Click here for image gallery on www.lureandfly.com.au.
Hickson Spikes a Victory
Manning River Marine’s Kris Hickson continued his winning ways from 2014 with the current Grand Final champion completing a wire-to-wire win to claim victory in the Hobie Mallacoota BREAM Qualifier, June 9-10.
Coming off a quiet opening round (Gippsland Lakes) of the two-event Victoria leg of the 2015 Berkley BREAM Series Hickson hit the water on day one of the event, far from buoyed with confidence after a quiet and relatively uneventfull prefish.
“I struggled to lock in a solid pattern during the prefish. I picked up a few fish on blades on the points in deeper water but they didn’t hold the quality of fish that you need to get to feature in the top ten at Coota”, explained Hickson.
Without a hard pattern to turn to on day one Hickson fished two areas he hadn’t touched the day before. Areas that he expected to produce in the strong wind that was forecast.
“My first two spots didn’t pan out like I hoped, and 1 ½ hours into the session I had no bites and no fish in the well”, explained Kris.
Reverting back to the spots he fished the day before Hickson found little to get excited about.
“Not only couldn’t I catch a fish I also couldn’t find them with my Humminbird sounder like I did the day before. So I stopped, composed myself, and had a think about where they might have moved to”, explained Hickson.
Confident that the fish wouldn’t have moved much Kris fished a nearby point. His thinking was spot on and on the first cast he picked up his first legal on blade. His first fish was soon followed by his second, a 35cm caught on a Daiwa Spike crankbait cast to the edge. With only one small legal to follow for the next half hour Hickson cut his loses and went in search of greener grass.
“The plan was to fish as much bank as possible, and hopefully pick up a good fish here and there”, explained Hickson.
A run and gun approach throwing Daiwa Spikes to the edges and on the flats paid off with Hickson filling his limit and upgrading three times for the session. Delivering the heaviest bag for the day to the scales Hickson sat in the number one spot heading into day two, a day that would hopefully deliver him another four, or perhaps even five, kilo bag.
Opting to start the day on a location that was more likely to put fish in his livewell early Hickson started off at Palmers Bank, and with good result putting three fish in the well in the first 10minutes. A confidence booster to start his day he them moved to one of his productive day one banks in search of bigger fish. A legal and three dropped fish followed. Disappointed, but far from defeated, Hickson once again moved, leaving to run and gun other spots, confident that he could come back later to catch fish once he’d give this spot a chance to rest and recover.
The approach paid off with Hickson picking up fish like he had the day before, albeit slightly smaller, on his rolled and twitched Daiwa Spike crankbaits.
The last angler to hit the weigh-in stage, Hickson in the end had enough weight to secure the win over Ross Cannizarro. A result that mirrored the 2014 BREAM Grand Final when Hickson beat Cannizarro to claim the GF crown, the win at Mallacoota not only further confirmed Hickson’s reputation as one of Australia’s best tournament breamers, but also elevated him to the status of Australia’s number one ranker BREAMer.
Cannizarro Hits the Spit to Win
32 Self Employed Concreter Ross Cannizzaro fished a deep water pattern in the bottom lake to catch his fish, keying in on a concentration of quality yellowfin bream holding adjacent to a sand spit as the location to catch his potentially tournament winning fish.
Finding a one acre patch of fish during the prefish, Cannizzaro opted not to target them during the tournament, knowing that they weren’t big enough and that small fish wouldn’t count it Mallacoota, a venue where big fish are need to cash a cheque.
“The first patch of yellowfin I found weren’t well conditioned. So I kept looking and found some more fish nearby that were bigger and fatter”, explained Cannizzaro.
Finding active fish on the edge and holding in water 2-15’ deep Ross used a combination of lures to catch his bream, with his go-to lure a Berkley Power Blade in assassin colour.
“The retrieve was straight forward. Cast it out, let it sink to the bottom, then work it back with a lift and drop retrieve. The key though was to make sure you keep the blade tight to bottom”, explained Ross.
While the Power Blade caught the bulk of Ross’ fish, when they did shut down he switched to the perennial bream catcher, a Berkley Gulp (3” Minnow in pepper prawn). Rigged on a 1/12oz Nitro jighead Ross fished the Gulp with a shake n’ drag retrieve. Once again keeping the lure in touch with the bottom was the key to the retrieve.
Ross’s patch of bream was incredibly active, with the Abu Garcia BREAM Pro catching his limit by 8am each morning.
“They were active, especially early”, explained Cannizzaro.
Catching 30 plus legal fish each day the fishing can only be described as classic coota.
Instrumental in Ross’ two fished filled days at Mallacoota was a new series of rods that he’s testing from Abu Garcia called ‘Salty Stage’. A range that’s to be released soon, and that he has quickly fallen in love.
“These have been glued in my hand since I first picked one up. I won’t use anything else”, explained Ross.
The balance of Cannizzaro’s tournament tackle included a Abu Garcia MGX reel, 4.4lb Berkley Fireline Exceed, and 4lb Berkley Sensei fluorocarbon leader.
Ross’ podium finish cemented his already strong affiliation with the Mallacoota fishery, and once again confirmed him as an angler to watch in any event he fishes.
