by Julia Baker
SEASONED angler Mick Johnson is one fish closer to his dream of qualifying to compete at the GEICO Bassmaster Classic in the United States, after placing in the top ten in the latest regional round of the Bass Nation tournament.
Johnson and team-mate Greg Mitchell, from Murgon, placed seventh out of 23 teams at at Borumba Dam.
Johnson said while their team, Shads/Fishtec, could have performed a lot better, they were happy to place in the top ten.
"There was a lot of better anglers there at Borumba and we beat some of them to get into the next rounds,” he said.
"By the end of the weekend, all the better anglers move up into the final cash rounds and the others teams stay in the prize rounds.
"We beat the Schlossher's from near Dalby and they have been doing it for a long time and they are one of the better known teams and we beat them to get in to the next round.”
Johnson said as Cyclone Debbie moved towards the Queensland coast, it affected the fish supply and the competition overall.
"What we made out of the whole weekend is that the cyclone was coming and that shut all the fish down... there was some big fish caught so it was just who ended up coming in with the biggest of the little fish,” he said.
"The smaller fish don't seem to be so fussy but it's those big fellas that have been caught so many times, some of them have been caught five or six times in their lives. That's half the battle, trying to trick them.
"We bought in a bag of six, so we brought in our limit. A bag of six you have to bring it in to be up there to win it. So we did that but they were small.
"Bass Nation is run a bit different to singles but as far as the competition goes it's the same... the best team wins. It's not the weight but the length of your fish that gets a win.”
Johnson and Mitchell are currently placed third overall in competition and will compete again at Bandooma Dam in May, followed by the final round in August.
"There's three rounds and they add the points together and whichever team has the most points wins the Queensland series, then you get to fish against New South Wales in a fishing State of Origin-type comp,” Johnson said.
"Whoever wins that, well then you get to national level and get to go to America to compete in the Bass Nation series in Florida.”