The Engel Round 4 or the Getaway Outdoors Kayak Series kicked off in what could only be described as perfect conditions for the middle of winter. A rising tide, cloudless sky combined with freshly cooked bacon and egg sandwiches and rumours the bream were going to chew had the 53 entrants raring to go come the 7.05am start.
The normal mad dash followed with roughly half the field heading upriver, whilst the other half headed down river into the canal systems with some even making the journey into the Serpentine River which is a fair hike in anyone’s books.
In first place and claiming his first kayak victory was Brad Gange weighing in a thumping bag of three bream that pushed the scales down to a very healthy 3.380kg. Most anglers are normally ecstatic to bring back one anchor fish in their bag, but Brad had two horses including the HOBIE BIG BREAM weighing in at 1.415kg and another quality fish that weighed 1.100kg. Those two fish alone would also have claimed victory for Brad, and his 3.380kg is easily the biggest kayak bag to hit the scales in W.A to date.
Brads plan was probably different to everyone else’s from start, with his choice to throw hard body lures all day, but the location was still the ever popular Murray lakes canal system. When asked what the plan was and how the day went Brad replied “It was unreal, I headed down to the first canal system on the left where I used Ecogear SX-40f lures in a range of darker colours. I wanted to target the first 100m on either side on the entrance and pretty much the closest boats and pontoons to the entrance, so I plugged away slow rolling the SX-40s along the bottom with a subtle small twitches thrown in every now and then.
It would have been 8.30am when I bumped into the first thumper, it was a great battle – he put in six or seven big runs and busted the surface a couple of times before I netted him. Once I had him in the well I was pumped, I then continued with much of the same and pulled the other two fish pretty quickly and all before 10.30am. I worked the same area all day and the further I went into the canals the smaller the fish got, so I stayed in the general area of the entrance. It was my first three fish bag in a comp so I was over the moon, and having the two big ones holed up in the livewell certainly made the paddle back an enjoyable one.”
Brad used a Pflueger Supreme XT 2-4kg rod matched with a Pflueger Supreme 2500 reel. The reel was loaded with Tournament Exceed line, whilst at the business end was 4lb leader (which made the beasts he boated even more impressive).
Brad wanted to thank all the series sponsors such as Engel, Getaway Outdoors, JML, Shimano, Compleat Angler and especially CRC for the Tackle Guard as it helped keep his reel alive after the battering it took earlier in the day. He made special mention of his sponsor Bricap Distributors who have helped him out with the Pflueger gear he uses.
In second place was Graeme Kovacevich weighing in three bream for 2.450kg, including a nice 40cm anchor fish hitting the scales at 1.065kg. Graeme’s plan for the day was to also target the Murray Lakes canal system in hope of tangling with some of the brutes known to frequent the area.
When asked how the day went Graeme replied “I headed straight to the Murray Lakes canal system and worked my way through there. I picked up my first two keepers before 8.30am casting the flats with a ZMAN 2.5” grub in the Bloodworm colour and the retrieve was pretty simple, just fish it back to the kayak with the slowest possible retrieve I could put on it. After that it went a bit quiet so I headed down and fished around Pelicans Café, which was pretty disappointing and in the end so I made the move back to the canals.
I picked up my third keeper pretty quick before plugging away a bit longer. I pinged a cast at one of the big pontoons and got monstered by a big 40+ blue lip, as soon as I leaned on him the leader popped at the knot. I was spewing because knots are one of the things we have control over, so for one to pop on a big fish certainly hurt. I was a bit disheartened but I put another cast back in and came up trumps again, this time to my anchor fish and first upgrade at 40cm and 1.065kg.
I plugged away for a bit longer but I headed back thinking my bag would give it a real shake, but after seeing Brad’s bag of horses I was very happy to grab 2nd place”.
Graeme used two Nordic Stage Areal rods throughout the day, the first was matched to a Shimano Stella 2500 loaded with 15lb line with 10lb Shimano Ocea leader, his second reel a Shimano Rarenium 2500 was loaded with 8lb line and the same Shimano Ocea leader.
Graeme wanted to thank all the series sponsors for the fantastic gear they supply to the tournaments for the prize packs, he made special mention that even the bacon and egg sandwiches hit the spot, which is a big call for a lamington fanatic.
In third place and still shaking after compiling his first podium finish was Didier Blanquart weighing in three bream for 2.170kg which also included a very nice 40cm anchor fish that pushed the scales down to 1.175kg. In what looks to be the common move for all the top three, Didier also targeted the Murray canals to secure his bag.
