Daiwa Australia round one was a tough start to the season for all 75 anglers competing in Hobie® Kayak Bream Series 9, which was contested over the January 22-23 weekend, at Marlo in Victoria.
A favourite on the Hobie Fishing calendar, Marlo has a reputation of delivering big fish, and once again, while the total catch numbers were down, the “Big Blacks” were there, just a lot tougher to catch. Full bags were scarce on both days with only 4 anglers catching 6 legals over the two days of the series opener.
Sitting in third place on day one Richard Somerton, from Melbourne in Victoria, snatched the top of the leaderboard from fellow Victorian, Bogdan Zisu, at the final weigh-in, with a day one bag of 3 fish for 2.27kg, and a day two bag of 3 fish for 2.22kg, giving him a total tournament winning weight of 6 fish for 4.49kg.
Somerton headed second place finisher, Tony Pettie from Victoria, who moved up from his day one 4th position to finish with 6 for 4.20kg. Stephen Majera from Victoria rounded out the podium placings with 5 for 4.16kg.
Total Bream Caught: 145
- Day One: 65
- Day Two: 80
Total Weight: 100.2kg
- Day One: 41.93kg
- Day Two: 58.27kg
SOMERTON HITS THE SURFACE
Although, having previously won the 2014 Hobie Kayak Fishing World Championship, with a combined bag of fish from Victoria’s Bemm River and Marlo, his 2017 Daiwa round one victory was Richard Somerton’s first, stand alone, tournament win at Marlo, since he began competing in the Hobie Bream Series.
The current number two in the world, Somerton, pedalled a long way to reach a secret location that he has shared with only one or two others. Somerton can travel extremely quick in his Hobie Pro Angler 14, nevertheless, it still took him around 1hr 20min to reach his preferred destination for round one of the season.
“We (Scott Lovig and Somerton) travelled all of the way up to PS Curlip at the Brodribb River boat ramp, then up past the bridge to a secret location. You can get an average bag out of the place, but you’re usually not in the running when you fish up there, mostly ending up in mid-field. We knew the place was going to win a comp one day, it just needed a really tough comp (laughs), and this was that weekend”.
“It was a very, late start on Saturday, due to bad weather, but when we reached our spot, I was able to turn a few bites into a bag. After the long haul back I was surprised to find I was in third position and within range of the day one leader. It was a tough day out there, but I really like it when it’s tough”.
On day two, with the usual 7am to 2:30pm session time announced at the briefing, Somerton chose to lose nearly three hours of line in the water, and set off for the same location as day one.
“When I finally arrived, the bite was a little better than the day before. I targeted the surface bite with Cranka Shallow Minnows and I managed to get my bag of three reasonable bream in pretty good time”.
“I was quiet surprised how tough it was for everyone out there. I thought I might be in with a slim chance of getting near the top, but it was a really, big surprise to take out my first win at Marlo”.
First Prize Payout: $2130 plus a sponsor prize pack valued at over $400
Rod: 7ft 1-4kg Duffrods Hystix
Reel: Daiwa Certate 2010
Line: Daiwa Tournament Braid 8lb
Leader: Sunline FC 6lb
Lure: Cranka Shallow Minnow in rusty gold
PETTIE POWERS TO SECOND
Along with Richard Somerton, Tony Pettie recently competed in the Hobie Fishing World Championship in Louisiana, USA, finishing as the third highest placed Aussie in 10th position on the leaderboard. On the weekend he was looking forward to returning to a familiar waterway and a favourite target species.
“I’m just the bridesmaid once again, it was pretty tough out there, but that’s fishing. One day it’s blowing its guts out and the next day it’s beautiful and the sun is shining. You’ve got to be able to plug through all conditions whatever they are and get the fish when you need them”.
On day one Pettie ended up with 3 fish for 2.17kg and also bagged out on day two with 3 fish weighing in at 2.03kg. He was one of the only 4 anglers to get full bags on both days.
“I got my first fish yesterday along the west bank of the channel near the first island about a kilometre for the start. But to get my other fish on Saturday I went up between the second and third islands to a spot where I also got my bag today (day two). I pretty much got all of my fish within a 500 metre radius, and I was pretty happy bagging out on both days because I knew everyone was struggling out there”.
Second Place Prize Payout: $1110 plus a sponsor prize pack valued at over $300
ATOMIC BIG BREAM
Chris Burbidge from Ferntree Gully in Victoria, who also represented Australia at Hobie Fishing Worlds 6, finishing 8th in the world, caught the first $100 Atomic Big Bream, of the 2017 season. The monster fish could possibly end up being the largest bream of the whole series, weighing a massive 1.72kg. The round was a tough series opener for all anglers and like most Burbidge struggled throughout most of day two until he cast at a tree, caught on a pole, and he came up tight with a heap of weight. The “Atomic Big Black” took him almost 5 minutes to land in his Hobie Pro Angler 14 kayak. The monster had three, huge attempts to make a run back towards its cover before Burbidge was able to win the Marlo battle against the Atomic brute.
Lure: Lucky Craft Tango in a ghost shrimp pattern
MORTGAGE CORP MONSTER MOVER
The Mortgage Corp Monster Mover, picnic hamper and backpack, went to Nathan Prezioso from Victoria who moved up from equal 36th place on the Lowrance Leaderboard at the close of day one, finishing in 11th place with a 3 fish bag of 2.72kg.