Ipswich angler catches his fifth win – with final check

ROBERT THORNTON

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Charles West has claimed his fifth BASS Electric tournament win for 2017. Photo: Charles West

An Ipswich angler has shown his talent with a rod and reel, winning his fifth BASS Electric fishing tournament this year at Lake Moogerah near Boonah.

Charles West, a labourer from Ipswich, won five of the six qualifiers for the Australian Bass Tournaments (ABT) BASS Electric series.

The BASS Electric series is an interstate catch and release fishing tournament circuit, where anglers must fish out of electric powered vessels to comply with local powered boat regulations.

Each angler weighs in their two best fish at the end of the competition, and after the fish are weighed, they are released.

The winner of each event pockets a share of the entry fees, which can be up to several hundred dollars.

West said he is extremely happy with his tournament season and it could not have gone any better.

“It’s still hard to believe – I’m just glad all the hard work I did pre-fishing for events has paid off,” Mr West said.

“This is the third year in a row that I have won the Moogerah leg of the circuit, and I’m honestly stoked.”

West hopes that the attention he has received in the fishing community will encourage others to start competing in tournaments as well.

“This is a secondary circuit to the BASS Pro series [also hosted by ABT], where they fish out of big overpowered tournament boats,” Mr West said.

“People always come over to have a look and a chat to us electric guys, I think because we look more approachable in our smaller boats.

“A lot of by-standers are impressed with how we catch them and ask questions, and I think this encourages them to take up more catch and release fishing.”

A portion of the entry fees for ABT’s events are donated to local fish stocking groups, ensuring there is plenty of fish in the lakes for other anglers to enjoy.

West is now preparing himself for the Grand Final, where the top 30 BASS Electric anglers will fish for two days in a location that will be announced in the coming weeks.

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