On March 14 and 15, 2015, 78 of the countries finest kayak anglers from Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT descended on the popular holiday town of Mallacoota in Victoria to compete in round 3 of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series presented by Daiwa.
While anglers were looking for the round win, they were also chasing points towards Angler of the Year (AOY), Rankings and, most importantly, the 2 spots on the Australian Hobie Fishing Team available from this 1st of 3 qualifying rounds for the 5th Hobie Fishing World Championships to be held later in the year on Shang Lake in China.
On both mornings, the anglers headed off from the Power-Pole starting line, splitting in direction with half the field heading for Top Lake & The Narrows and the other half opting for Bottom Lake. It was those who worked Bottom Lake who seemed to bring the bigger bream to weigh-in each day.
More than half the field brought full bags of 3 bream to the tournament director each day and a total of 304 bream, weighing 207kg were presented to the weigh master over the course of the two days before being released back into the system.
Day 1 leader and eventual tournament winner Tony Pettie from Traralgon in Victoria had a solid 3 bream bag for 2.86kg going into the second day of the tournament.
Tony Pettie held on to the number 1 position on the Lowrance Leaderboard netting the first place on the Aussie team for the Worlds in China, a qualifying position in the Australian Championship, as well as an excellent sponsor prize pack and a $2,245 cheque for his efforts. Tony also took home an additional $100 for landing the Hog’s Breath Café BOSS HOG Big Bream with his 1.24kg bag kicker from day 1.
Consistency was the name of the game as Tony laid out his plan of attack:
“I got my bag by 7:30 on the Goodwin Sands, near the green marker posts, and then went looking for bigger fish. I went down to Cemetery Bight and managed 1 Upgrade. I then came back to the back of the Goodwin sands near Dorran Bight, this is where I managed to catch the Boss Hog. I then moved to the other side of the Goodwin sands and managed another couple of upgrades.”
“Gotta love the reverse start. I went back to my first spot from day 1 and found 10 to 15 others there, it was terrific to see every one hook up but me. I moved down the Goodwin sands a bit and caught my first fish, 10 min latter I had caught another 3. I moved to where I had caught my biggest fish on day 1 which paid off with 2 more upgrades. I then moved into Dorran Bight where I lost 1 fish, the only touch that I did get. I went back to my hot spot and got another quality upgrade. My day 2 bag weighed 3.21 kg and kept me in First place.”
- Rod: N.S. One Black Hole. MS702UL
- Reel: Daiwa Aird 2000
- Line: 4lb Firelight Crystal
- Leader: 4lb FC Rock
- Lure: Jackall Chubby in Sugi Shrimp and Cultiva Mirror Shad
Pettie had no doubts about what gave him the winning edge in the tournament.
“I just wanted to work Goodwin Sands. I’ve done alright there before. It holds good fish. There’s a bit of channel there so I was just fishing the shallows and bringing it down in to the deeper water with a slow roll and an occasional pause and twitch”.
Pettie summed up his feelings on being the first to make the squad to represent Australia at the Hobie Fishing World Championship in China this November.
“I had a really good couple of days, loads of fun and winning a spot on the Australian team is just awesome. I just have to let the wife know now”
BEN PHAYER TAKES SECOND AND THE SECOND POSITION ON THE AUSTRALIAN TEAM FOR HOBIE FISHING WORLDS 2015
Ben Phayer from Victoria followed up a 1.94kg bag of 3 bream on day 1, with an impressive day 2 bag of 3.18kg for an accumulated 6 fish weight of 5.12kg. This was short of the top prize by .95kg, but enough to give him a 200 gram lead over third place finisher, Joshua Smith also from Victoria.
Phayer recounted his weekend’s efforts on the water.
“I knew that the Goodwin Sands was a productive area so I planned to fish there but by 10:30 I didn’t have a fish. Shortly after I worked out that the fish were on the flats in very shallow water and got my first and second fish quickly but the third eluded me at this stage. I then headed to the front of the flats where there was a really rocky area in only 300mm of water. BANG… Got my third of over a kilo, finishing with a respectable bag of 1.94kg placing in 19th but way under the 2.5kg average expected to get a top 5 place.”
“I was confident that the same area would produce fish especially with the strong winds forecast. I got to the sands inside the southern green channel marker. First cast… a kg+ fish, second cast another. Hmm maybe a good day…. As the storm rolled across with the wind and rain the fish shut down. After a few hours I had a bag but needed to upgrade the small fish to go with the 2kg plus in the well. I went back to where I got the other fish and yet again almost first cast I had my upgrade. “
“I was confident that this was the biggest bag I had ever weighed in and thought a top 10 may have been in reach. My bag weighed 3.18kg putting me straight in 1st place…. WOW… The nerves started.”
On earning a spot on the Australian team Phayer said.
“Finishing 2nd place!!! To qualify for the grand final was my aim for the season but to qualify for the Hobie Worlds in China is an honour and a dream come true.”
On earning a spot on the Australian team Phayer was speechless.
“I can’t believe it! It’s amazing!”.
- Rod: Bendem Custom
- Reel: Daiwa Sol 2004
- Line: Sun line PE 6lb
- Leader: FC Rock 3lb
- Lure: Imakatsu Wasp
Hog’s Breath Café Boss Hog Big Bream
Round winner, Tony Pettie also brought home the bacon, after catching the tournament’s biggest fish, a 1.24kg bream, taking the Hog’s Breath Café Boss Hog Big Bream cheque. The Hog’s Breath Café Boss Hog Big Bream was caught on day 1 of the tournament at the back of Goodwin Sands near using a Jackall Chubby in Sugi Shrimp (Pictured)
Mortgage Corp Monster Mover
The Monster Mover for Round 3 was Steven Pryke who moved up 32 places position. After finishing day 1 in 63rd position with no fish, Steven went on to smash it on day 2 and with a 3 fish bag for 3.04kg.
Click here for full event results
Round four will be a one-day event held on the Clyde River in Batemans Bay in New South Wales, on Sunday March 22. It is the New South Wales State Title and will be run by Southern Bream Series.
Like all of the events in the Hobie Kayak Fishing Series, this round could not have gone ahead without the great support of our generous sponsors Daiwa, Berkley, Atomic. Lowrance, Rhino-Rack, Strike Pro, Austackle, TT Lures, Yamatoyo, Ecogear, Power-Pole, Mortgage Corp , Hog’s Breath Cafe and ABT. Thanks also to Stewie, Tony and Leaf from Compleat Angler in Merimbulafor providing Hobie dealer support.