The first round of the Getaway Outdoors & Hobie Polarized WA Bream Classic Boating series kicked off on the Swan River with 28 teams gathering on the Bayswater foreshore eagerly waiting to hit the water and battle it out. The Swan River has been fishing exceptionally well over the past few months and therefor the anglers enjoyed some strong pre fishing results which had them anticipating a good day on the water. Unfortunately, just as strong, was the easterly wind that never let up all day. The bream were certainly on the chew but the real challenge was who could best adapt to the windy conditions to extract this cunning species of fish from their homes.
Proving they could do just that and coming away with a very well deserved victory was Damien Rahe and Thys McCarthy from Team Bream Job who weighed in a very respectable bag of 2.550 kilos. It was Damien Rahe’s first WA Bream Classic event which is about as good as it gets for a tournament angler fishing his/her event.. I caught up with Damien after the event so he could tell me just how he and Thys went about their day to seal up the victory.
“We went into yesterday’s round 1 of the WA Bream Classis with a couple of good pre-fishes under our belts yet even so, we had no expectations on the day. Our plan was to not travel too far from the launch site whilst keeping things fairly simply and just having a fun day. We fished some of the snaggy banks and sand spits downstream from the launch site and found by running back over the same ground a few times we were able to extract more good fish.”
When asked what lures and techniques did the damage Damien replied, “Our fish came on Z-Man swim slimz in colours, motor oil & bloodworm as well as grubs in the pumpkin seed colour. We both fished 1/16th TT headlocks and 1/16th weedless nail bomb jig heads with 5lb DFC Nitlon leader. The most effective technique proved to be slow rolling the slim swimz through these areas whilst varying the speed of the retrieve to keep the fish engaged.”
This technique quite clearly worked a treat for the pair and they could’ve brought back an even bigger bag of fish had it not been for a couple of missed chances on some much larger bream. But in the end it didn’t matter as they put together a great bag to win convincingly.
Towards the end of our chat I asked Damien if he had anyone he would like to thank and if he had any additional comments. Damien responded, “I would like to thank my team mate, Thys for all his help and guidance over the past few years, Tackle world Mandurah and Mandurah Motor Marine for their support. Also to the WATA crew, the behind the scenes helpers for putting on the event (great job from a new admin group) and all the competition sponsors for supporting the series. Lastly a special mention to all of the guys who have been willing to share their knowledge, tournament experience and advice whenever I asked for help.”
The two earn themselves $1500 in cash and qualification into this year’s grand final.
During the events presentation an angler shouted the words “girl power!” Girl power it certainly was as the two ladies, Susan Siranovic and Jenny Gardner from Team Phoenix Rods showed the boys just how it was done by rounding out a very impressive second place performance weighing in 2.255 kgs. When asked how they managed to put together their bag Susie replied “We fished the upper reaches of the swan river from Garvey Park to Woodbridge and chose to work snags in depths of 7 to 14 feet. From there we would throw our hard bodies and soft plastics as far back into the snags as possible and worked them along the bottom without any fear of snagging up. In doing so we found the fish either ate our presentation at the front of the snag or on the first drop off outside of the snag.”
Susie further elaborated on just what presentations herself and Jenny were throwing and what they were throwing them on. “We both used 48 mm OSP Dunks in colours H-04 & 2.5-inch motor oil coloured Zman Grub soft plastics rigged on TT 1/15th Nedlockz jig heads. We threw these lures using Phoenix Maxim & Phoenix Recon Elite rods a long with Shimano 2000 sized Twinpowers and Shimano 2500 sized Stella reels. Our reels were spooled with Sunline Super braid and Varivas Highgrade 0.08 PE and we would then tie on 6lb Sunline FC Rock and VHard in both 2.5 meters of length to extract the bream from the snags.”
Susie then wrapped things up by thanking the following,
“A big thanks to my sponsors Phoenix Rods and Custom Tackle. Also thanks to the organisers, Alex, Shane, Kim and Joseph for making the classics possible this year. They made the day very easy for us and we really felt we were taken care of which made us very happy. I’d also like to mention that it was great to see the amount of new people entering the events and also to the familiar faces that continue to support this sport. Jenny and I found that today was just about fishing where less anglers would be and to just stay calm and have fun!” That they did to great effect and came away with second place along with $400 dollars in cash, $200 in product, $200 in vouchers and an Atomic Arrowz Bream Crank and an Atomic Arrowz Bream surface rod to take home with them.
Rounding out the top 3 with a bag weight of 2.025 kilos was Michael Franklin and Josh Gaunt from Team Two Tradies and just like Damien Rahe, this was their first event too! Michael Franklin didn’t hesitate in sharing just how himself and Josh went about their business.
“We decided to head upriver on the Swan River and start our day at Lilac Hill. We then began working further upriver from there fishing snags and submerged logs. We concentrated on the trees which cast a shadow over the water and after an hour we managed to catch our first legal at 31cms. Soft plastics weren’t gaining a lot of attention so we both decided to stick to hard body presentations which really paid off in the end. I used a 50mm Zerek Shad in red and gold while Josh used an Ecogear SX 40 in colour 407” It certainly paid off as they went on to land two more solid bream measuring 37cm’s each and despite not managing to find their fourth fish it was still enough to make the top three.
Josh used a Daiwa 1-2kg Two Drunk Monkeys with a 1000 sized Shimano Sustain loaded with 6lb Jbraid and 6lb Black Magic leader. Meanwhile Michael used a E6X G-Loomis rod with a 2500 Shimano Stella loaded with 8lb Sunline braid and 6lb Black Magic leader.
Michael had some final words to round out his first event experience. “Thanks to everyone for a great day and a big thanks to the organisers for producing an awesome event.”
For their efforts the two walk away with $300 in cash, $200 in products, $200 in vouchers and two Watersnake PFD’s.
The top seven teams from this event have earnt themselves qualification for the grand final and handy TOY (team of the year) points.