The final round of the Costa BREAM Series is upon us this weekend. BassCat are the naming sponsor for the round. Something always exciting for the anglers and ABT is a new venue and this round delivers – the first ABT held on the Macleay River, South West Rocks.
Some may think this round is a bit of a dead rubber but there are quite a few exciting scenarios that could play out this weekend. Plus we have a number of anglers entered that will be under pressure for a decent result to qualify for the Grand Final at Victoria in December.
The first scenario is the one Kris Hickson faces. From memory no boater competing in the BREAM series has ever won three qualifiers in row. Kris has had been in full beast mode winning Round 7 at Hawkesbury River and more recently round 8 at Lake Macquarie and unfortunately for the rest of the competitors Kris is fishing out of a new Basscat Margay that is absolutely humming, plus by his own admissions Kris has spent a lot of time at the venue growing up so he may have a few secrets if the bite is tough.
Any non-assuming person would think with those results that Kris would have Boater 2018 AOY trophy in the bag, but this isn’t the case at all, in fact Kris can not win AOY at all. The two anglers in contention to be crowned 2018 Boater AOY is Cameron Whittam who is currently 2nd AOY and Steve Morgan who is currently leading the AOY race.
The numbers have been crunched and double checked and the scenario goes like this. For Whittam to knock Morgan off he needs to finish no worse than forth, BUT Whittam also needs Morgan to finish 2 places below him. So even if Whittam wins the South West Rocks round and Morgan finishes 3rd or better Steve Morgan will still be crowned 2018 AOY.
Steve spoke to ABT and stated that he is excited at the prospect of possibly taking out his first AOY Boater title since the format was changed from State AOY to National AOY some years back. Steve said he has six previous State AOY trophies that are proudly displayed in the Fishing Monthly office. He said he never feels pressure going into any event and he just goes fishing. Steve said he is more excited to be finally fishing out of his brand new Basscat Pantera Classic, powered by the awesome Mercury V8.
Of course in the Non Boater AOY race, Stuart Walker has taken an unbeatable lead. Stu has won title a number of times and has been unbelievably consistent in all the qualifiers.
This year anglers will travel to Victoria for the Costa BREAM Grand Final. The boaters will be fighting it out for an unbelievable 1st place prize of a BassCat Margay, powered by a Mercury 150hp Pro XS 4 stroke engine and decked out with a MotorGuide electric motor.
The Grand Final format is a first and another exciting innovation from ABT who are always listening to the anglers. There will be three venues for the three day event.
The final day will be at Marlo, which is famous for huge black bream bags, the first two days will be decided closer to the event. The idea is to run from Bemm River on the day that has the worse weather and then move to Gippsland Lakes on the day that has the calmer conditions.
So anglers face the possibility of fishing three venues over the three day event not having to worry about saving fish for the following days. To add a little twist there will only be one pre-fish day but anglers can fish all three venues if they can, so pre-fish planning will be upmost importance. Will we see anglers putting in a huge pre-fish day or will we see anglers form alliances and share information and spots.
A number of anglers have already filled the Grand Final 45 boater, non-boater angler field. There are also a number of anglers right on the bubble of making it or just missing out.