Twenty teams made their way down to the picturesque town of Walpole to kick start the 2020 Getaway Outdoors Cockburn/Kelmscott and Hobie Polarized WA Bream Classics Boat Series.
Just like a typical weekend on the south west coast of WA the anglers were dealt with four seasons over the course of the event. From scorching sun rays to blustery winds and persistent rain, the anglers had to adapt to the changing weather conditions in order to find the right size fish to take out the first round of the boat series.
As difficult as it was for the teams to adapt to the changing conditions, finding the better size bream proved even more difficult. Walpole, unfortunately has seen a decrease in the size of the bream over the past decade and this was reflected with the size of the bags brought back to the weigh in.
If it couldn’t get any tougher for the anglers to find the larger fish that still reside in the system, then it was made all the more challenging when the conditions over the weekend didn’t encourage the larger fish to even want to feed. Despite inclement weather on the second day of the event, that still wasn’t enough to counter act the slow tidal movement over the weekend. In the end it created a very tough assignment for the teams that found themselves doing battle much like a group of boxers competing in the feather weight division.
The fish were small but it was still a question of who could throw in that sucker punch or two with a couple of decent bream to knock their competitors over and reign supreme in the first round of the 2020 boat series?
They say you can’t win on the first day but you can certainly lose it. Well Ben Poutney and Rhys Black from Team Razor Edge Lures certainly didn’t win the event on the first day but they put themselves in the box seat to do just that with a full limit for 2.235 kg’s. Almost 400 grams clear of the team sitting in second place.
It was such a commanding lead that despite not finding the same quality of bream on the second day with a 1.870 kg bag, it was enough to hold off the rest of field from taking home the bacon. On both days of the event, Ben and Rhys headed upriver on the Frankland River to put their skills to test on the bream that reside in the timber snags that line the river banks in that region. The key to their success was mostly down to how they presented their Green Pumpkin and Motor Oil coloured Razor Edge Brawler Baits and Fat Boy Swim’s on 1/16th of an ounce Razor Edge Jigheads.
When the big bream don’t want to play the game then sometimes it’s a matter of throwing the lure deep into their home to the point that the lure sinks past the front door and rings the doorbell. This is exactly what Ben and Rhys did as they cast their lures as far into the snags as possible before allowing the lure to sink to the bottom and with hops and long pauses they would slowly work the lure back to the boat.
By pausing the lure for longer than usual, this allowed the larger bream to make up their mind on whether they wanted the soft plastic or not. In the end the Razor Edge Brawler Baits proved too irresistible and this was the major reason behind their winning total of ten bream for 4.105 kg.
Ben and Rhys reached the top of the podium using a range of quality gear to get the job done. Ben Poutney did most of his damage using a 7 foot, 1-5 kg Atomic Arrowz rod which was equipped with a 2500 Daiwa Certate. Spooled onto his Certate reel, Ben ran 10 lb Gosen Hard Type braid in which connected to the braid was a few metres of 4lb Shimano Ocea fluorocarbon leader line. Rhys on the other hand used a 6”11, 1-5 kg, Abu Garcia Salty Stage rod which was equipped with a 2500 Daiwa Caldia reel. Spooled onto his reel was 14lb Gosen Casting braid which just like Ben, had a few meters of 4lb Shimano Ocea fluorocarbon leader line attached.
GARDENERS GRAB SECOND
Slotting into second place and proving what a quality team the Gardner family make was Joseph and Jenny Gardner from Team B1 & B2 who became the first mother and son team to finish on the podium in a WA Bream Classics Boat Series event.
Joseph and Jenny Gardner put together two consistent performances on each day and it was the ability to find those slightly better than average size bream that propelled them into second place with a full limit of bream on both days to record a total weight of 3.845 kgs.
Just like Team Razor Edge Lures, Team B1 & B2 travelled to the upper reaches of the Franklin River but instead of primarily targeting snags, they mostly focused on the edges of reeds. Joseph and Jenny knew the bream were patrolling these reed edges looking for food so they threw 3.75 inch ZMAN Streakz in Watermelon colour, salt & pepper coloured Ecogear Aqua Bream Prawns and also Motor Oil Coloured 2.5 inch Zman Grubz into the strike zone where the fish were feeding.
Each lure was worked differently to draw a strike from the fish. The Zman Streakz were sunk to the bottom before giving the lure a series of high lifts, the Ecogear Aqua Bream Prawns were presented weightless so that the plastic would slowly waft into the strike zone and last but not least, the Zman Grubz were given a series of short hops before being paused. As their second placing suggests, each technique worked a treat and allowed them to catch the fish they needed to complete their first podium finish together.
