As 2013 came to a close the Kingfisher Bream team had qualified for the Australian Grand Final being held at Mallacoota and full of confidence. The competition was a mid-week event with pre fish allowed on the Monday and the tournament over 2 days on Tuesday and Wednesday. We were pre fishing the Monday looking for the fish trying to catch the odd one but not trying to spoke them, as were the other 60 boats in the field. It’s funny how some people just can’t resist donging them even the day before competition.
We found fish at ,Goodwin Sands' and Palmer Flats. At Palmer we had a good one on but only came back with crushed hooks. We tried upper river with no success so our game plan was to fish the mid to lower sections of the river system. The prediction was for a fine but windy day, ok a bit of chop is good.
Day 1: we went straight to Palmer and had a hit on the first cast with the Ecogear vibe 439 colour, caught by surprise dropped it…dam. As we drift across the flats two more hits two Bream @ 31cm, it feels good to have the first fish in the well. They seem to shut down around 10.30 with not even by-catch of flathead to annoy us. We moved around the area then went down to the Good wand sands, drifting mid river we were targeting balls of bait fish, we found them and another bream that’s three. Although full of confidence unfortunately that was our last bream of the day.
This put us mid field.
Day 2: Same game plan seemed the go but Palmer didn’t fire at all and it was clear the system had shut down so we tried Goodwin Sands looking for the bait balls but no success. We up river trying the tributaries and we found the bream up there we saw them swimming near the edges in between the long tentacle like fingers of weed. It was a fine sunny day with no wind and they would not bite, we threw the kitchen sink and some, to no avail. Back to the weigh-in with a doughnut' for that day, nothing worse. Clearly we were out of the running with a lot of teams struggling that day. Teams that succeeded found the bream in the cool shady waters up stream throwing hard bodies along logs. Never the less we finished down the back end of the tournament swearing to avenge this result in 2014.
Round 1 (2014) of the Southern Bream Series a 2 day event at the St Georges Basin (a place we know well as we won the 2013 Pirtek challenge there) has been run, with mixed results. On the Saturday I had to fish without my partner due to pre cricket commitments but i soldiered on and fished the old Erowal Bay area bagging two Bream quickly one on a blade and one on a Flash Shad soft plastic lightly weighted on three pound line, the size limits today were 26 cm to the fork. Then the bite went off so I went up river as far East as I could go with Flathead and Whiting a plenty been caught on the Ecogear Vibe. The Tailor were smashing the soft plastic put the bream were scarce with the wind picking up it was time to head back to Old Erowal Bay. The wind from the NE was around 30 km/hr making for a fast drift then bang a hit on my plastic i had been casting non-stop, It only went 26cm but it was a weigher you know the saying 10% inspiration 90% perspiration and I was sweating.
Three Bream was not enough to get me into the Top 10 I needed more. Having dropped one at the boat without my co fisher I was confident tomorrow would bring success.
Day 2 it was a glorious sun rise but winds were predicted to pick up in the afternoon, the plan was to get the fish early!
Same started with two early in the same bay and then I was on; this is big and solid. I had the electric motor chasing down the fish as I walked around the boat keeping the rod tip loaded. After ten minutes on 2 pound line there was colour it looked like a cracker until Max said snapper...dam. Nice though 45 cm on 2 pound line that’s going home for dinner as all bream are catch and release. The bream bite had gone (plenty of flathead). 10 inspiration Max suggested we go to the FAD;s Fish Activating Devices. I had tried these before with no luck but ok. The wind was already blowing 30km and rising, first drift nice Bream on the Blade let’s do it again Flathead Tailor. Next drift another bream followed by another the waves crashing into the boat we quickly had our bag limit. I checked the live well and it was red with snapper blood the Bream were swimming sideways. The heavy swell had knocked out the live well pump and i was forced to bucket water into the live well. With an hour to go it looked like we were going to have to go in early with the fish on the bite . One more cast Max, I said; and he hooks up on to something big fighting the swell I’m using the electric to chase the fish down as he had hooked it on 4lb braid and the Ecogear blade. The whole time trying to keep the water up to the live well and swim the fish to keep them going, ever mindful that the swell could come straight over the back of the boat opps, there goes the hat. Every time he would make ground on it, it would take it all back. After 10 mins had passed I said its time you have to put some hurt on this fish or were going nowhere. So he wound the drag up a bit than half a notch more and pop it was gone. No doubt a terrific fish but at this stage probably not a Bream and that is what were after, heart breaking but we had a 5 bag lets weigh-em in.
At the end of the day we had moved up the ladder and received 60 points out of a potential 100. It all adds up towards the final and we can’t wait to fish Round 2 in the Georges River.
Tight Lines...and a good therapist