An overcast and gloomy morning certainly didn’t indicate just what a fantastic day it would turn out to be for the first round of the Getaway Outdoors & Hobie Polarized WA Bream Classic Kayak series. The Murray River in Mandurah suffered a fish kill last year and since then there has been a degree of uncertainty towards how each event would fish for the competitors. Well this event showed just how resilient black bream are and how quickly numbers can replenish with 14 out of the 38 competitors bring back full bag limits to the scales and plenty of others, despite not catching a bag, still having fish to weigh in. In total, 56 bream were weighed in with the average weight coming at a healthy 500 grams.
One angler who rose to the top and showed everyone the quality of bream still in this system was Massimo Salomone with a great bag weighing in at 2.14 kilos. Massimo paddled upriver to the Ravenswood region which is a popular area to catch bream in the Murray River. He stayed within this region for most of the day and systematically worked the snags by mainly using Fish Arrow 2-inch Flash J Shads in Ayu Silver. At times he used Dragon Maggots but the Fish Arrow J Shads did most of the damage. With each snag Massimo fished he would cast the lure right into the back of the snags and aggressively twitch the lure before letting it sink to the bottom. If the lure hadn’t received any initial attention from the twitches, then once the lure hit the bottom he would pause the plastic for five seconds before slowly rolling the lure back towards the kayak. It was a brave method when you’re only using 3lb for your leader material as Massimo was doing but sometimes you have to take risks to be rewarded and that’s certainly what happened. Massimo used a Xesta Black Star Solid Tip 6 foot 9 fishing rod rated at 2-6 pounds. On that rod he used a Megabass Gaus 20 reel loaded with Gosen Casting 8 ply 14lb Braid.
Finishing a mere 130 grams shy of Massimo was second place getter Hamish McNabb with a solid bag that pushed the scales down to 2.01 kilos. Unlike Massimo, Hamish chose to go down river to find his fish and must’ve felt a million dollars by catching a fish only 10 grams shy of a kilo on his very first cast of the day. You can’t get off to a better start than that and he certainly kept the momentum going by bagging out by 9 am. Hamish threw Jelly Prawn coloured Mad Eye Paddle Prawns on 6lb leader material into shallow snags and with slow yet exaggerated hops of the plastic he managed to tempt the bream into biting. The bream that fell 10 grams short of a kilo on his first cast of the day resulted in being a $500 fish because it turned out to be the events big bream.
Rounding out the top three was Joseph Gardner with a very respectable bag of 1.93 kilos. Just like Hamish, Joseph chose to travel downriver and chose to target the many timber snags that litter those river banks. Joseph threw 50 mm Ecogear Bream Prawns in salt and pepper to great effect by catching a swag of quality bream in the first few hours of the morning. You can see in his live feed video just how well he managed to pull these fish out of the structure using his JML Accurate Presentation Rod loaded with 11lb Yamatoyo braid and 4lb Yamatoyo leader material. Towards the end of the interview Joseph concluded by thanking his sponsor JML and secondly the series sponsors for getting behind these events. Joseph took home $200 in cash, a product prize pack to the value of $220 and a Hobie beach towel.
The next event on the WA tournament schedule is the Hobie fourth round qualifier on the Blackwood River. Get your entries in before the 1st of April to avoid the late penalty and have yourself a fantastic weekend away!
Until then, tight lines!