Joseph and Jenny make a good mother and son team but they couldn’t work so well together without reliable gear at their disposal. Joseph used a 6”10, 2-4 kg, JML Accurate Presentation rod equipped with a 2500 Daiwa Luvias reel. Spooled onto his reel was 12 lb Yamatoyo Jigging braid with a few metres of 6lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon line tied to the end. Jenny Gardner used a 7”2, 2-4 kg Atomic Arrowz rod which was accompanied with a 2000 sized Shimano Vanquish reel. Spooled onto her reel was 12lb Yamatoyo jigging braid which too was connected to a few meters of 6lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon leader line.
Rounding out the podium was Alex Greisdorf and Graeme Kovacevich from Team Lowrance/Tackle Tactics who managed to improve on their first day bag to squeeze onto the podium and get their year started off in good fashion.
The two anglers worked the downriver structures of the Frankland River on both days. By doing so they caught fish hanging around areas with rocks and also along drop offs using bloodworm coloured 2’5 inch Zman Grubz. The techniques that tempted the better fish into biting their Zman Grubz was to either slow roll the grub along the bottom or to give it continuous hops before letting the plastic pause to give wary fish a chance to strike the lure.
Alex and Graeme went about their business on the water using their tools of the trade very effectively. Alex’s outfit was a 6”10 2-4 kg Duffrod Bream Stick which was equipped with a 2500 Daiwa Luvias. Spooled onto his Luvias was 10lb Daiwa Evo 8 braid and connected to his braid was a few lengths of 4lb Sunline fluorocarbon leader material. Graeme used a 7”2, 1-3 kg Daiwa Infeet rod which was equipped with a 2500 Shimano Stella reel. Spooled onto his reel was 14 lb Gosen Casting braid and connected to his braid was also 4lb Sunline fluorocarbon leader material.
Jenny Gardner won the big bream category with a 630 gram bream.
|Position||Team Name||Skipper||Non Boater||# Fish D1||Weight D1||Big Bream D1||# Fish D2||Weight D2||Big Bream D2||Total Weight|
|1st||Razor Edge Lures||Ben Pountney||Rhys Black||5||2.235kg||5||1.870kg||0.505kg||4.105kg|
|2nd||B1 and B2||Joseph Gardner||Jenny Gardner||5||1.785kg||5||2.060kg||0.630kg||3.845kg|
|3rd||Lowrance Tackle Tactics||Alex Griesdorf||Graeme Kovacevich||5||1.780kg||5||1.980kg||3.760kg|
|4th||Bush Chook||Paul Burton||Tom Schuiling||5||1.780kg||5||1.890kg||0.430kg||3.670kg|
|5th||Gladiator Tackle HQ||Shane Owens||Rene Van Doorn||5||1.840kg||5||1.660kg||3.500kg|
|6th||Good Vibes||Peter DeGroot||Ollie Seear||5||1.680kg||0.585kg||5||1.650kg||3.330kg|
|7th||Absolutely Crabulous||Travis Newland||Josh Phillips||5||1.595kg||5||1.735kg||3.330kg|
|8th||Dragonfly||Stuart McCarthy||Matt McCarthy||5||1.475kg||5||1.835kg||3.310kg|
|9th||Eco Gear||Kim McIntyre||Ben Scott||5||1.430kg||5||1.850kg||3.280kg|
|10th||Bream Job||Damian Rahe||Jarrad Stevens||5||1.630kg||4||1.480kg||3.110kg|
|11th||Hakuna Matata||Fred Fraser||Terri Fraser||4||1.525kg||4||1.555kg||3.080kg|
|12th||Strike Pro / Searing Tackle||Paul Siemaszko||Jesse Choy||3||0.940kg||5||1.835kg||2.775kg|
|13th||JML Hook Set Match||Ruan Van Der Berg||Sean Higgins||4||1.230kg||5||1.470kg||2.700kg|
|14th||Keen||Paul Furlong||Evan Bonzis||2||0.695kg||5||1.710kg||2.405kg|
|15th||Power Fish||Nigel Kelly||Chris Hill||2||0.595kg||5||1.450kg||2.045kg|
|16th||Top Gun||David Beer||Ken Wilson||4||1.085kg||2||0.650kg||1.735kg|
|17th||Kirsch Bros||Eric Kirsch||Oliver Kirsch||3||0.855kg||1||0.430kg||1.285kg|
|18th||Reel Tradies||Michael Franklin||Joshua Gaunt||0||0.000kg||2||0.785kg||0.785kg|
|19th||One Fast One Furious||Cameron Lauderdale||Graham Lauderdale||1||0.435kg||0||0.000kg||0.435kg|
|20th||No Chance||Richard Hinds||Greg Weinhert||1||0.320kg||0||0.000kg||0.320kg|