The 2016 Getaway Outdoors WA Bream Classic Kayak Grand Final was kicked off from the stunning location of the Kalgan River Chalets, situated on the Kalgan River, Albany. The location is famous for its bream with really good fish being caught throughout the years. For the uninitiated the system was certainly something to behold, and decision making would prove the key to any success to be had.
The Kalgan River has everything, and offers a range options for anglers to chase their bounty each day, the river is loaded with snags, flats, deep holes, rock bars and channels. The only real concern to anglers would be what conditions the weather gods would throw up – with 40 knot winds and consistent rain predicted for Saturday followed by a nice change expected for Sunday.
The Grand Final was also the final opportunity for anglers to better any previous round scores for the highly sort after Kayak Angler of the Year Trophy, awarded to the angler with the best three results throughout the season. So a big Congratulations to Hamish McNabb (aka Hamburger), who put together 294 points from a possible 300, to hold off Joseph Gardener and Alex Griesdorf on 293 points, followed by Shane Owens on 292 points. Joseph, Alex and Shane finished 2nd,3rd and 4th in the Grand Final, so they all had a real decent crack at running down Hamburger who in the end held them all off by a solitary point. Congratulations once again Hamish.!!
Proving that age is no barrier and certainly a young gun to keep an eye on for 2017 was Mirek Soucek weighing in six bream for 4.440kg to take victory by a mere 20 grams. When asked how the weekend had played out, Mirek replied “I have never been here before, so first thing I did was get on google earth and try and get a better understanding of the system before coming down. I got out for a small paddle on Friday afternoon, everywhere I paddled looked awesome but I picked a likely looking bank and decided to target that”.
“I was a bit weary before the start being in such a small yak and with the weather that was starting to roll through, I really didn’t have high hopes, I just wanted to get a couple of keepers each day. My first stop was upriver from the chalets near the ski area, and 1st cast I had a wind knot which was frustrating but as soon as I had re-tied on the next cast I pulled a 40 which was a great start and at least showed I might be fishing to the right plan”.
“Within maybe 50m I had another hook-up and boated a high 30s so the day was really starting to come together. I put a 28cm rat in the well later on which I managed to upgrade to a 30cm not long after, then around 1pm after a fairly lean spell I pinned a 35cm, which was a nice upgrade and gave my bag a good boost”.
When asked what lures and techniques were paying dividends, Mirek replied “I was throwing an OSP 3” Dolive Shrimp in Chartreuse. I had these rigged on a 1/20th Razoredge jighead in the red bug colour, I would cast and let it sink then start a slow roll retrieve, with a few hops in twitches thrown in, the fish really responded so I stuck with that all day.”
“Day two was a little more interesting, sitting in 2nd spot meant I really had to come up with a good plan and not get in a rut trying to replicate my day one pattern. My first drift was completely different to day one with very little action, I had changed to Zman Slim Swin in motoroil and pretty much last cast of the drift I picked up a 39cm and he gave me some grief and fought twice as hard as the bigger one from day one”.
“It was pretty satisfying to have him in the well by 7.30am, so then I moved to the ski ramp as nobody was fishing it, and within 10 minutes I had a mid 30 in the well, I thought it was a mulloway so I pretty much just poled it in, as soon as I saw it was a bream I backed off in a hurry, but he was already in the net. After that I hooked a big Mulloway that stitched me up in quick fashion, so it was another re-tie before heading off again”.
“It was on the back of some local knowledge I headed up to fish the flats near the Island as I was chasing a good one to fill my bag, on my third cast I got blown away by what felt to be a real good fish, so it was another re-tie before next cast hooking a 30cm which filled the bag. I only caught three legal bream for the day and thought I might have 1.8kg which would get me into the top five, but to win by such a close margin is awesome, especially against the quality anglers in the GF field, I couldn’t have dreamed a better result”.
Mirek fished with JML Perfection Accurate Presentation and Majorcraft Corzza Rods, these were matched to a Shimano Biomaster 1000 and Shimano Sedona 1000. Both reels were loaded with 4lb Sunline, whilst at the business was Yamatoyo Harris Fighter in 4lb.
When asked if he had anyone to thank, Mirek replied “first off I have to thank my mum, she is an amazing mother getting up at the crack of dawn every comp and bringing me to all the kayak events, and more often than not hanging around for the day to take me home, rain, hail or shine. And then to www.Lurepro.com.au for all the help and assistance they provide me with during the year. Then of course Getaway Outdoors, the Classic organisers, and last but not least all the competitors and sponsors have made the 2016 so successful”.
In second place and so agonisingly close to the GF win and back to back AOYs was Joseph Gardener weighing in six bream for 4.420kg. When asked how the weekend played out, Joseph replied “It was a really good weekend, I managed to get down for a pre-fish with a couple of the breaming locals Ben Scott and Ben Poutney who both showed me different sections of the river so that was a great insight”.
“On day one I headed up around Honeymoon Island, I was throwing everything pretty much, Ecogear bream prawns, dragon maggots and an assortment of vibes. But all the keepers came on the vibes, I would chuck them in and let them sink to the bottom after a bit of a pause I would do a short sharp lift and if there wasn’t a fish on then I’d go again, pretty much the classic vibe technique. I picked up a 37cm at 8am, followed by a 35cm at 8.30am, then about 30 minutes later I pinned a 31 which after a while I managed a great upgrade to 39cm, and that was pretty much my day. I was happy to be in the hunt and just needed to replicate today’s effort to stay amongst it”.
