For Willow Tree’s Mitchell Cone, October last year at Glenbawn was both a day of heartbreak and joy. Joy that his long-time friend and camping partner Peter Phelps had just punched his ticket to the USA as the 2015 ABT BASS Pro Grand Final winner, and heartbreak as he relinquished his overnight lead, struggling to find the big bites that had come so easily in sessions one and two.
Fast forward to March 2016, and Cone has taken one back, coming from second place to dethrone Phelps and claim his maiden ABT BASS Pro victory as champion of the BassCat Lake Glenbawn BASS Pro round. Weighing a full 12/12, 11.65kg limit in the new shared-weight format, Cone’s margin of victory was over 300g.
Cone rode the deep bite all the way to the top of the podium, by targeting fish staging in 45-55ft of water inside Glenbawn’s timber ridden main basin. Cone relied on the vertical presentation of a single tail grub plastic slowly wound off the bottom to trigger active fish to bite. A 2.25” Pontoon 21 Pillo Grub and a 3” Berkley Minnow Grub were his lures of choice, matched to Bassman jigheads in 1/4oz and 1/8oz.
Cone is a big believer in finding new fish for every session, especially after his fish eluded him in the final session of the 2015 BASS Pro Grand Final. Rather than staying stationary, Cone prefers to move very slowly along the depth line he is targeting, pitching his lure ahead of his boat 20-30ft and moving over the top of the lure by the time it has sunk to the bottom.