Rookie shows anything is possible:
With the Kayak Angler of the year race starting to heat up, round 3 of the 2016 Getaway Outdoors Kayak Bream Classic series kicked off from Maylands Scout Club in the Swan River. Conditions were looking rather ordinary with plenty of wind and the potential for rain to interrupt proceedings at any stage, this did not deter the 45 entrants, who were all raring to go come the 7am start.
Taking top honours and in his first ever bream tournament was Michael Robertson, weighing in two bream for a healthy 1.965kg. Michael had only recently taken up the art of bream fishing with lures after being introduced to the sport by Rob Sgambelluri (2016 Australian Hobie Championships Grand Finalist). So he has had a pretty decent tutor to get the ball rolling.
When asked what he thought about claiming first spot in front of a number of seasoned yakkers, Michael replied “I’m just blown away, this result is a long way from the expectations I had coming into my first comp, I had done a little pre-fishing with Rob, but things were pretty slow, and my biggest fish before today was lucky to be 30cm. I’m more accustomed to chasing pink snapper back in NZ, so it’s been a fair effort to get used to the lighter rods, line and lures. But one I’m certainly enjoying”.
When asked how his day panned out, Michael replied “I really had no idea where I was going to go, but on our pre-fish the fish that we did catch seemed to be hanging tight to the reed banks. So using a google earth last night I hunted around for some areas that looked to have some decent reed banks lining the river. I found a couple of likely looking spots around Tranby that did not look to far from the start, I headed there and started working Damiki 2.5” grubs in pumpkinseed. The retrieve was a slow roll with little and plenty of pauses thrown in”.
“Within 30 minutes I had my first fish in the net, I was pretty happy with that and would have been stoked to just bring him in. It was the biggest bream I had caught to date so things could only get better after that. I plugged around the area again for a while with not much joy, but sometime between 11am-12pm the tide was starting to rip out and I found a nice little eddy on a bend. I lots of little hits with nothing when clunk, I hooked something that felt pretty good, but he swam straight at the yak so I was not sure if he was any bigger than my last fish. But then I saw a set of blue lips, I’d heard stories about when bream get to a decent size they get a decent set of lips, at the same time he saw me and charged off on a couple of good runs. Once he was in the net and I got a good look at him, I knew I had another PB so that was awesome, I still didn’t think I would go anywhere near winning until Rob had a look in my live well. He looked more excited than me”.
Michael’s beast dragged the scales down to 1.180kg to eclipse the 1.080kg already weighed in by Graeme Kovacevich. When asked if he had anyone to thank, Michael replied “I really have to thank Rob for getting me into chasing bream and also taking me out for a few pre-fishes, it certainly helped a great deal. And then to the organisers, you put on a great tournament, I did not know what to expect but a great breakfast of bacon and eggs with a really good atmosphere amongst all the angers made the day great fun, and then to take home an Engel and some cash and prizes really tops it off”.
Michael had 3 rods on board but chose to stick with his Crucis Rod all day, this was matched to a Shimano Stradic Ci4. This was loaded with 6lb Sunline braid, whilst at the business end was 6lb Nitlon leader. He also used TT jigheads, opting for the 1/20th weight for the whole day. The lure that did the damage and enticed Michaels blue lip beast was a Damiki 2.5” grub in Motor Oil.
Repeating his second place from Round 1 and storming to the lead in the WA Kayak Angler of the Year race was Hamburger (Hamish) McNab weighing in three bream for 1.745kg. When asked how his day had gone, Hamburger replied “this had to be my best ever day fishing for bream, I sourced a bit of information from a mate who knows the area quite well, so with that I formed a plan to target the marina in Ascot and fish the area as hard as I could”.
“It was not goping to be a far paddle and hopefully be protected a bit from the wind; I was also hoping that it would not have seen the same pressure as the other areas around Maylands. I started the day throwing River 2 Sea baby vibes and stuck with them for the whole day, I would cast and let them sink around the floating jetties and just give them small hops. And the noisy casts seemed to get more results; the more noise it made getting to the water the more confident I was of getting a bite. I would have had my bag filled by 8.30am, and that just continued throughout the day”.
“I probably upgraded about 4-5 times and one included upgrading one bream with a smaller fatter version of himself, but I was convinced the smaller one would be heavier. When I got back to the weigh in I was just hoping to get into the top 10, but hearing how hard it had fished for others made me a little more confident of a good finish”.
When asked what the key was to his success, Hamburger replied “I think besides the area, the fact I painted all of my vibes with a black artline pen was critical. I would leave a little colour on the belly or under the chin for effect, but throughout the day I noticed that the purple one was more certainly attracting more interest so I stuck with that”.
This is what Hamburger had to say when asked what gear helped him throughout the day, “I have sort of broken one rod and lost another, so my range is looking a little thin at the moment. So I picked up an Icon Badboys 1-3kg stick and that did all the damage today, I matched that with a Daiwa Freams 2000, this was loaded with 10lb TD Sensor whilst I was using 6lb Nitlon leader”.
When asked if he had anyone to thank, Hamburger replied “The organisers for another cracking event, and definitely Kate for braving the weather this morning to cook us a breakfast. Then there is Madeye lures for helping me out with some nice plastics and my mate Chris Leaning for the good info on Ascot, and last but not least a quick plug for my facebook page WA Kayak Anglers (WAKA)”.
In third place weighing in three bream for 1.720kg was Brad Patman, when asked how the day had gone for him Brad replied “Great day out, especially considering the dismal pre-fish that Massimo and I had. We would head out and fish hard all day, for usually one bite and one fish, so I was far from confident, so I thought I would just head down to Belmont and fish around the ski area where I caught my last lone fish. Within 15 minutes I had one in the well, I was targeting the snags with a slow roll and tried to fish the 1m-2m depth, mainly with ZMan 2.5” grubs in Motor Oil”.
“Then I got smoked twice by a couple of brutes, which was quite disheartening, but not long after that I picked up a 27cm, so to have two in the well by 8am was satisfying regardless of the lost fish. I just had to find another keeper and if he could be a good one then my bag would not be too bad. Then about 30 minutes later I hooked a nice 39cm and once I had him in the net I was stoked, all before 9am so I had plenty of time to upgrade the 27cm and bring in a decent bag.”
“But as is always the way I had two touches after 9am before I noticed my aerator was struggling a little bit, which had me concerned as that could harm my bag. I beached the yak and pulled the aerator apart, but just could not fix the problem, so I made the decision to head back to the start and get my bag weighed in. But in typical fashion the WAFM guys had my livewell out and were working on the aerator to get it working. And fix it they did, I was even handed a new battery to use which certainly helped matters, that gave me two hours back on the water to hunt for a nice upgrade. But couldn’t find a bream interested in coming to the party”.
Brad used Xesta Black Star Rods, matched to Daiwa Luvias reels, these were loaded with Sunline 8x Braid, whilst at the business end 4lb Varivas leader. When asked if he had anyone to thank, Brad replied “Just a big thanks to all the series sponsors such as Getaway and Engel, and of course the WAFM guys for running another great event, it is always really good fun to come out and have a crack, you get to fish with your mates and every now and then you go ok and get rewarded”.
A special thanks goes to all the sponsors for their continued support in 2016, Getaway Outdoors, Engel, Shimano, CRC, JML Anglers Alliance, Tackle Tactics, Damiki/Pontoon 21, EJ Todd and Son, Tonic Sunglasses, Hobiecat Australia and Halco. And probably most important of all, thanks to Kate Sewell for feeding the 45 yakkers bacon and eggs before the start, thank you!!
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