournament you know, when your running out of time and everything else but it’s all come together. I’ve found a patch of fish and the techniques just working.

3:07 p.m. Goldie lands his third bass and needs to perform a quick up-grade, he has his Xi5 locked on the spot and as he pulls out his smallest bass there is a noticeable size difference making the cull quick and easy. He culls the 1.21kg bass and makes another cast with his spoon.

3:13 p.m. Goldie hooks another bass using a steady retrieve through these active fish and as the rod loads up this bass doesn’t appear to have the size or power of the previous fish and as he nets it he knows it won’t cull so he quickly releases a 800g fish and makes another cast.

3:18 p.m. Goldie’s hooked up again and has this school of bass responding well to his 20g spoon, he nets another bass weighing 980g and knows it won’t cull so he promptly releases it. “I need one of those big girls this place is known for a big bite.

3:26 p.m. Goldie lets his spoon sink to the bottom and tries a lift and drop style retrieve, he rips the bait of the bottom with a high, long draw of his rod and lets the spoon flutter back down through the fish and on second lift he hooks up. It is only on momentarily before the line goes slack and the fish falls of the hooks.

3:28 p.m. That poor hook set can happen if a fish eats it on the drop sometimes. 

3:32 p.m. Goldie loads up and sets the hook on a fish that instantly starts taking line, “Might be fouled hooked, it’s got some weight to it, if not it’s big.”

Coldie lands a 2.51kg bass and culls again.

3:34 p.m. Goldie just landed a giant, it’s a genuine 50cm fish in immaculate condition for the end of summer. “Yes, that’s the kind of kicker you wan’t in your limit.” 

3:39 p.m. Goldie just finished upgrading and culled a 1.32kg bass, he replaces it with a massive 2.51kg fish. Goldie now has a substantial two bass limit and checks his leader and hooks for damage before casting again. 

3:43 p.m. Goldie has just hooked up again and this time it’s obvious by his body language that this bass won’t help his weight, he poles it in and quickly, unhooks and releases a 970g bass. 

Goldie releasing a solid bass back to Lake Somerset.

3:51 p.m. Goldie just scored another big fish on whats proved to be his best technique all session, working a spoon through schooled bass. He nets a solid bass that he checks against the smallest in his well but the 1.2kg bass won’t cull the 1.32kg fish.  

3:59 p.m. Goldie has a limit and noticeably his bites started, and gained momentum once the sunlight started to breakthrough the scattered cloud cover. The bites have slowed but he is still sitting on fish though they are starting to scatter.

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1 HOUR LEFT

4:02 p.m. So you have your limit now, what are your thought processes going into the final hour of the session? “ Well I'm not going to get complacent, I could definitely up-grade one of those bass with another big girl and I guess, I’m going to see what I can get out of this spot before I go look for another kicker.” 

4:06 p.m. Goldie’s boat has drifted out into 37ft of water and the fish have followed the boat and are now suspending off the bottom either side of the 30ft mark. “They’re following the boat, I’m dragging the fish off that ledge, this usually scatters the school.

4:14 p.m. With only one more bump out of those fish Goldie decides to go in search of one more up-grade. He lifts his bow mount, sits back behind the wheel and looks over his charts. “I’m just going to sound my way back up the dam and check out those spots that had a couple of fish on them earlier.” 

4:22 p.m. Goldie has sounded some of the areas around Pelican Point where he had seen fish earlier but has no shows worth stopping on, “I’m gunna make a run over to the creek bed near Bay 13 there and have a look.

4:27 p.m. Whilst Goldie is back to his searching pattern I ask him, so with the spoon do you find it works better for you on certain dams? “Yeah definitely, the dams that I’ve had most success on are dams with bony bream. They seem to work really well on dams like Somerset, Cania and Boondooma. With the smaller dams with bigger bony bream like BP, they don’t seem as successful there or on some of the shallower dams. It’s the deeper dams where they definitely come into their own”.   

4:34 p.m. Goldie has crossed the creek bed and has found a few fish suspending south of Eagles Nest in the top 20ft of the water column along a contour ledge of 40-50ft. He picks up his spoon, casts and starts counting it down.

4:39 p.m. Goldie has made a couple of casts when he loads up on a fish and it looks like it may cull.

4:40 p.m. This fish plays up and after some violent head shakes it goes deep, Goldie backs off his drag, “I’d hate to have one bust me off this late in the session.”   

4:41 p.m. With a desperate net shot Goldie lands a bass that will definitely cull the 1.32kg fish in his live-well. He pulls out his smallest bass and smiles as he replaces it with a 1.74kg fish. 

Goldie with a solid 420gram upgrade.

4:42 p.m. That’s the way you want a session to go, big bass and big culls”. Goldie makes another cast in the same direction.

4:46 p.m. After a few casts the fish Goldie first sounded have vanished so he makes one final move.

4:51 p.m. Goldie pulls up back on the flat across from Kirkleigh “I’m just having a quick look back over this contour I sounded earlier mainly to see what the bait and the fish that were here at the start of the session have done as the afternoon has wore on”. 

4:56 p.m. I’m not seeing anything on this northern end of the flat, If I had more time I’d sound back down this flat a bit more but I'm running out of that real quick. There’s nothing here even worth having a cast at”. 

5:00 p.m. Goldie’s B.A.S.S. Australia's Sessions is over and it’s time to weigh his limit, confirm his weight and recap on how his session unfolded. His first bass weighs 1.74kg and measures 44cm fork and 47cm total length. His second bass pulls the scales down to 2.51kg and measures a trophy length of 51cm fork and a total length of 54cm

Total Weight - 2/2 Bass Limit - 4.25kg

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DAY IN PERSPECTIVE

Well in hindsight I wouldn't change anything except for finding the fish sooner” Goldie told us at B.A.S.S. Australia Nation, “but all in all it was typical of what I’ve come to expect with a spoon bite. Find the bass schooled up in the right depth of water and get ready for the bites to come. I’m glad I eventually found them and that just shows the importance of sounding and using your electronics to find fish to target. Theres no point fishing to fish that aren't there. I could have mixed it up a bit more and tried a few different techniques but once I get focused I find it hard to change something thats not broken. It may have played out differently if I didn’t start getting bites from the right ones.

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Story, and images by Liam Fitzpatrick - Official B.A.S.S. Australia Nation Pro Angler and writer.