“Day two I pretty much followed the same plan of attack except I pushed further upstream, I fished Ecogear bream prawns, dragon maggots and vibes again and pinned a 35cm early, followed by a nice 38cm. It was awhile in between legals after that but I eventually pinned a nice 30cm, which I managed to upgrade to 30.5cm and then finally upgrade him to 31cm. And that ended up being my bag for the day.”
When asked what he was thinking come the weigh-in, Josepph replied “it was a great weigh in, really hotly contested and very close, I knew I had to win the GF to have any chance of AOY and to come within 25 grams of making it all happen is pretty satisfying. I am sure it added to the spectacle when Mireks bag hit the scales. But it just puts the fire in the belly to improve for next year”.
Joseph used JML Perfection Accurate Presentation and JML Sensation Kayak Special rods, these were matched to Daiwa Luvias Reels, these were loaded with Yamatoyo Jigging braid, whilst at the business of each was 4lb Yamatoyo Harris Gighter.
When asked who he wanted to thank, Joseph replied “without doubt the organisers for putting on a great 2016 series and grand final, and of course Kate for all the cooked breakfasts throughout the year, especially for braving those winter comps. Then of course the series sponsors, especially the major sponsor in Getaway Outdoors who are a great supporter of kayak fishing. Then of course my sponsor JML Anglers Alliance for all the assistance they provide me with each year.
In third place weighing in six bream for 3.530kg was Alex Griesdorf, Alex only needed to finish 2nd to claim AOY, falling a solitary point short. When asked how the weekend had gone, Alex replied “It was a fun weekend, it’s better to lose by a point than a count back so that will just make sure I don’t miss a round next year, but well done Hamish on a great season”.
“On day one I headed straight for one of my sneaky spots and got a bag in the first ten min. Knowing they weren’t the size I was after I then headed up the river in search of better fish managing a bag on a variety of Zmans swimz and grubs as well as bulky Hawgs. I was in the right area and managed some upgrades but I just couldn’t find a kicker to contend with the leaders, especially Shano who had a cracker of a bag”.
“Day two I knew I was a good fish behind the leaders and had my work cut out to catch them if they replicated their first day bags, but I was going to have a decent crack at it. I was fishing my usual zman slim swimz in motor oil and bloodworm, zman grubz in Motoroil and berkley bulky Hawks In brown. With the low tide I started off fishing deep and that was a struggle, I didn’t even hook a legal until about 9am and managed to lose the first two that I actually hooked”.
“Then it wouldn’t have been until about 12pm before I finally boated my first legal and it was a good one being a 40. I then weeded my way through some rats for my next keeper, and I pinned my last legal with about 20 min to go. So I was pretty happy to fill my bag on what I found to be a tough day, a big congratulations though to Mirek, Jo and of course day one leader Shano, they pulled some great bags over the weekend”.
Alex used his usual Daiwa battler and Duffs rods, these were matched to Daiwa Luvius and Exist reels. He chose to fish 3 and 4lb sunline leader.
Engel BIG BREAM for day one was taken out by day one leader in Shane Owens, whose beast dragged the scales down to 1.180kg to anchor his 2.685 bag from day one. The big blue lip fell victim to a well placed Rockin Crab “I was pitching the Rockin Crab in Green Pumkpin up shallow I began to receive plenty of attention giving me the confidence the fish were up and about feeding. Feeding they were but still very tentatively but then out of nowhere my crab was crunched and I was locked into a good tussle with a bream I estimate to be around the 41cm mark. That got the blood pumping and any care of the horrid weather conditions went completely out the window”.
Engel BIG BREAM for day two was taken out by Alex Griesdorf with his first fish of the day that dragged the scales down to 1.125kg, and in Alex’s words “I pinned him upriver on a Zman, slow rolled, and he jumped on. I wanted him to lead me to some of his older brothers, but that didn’t happen, I’m pretty happy to take out BIG Bream for day two though”.
A special mention and thanks to Jesse Choy and the Anglers Odyssey Facebook page for putting up a prize pack for “GONE FISHING DAY” with some extra goodies added by the tournament organisers. The prize pack was awarded to the angler who presented the photo of the biggest mulloway by-catch. This was taken home by AOY Hamish McNabb whose 80cm mulla knocked off one of the many caught by Luke Hodge.
A big thank you to all the anglers for making the series the success it has been, fantastic numbers and great bunch of guys.
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 so many yakkers bacon and eggs before every start, thank you!!
|PLACE||ANGLER||FISH CAUGHT – Day 1||WEIGHT||LATE PENALTY||DAY 1 WEIGHT||Big Bream||FISH CAUGHT – Day 2||WEIGHT||LATE PENALTY||DAY 2 WEIGHT||Big Bream||Total Fish CAUGHT||2 DAY TOTAL WEIGHT|
|6||Calum Harvey Wilson||3||1.600||1.600||0.715||2||1.470||1.470||0.895||5||3.070|