Jesse Jags Victory
Continuing the dominance of Daiwa anglers at Mallacoota was 24 year old Jess Rotin of Victoria. Fishing with Shun Clancy on day one Rotin fished a 3-4m deep flat in the bottom lake early to catch his fish.
“We found fish on the sounder hanging around schools of bait, and it didn’t take long for these fish to respond to our lures”, explained Rotin.
Fishing a combination of 401 coloured Ecogear VX35s and VX40s, and bloodworm coloured 100mm Squidgy Wrigglers Rotin picked up three fish early before the bite slowed, nessecitating a change in technique.
“The lift and drop technique continued to produce fish but I needed to alter the drop slightly and keep more tension in the belly of the line so I could feel the bites which now had become very slight and subtle”, explained Jesse.
The change paid dividends with Rotin delivering 3.74kg to the scales to lead the field heading into day two.
Fishing with top lake with Jason Harlock on day two Rotin went for a completely different approach and rather than fishing sounded fish out in the open like he did on day one hit the edges.
Fishing Daiwa MR and DR Rolling Cranks on the open sand edges and a Z-Man Grubs on the snags Rotin’s approach involved casting each lure tight to the edge them working them with a slow twitch and pause retrieve. The approach proved deadly with Jesse filling his limit by 8am.
With a focus of looking for fresh fish the pair moved, hitting a bank that Jesse’s boater fished on the prefish. The move was spot on with both Rotin and Harlock picking up several upgrades. With time running out and the need for a serious kicker fish in the bags forthright in the their minds the pair hit one final spot. A tailor caught by Harlock was soon followed by Rotin with a solid fish that came dangerously close to finding its freedom.
Tempted by a Z-Man grub the fish tried its best to rub itself free on a snag but Rotin’s quick rod work and the abrasion resistance of his 4lb Daiwa Brave fluorocarbon prevailed and a 40cm bream soon came to rest in the landing net.
The upgrade that he was looking it was the kicker fish that anchored his 4.21kg bag and ultimately his event win.
“Coota is a outstanding bream fishery, and to experience just how good it is and win an ABT event here is very special. I’d just like to thank my two boaters and my sponsor Daiwa for helping me make it happen”, concludeds Rotin.
Hickson added sticky weight to the chin and tail of his crankbait so they would cast further, and swim deeper. The sticky weight allowed the lure to hit and dig along the bottom at any depth.
Rod- Daiwa Tournament Specialist Bream 762LFSOH
Reel- Daiwa Caldia 2500
Line- 4lb Daiwa Brave
Lure- Daiwa Spike in brown suji shrimp
Austackle Big Bream
Champion nonboater Jesse Rotin secured the Austackle Big Bream Prize, with the Daiwa Bream Pro securing the $500 prize on day two with his 1.33kg kicker fish.
|Berkley BREAM Series: Hobie Mallacoota BREAM Qualifier Boater Results|
|1||Kristoffer HICKSON||NSW||5||4.97||5||3.75||10||8.72||$3700 + 1st Mercury Bonus ($250) + Hobie Team Bonus ($500)|
|3||Peter NORD||VIC||5||4.15||5||3.81||10||7.96||$1450 + Yamaha Bonus ($300)|
|5||Shaun CLANCY||VIC||5||3.55||5||4.21||10||7.76||$1000 + 2nd Mercury Bonus ($150)|
|6||Brad HODGES||VIC||5||3.39||5||4.31||10||7.7||$900 + 3rd Mercury Bonus ($100)|
|Berkley BREAM Series: Hobie Mallacoota BREAM Qualifier Non-Boater Results|
|1||Jesse ROTIN||VIC||5||3.74||5||4.21||10||7.95||Berkley Pack ($750 RRP) + $500 Austackle Big Bream (1.33kg)|
|2||Grayson FONG||Qld||5||3.4||5||3.23||10||6.63||Berkley Pack ($500 RRP)|
|3||Richard PATTERSON||VIC||5||3.12||5||3.13||10||6.25||Spotters Sunglasses and Prize Pack|
|4||Joel CORRIE||VIC||5||3.41||5||2.6||10||6.01||Spotters Sunglasses and Prize Pack|
|5||Glenn WATT||NSW||5||2.84||5||3.12||10||5.96||Tonic Sunglasses & Prize Pack + $50 Hobie Bonus|
|6||Braddley YOUNG||VIC||5||3.22||5||2.69||10||5.91||Bass Mafia & Prize Pack + $35 Hobie Bonus|
|7||John GALEA||NSW||4||2.46||5||3.36||9||5.82||Prize Pack|
|8||Ben THOMPSON||VIC||5||3||5||2.65||10||5.65||Prize Pack + $25 Hobie Bonus|
|9||Paul SIEMASZKO||WA||4||2.09||5||3.2||9||5.29||Prize Pack|
|10||Jack DIHM||NSW||5||2.53||5||2.56||10||5.09||Prize Pack|
|19||Stuart WALKER||NSW||2||1.35||5||3.08||7||4.43||1st NB PRO ($200)|