STYLE: The fishing that mainly appeals to me is the tournament bream scene. Weeks, months or even years of preparation can come down to a few moments. Sometimes you’ll have to make a call, which can put everything on the line. It’s a make-or-break moment in a tournament. This sort of fishing gets the adrenaline pumping.
BOAT: I run a Stratos 285 XL bass tournament boat fitted with a 150hp Evinrude E-TEC. Vroom, vroom!
ELECTRONICS: My rig is pretty much my command station. I have three Lowrance HDS 12 Gen3s. With tournament fishing, it’s vital to have the best gear on hand, and there’s nothing more I’d trust in my boat then these units. (Captain’s Note: Where were they when you ran aground at low tide, eh?) I’m running these with a Lowrance PD-WBL 83/200khz shoot-thru-hull transducer. I also have a Sonic Hub system for when the casting deck becomes a dance floor; and a few other gadgets like LMF-200 gauges and an Evinrude Interface cable, which feeds through the latest engine data and fuel management.
SCREENSHOT: I was recently jigging on a reef off Moreton Island when I spotted a great read of what looked like kings on the sounder. I dropped my jig down and watched the rest unfold on the sounder screen. As you can see, my 80g jig flutters by the nearby school. On the retrieve, it gets followed and, inevitably, smashed!
JAMES’ TOP TIP: Automatic for the people.
Auto is definitely your friend. Although there are some situations where you need to change your settings (frequency, sensitivity, etc.), most of the time you can just leave it on auto. These units are pretty damn advanced and when fishing inshore, 99 per cent of the time they’ll know better than you.