When asked how the day went Didier replied “It was the best days fishing I can remember, I had a solid plan which was to head to the Murray canals and thoroughly cover the whole thing. I wanted to try and target every bit of structure in the system, and the key was to also fish the 4-5 meters either side of any pontoon I was targeting. I managed three keepers before 9.30am, and they were all on the ZMAN 2.5” grub in the motor oil colour which I would cast out and put subtle little twitches with lots of pauses on the retrieve.
I had the music cranking and just enjoyed having a bag in the live-well and with the pressure off I managed to upgrade all my fish to a 31cm, 35cm and of course my kicker fish at 40cm. I felt the bite was certainly better a few meters away from each pontoon, and I had to make sure I was fishing before and after each pontoon and not just the pontoon itself. It was just a great day out in the end, I couldn’t be happier with 3rd and as well as qualifying for the Grand Final. I’m still shaking thinking about it”.
Didier used his Jesse Meyers custom Phenix rod matched with a Daiwa Freams 2500 reel. This was loaded with 8lb Rovex line and 8lb leader.
Didier wanted to thank all the series sponsors and the organisers for putting on a fantastic event, he also wanted to not only add his congratulations to Brad for the stonking bag he put together, but to also pay a special thanks to Ed Bradfield and also Brad Gange from Getaway Outdoors in Kelmscott. They got him into a kayak to start with and then hooked him up with some good information to get out on the water and target bream and amongst it, well done guys.
The WA Classic organisers would like to thank all 53 anglers for making the effort to travel to Mandurah for Engel Round 4, we also like to thank the fantastic sponsors that have come on board for this year’s series. This includes Engel (Round 4 sponsor), Getaway Outdoors, Tonic Sunglasses, Compleat Angler Nedlands, Shimano, Ecogear, Westin, Tackle Tactics, Pro Cure, Z-Man, Hobie, Damiki/Pontoon 21, Atomic, Shikari Charters, Granny’s Pies, CRC and Halco.
The next round will be a Hobie qualifying round and will be held on the Swan River on the 30th of August. For more information go to breammaster.com or check out “The Western Australian Fishing Magazine” facebook page.
1 Brad Gange – 3 – 3.380 – 1.415
2 Graeme Kovacavich – 3 – 2.450 – 1.065
3 Didier Blanquart – 3 2.170 – 1.175
4 Jake Gill – 3 – 1.915
5 Brett Ozanne – 3 – 1.895
6 Robert Peach – 3 – 1.785 – 0.830
7 Brendan Chua – 3 – 1.755 – 0.765
8 Ed Bradfield – 3 – 1.625 – 0.655
9 Shane Owens – 3 – 1.435
10 John Sorrell – 3 – 1.425
11 Massimo Salamone – 3 – 1.415
12 Shaun Moran – 2 – 1.365
13 Jon Field – 3 – 1.290
14 Steven Galt – 3 – 1.285
15 Jenny Gardner – 2 – 1.280 0.815
16 Robert Cockshutt – 3 – 1.175
17 Matthew Jeffery – 3 – 1.100
18 Tim Stylanou – 3 – 1.055
19 Jesse Choy – 3 – 1.050
20 Robert Sgambelluri – 3 – 1.040
21 Alex Greisdorf – 3 – 1.015
22 Justin Hamilton – 1 – 0.975
23 Jeff Corkill – 2 – 0.940
24 Chris Morris – 1 – 0.890 – 0.890
24 Jordan Mathews – 2 – 0.890
26 Sam Zurzolo – 2 – 0.865
27 Craig Leatt-Hayter – 2 – 0.840
28 Suzanne Siranovic – 2 – 0.755
29 Stu May – 1 – 0.685
29 Mitchell Bishop – 2 – 0.685
31 Colin Peasey – 2 – 0.660
32 Michael Ricci – 1 – 0.570
33 Szarn Tink – 1 – 0.510
34 David Kozak – 1 – 0.495
35 Steve Owens – 1 – 0.475
36 Anthony Elbers – 1 – 0.455
37 Joe Franco – 1 – 0.445
38 Jamie Carle – 1 – 0.420
39 Brendon Knowles – 1 – 0.415
40 Kepler Mark Weber – 1 – 0.410
41 Matt Williams – 1 – 0.395
42 Ian Abercromby – 1 – 0.325
43 Joseph Gardner – 0 – 0.000
43 Phil Cockshutt – 0 – 0.000
43 Simon Capponi – 0 – 0.000
43 Geoff Spadaccini – 0 – 0.000
43 Michelle Pardini – 0 – 0.000
43 Andy Mitchell – 0 – 0.000