McNamara Claims the 2018 Australian Championship - Full Story

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Monday, September 10, 2018

Heading to the Berkley B.A.S.S. Australia Nation Championship is always an exciting time of the year, one angler will have a genuine shot at the big time as they win a trip to the U.S.A. to compete as an Australian representative in the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, where the best 60 Nation anglers are looking to make the Classic. This year it felt especially exciting, Lake Glenbawn had seen a period of dry and the water level is extremely low, which opened up the entire field to a new

Heading to the Berkley B.A.S.S. Australia Nation Championship is always an exciting time of the year, one angler will have a genuine shot at the big time as they win a trip to the U.S.A. to compete as an Australian representative in the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, where the best 60 Nation anglers are looking to make the Classic. This year it felt especially exciting, Lake Glenbawn had seen a period of dry and the water level is extremely low, which opened up the entire field to a new playground for the anglers.

One angler came out on top of the rest, Alan McNamara who has an extended period of being on top of the NSW angler list has now claimed his first Berkley B.A.S.S. Australia Nation Championship and will be heading to the states come November.

In the Co-Angler ranks, Allan Price who has done nearly all the B.A.S.S. events since season one took out the title by only a very small margin and took home a massive prize pool including 2 Garmin Sounders.


Australian Champion 2018 – Alan McNamara – 10/10 – 10.27 Kg

McNamara has a keen eye to detail and has in the past taken over in the last session and won tournaments on Lake St Clair, this was another one of those tournaments where it was a matter of building confidence over the weekend and making sure to put bass in the boat at the right times.

His go to lure for the weekend was a Keitech Easy Shiner in the 2-inch model, in a particular colour that he felt was going to outshine the others. He chose a Gold Flash & Green Pumpkin colour and dipped the tail with Chartreuse colour spike it. He matched the soft bait lure with a Berkley Nitro 1/6thounce jig which is the perfect weight to keep the lure in the strike zone while being light enough to not catch up on the rocky Glenbawn bottom.

The tournament really changed for McNamara on the Saturday afternoon session where he found large bass sitting on the dirty water lines near points that where made from the excessive wind. Once he had nailed the pattern all he needed to do was work similar looking area located around the impoundment. 

The Sunday morning was a totally different story, the winds had dropped and fishing became a test of mental aptitude and with only minutes left on the clock he loaded up his MillerRod XFLC matched to a 1000 Shimano Sustain and landed his 4thand final keeper for the tournament. Heading back to the start line, McNamara opening admitted he thought he would struggle to compete with his average limit, but once he noticed others had really struggled he felt very nervous about the Berkley Top 12 Final day weigh-in.

Stepping to the stage he had only one angler to beat, Dean Silvester and once he took the win he noted that was his greatest singles achievement in his already amazing career.

Keep an eye on how McNamara fairs in the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship which is heading to Lake Pickwick in Alabama early November, with a 3 in 60 shot at making the Classic and with a huge prize pool up for grabs, this is setup for McNamara to be one experience of a lifetime.


2nd Place Pro – Dean Silvester – 9/10 – 9.80 Kg

The King of Australian Bass, Dean Silvester came ever so close to securing another title and he may be thinking he let this one slip a little come the final top 12 shootout. With a solid lead heading into the final session, the field had to extract a 4 fish limit in the final session and unfortunately for Silvester he was genuinely one fish away at making it 2 in row.

For the majority of the tournament he was dialled into an area that was producing solid bass, and he also used a Keitech Easy Shiner, but found the windy conditions allowed him to use a 3” model which he finds works better in those conditions.

Silvester’s small Glenbawn soft bait presentation kit consist of a Dobyns Champion 701 rod matched to a Quantum Smoke ptia25 reel with Sunline 12 lb pe egi ult mainline and Sunline FC Sniper invisible 8lb leader material.

Silvester found that there were key spots located near certain points that were loaded with feeding bass, and the key was the wind, these banks helped give the larger models cover and let them feed comfortably.

With the last of his individual Australian tournaments behind him, Silvester has conquered all that needed to be conquered in Australia and now sets his sights to the Teams Championship and beyond in the U.S.A.. With a wonderful conversion rate on Somerset he will be one to watch come late September, keep a keen eye on how he goes and how his Bassmaster U.S.A. career evolves.


3rd Place Pro – Rob Tilley – 9/10 – 9.58 Kg

Robert Tilley has been a very successful Co-Angler over the past few years and only stepping up over the last 6 months into the pro division has exceeded all expectations so far in his rookie season. This 3rd place will cement in his mind that he has made the right choice and will be ready to push further towards the top in 2019.

Loaded with Keitech 2” Easy Shiner plastics Tilley matched his presentation with a ¼ ounce Berkley Dam Deep Jig, and used a Daiwa Gen Black Rod matched with a Shimano Stradic 2500 spooled with 8lb J Braid and 6lb Sunline FC Rock leader material.

Tilley was extremely close to taking this one out and ended up as the best rookie for the championship, with a great understanding of the NSW impoundments and a brand new rig underneath him, he is all set for 2019.


Australian Champion Co-Angler 2018 – Allan Price – 4/4 – 4.08 Kg

Alan Price loves Lake Glenbawn, being his local lake he was super excited about heading back to have a crack at the title and had his eye on the Garmin Sounders built into the Championship prize packs.

With the 2nd session being cancelled due to wind, Price had to shoot for big bass and used a similar technique to the majority of the field, small Keitech Ez Shiner 2 inch profiled lures presented to timbered areas.

Price used a Barker Rod  - TBA



2nd Place Co-Angler – Brett Hyde – 4/4 – 4.05 Kg

Brett Hyde again came so close to taking out another title and being only 30 gram behind Price he did everything possible to take this one out.

Leading after session one, Hyde was on the pattern using small plastics like the entire field, his go to setup consisted of an Edge Rod matched with Daiwa Sol 2500, spooled with j-braid in 6lb and 6lb Toray leader material.

Will Hyde be stepping up to the pro division in 2019, he has been towards the top of the co-anglers for many years and definitely has the ability to do so, but with limited time due to his business, he may find it difficult.


3rd Place Co-Angler – Daniel McCoy – 4/4 – 3.66 Kg

Last year’s champion, Daniel McCoy again came very close to the title, and again he sat in the hot seat for a long time. McCoy used Keitech Easy Shiners in Green Pumpkin colour and matched it to a 1/6thjig for the presentation.

McCoy’s found that he needed move and twitch the lure on his retrieve to entice bites, and worked the plastic around some heavy tree structure so used 6lb Berkley Fireline and his mainline and 10lb Sunline FC Rock as he leader material.

Another angler with incredible work commitments and a solid few years of competition, will McCoy be looking to take on the big guns and step up the Berkley Pro division for 2019, only time will tell?


The Berkley Championship Wrap.

Special thanks to the Staff at Berkley who are not only anglers, but understand that this sport is critical to many different factors of fishing for Australia.  

Special thanks to all the anglers who put their heart and soul into this sport, there are many good people who compete and we want to thank everyone that appreciates where the sport has come over the past 5 years of competition. We have put 7 years into this and we feel the sport has had significant growth each and every year, both through media and at the events.

Special thanks to Reflections Park management for all their help over the weekend.

Bring on Season 6, 2019 will be bigger and better than ever before!