With the beginning of the 2017 ABT season just around the corner it’s easy to assume the hard work is about to begin. Truth is, ABT has been working hard over the off season, drumming up support for the countries longest running tournament fishing organisation.
It’s a lot of hard work to get to this point, and to be truthful, watching everyone blast off each morning at the events to fish for tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of prize money and sponsor bonuses makes it all worthwhile.
For the first time in a long time, ABT welcomes a marine electronics supplier back into the inner circle. Garmin has been going about their business over the last few years, taking leaps and bounds into the forefront of marine electronics. Not only do they offer fantastic imaging units capable of real-time cartography mapping, they also can fit you out with the latest and greatest action cameras, smart watches and so much more.
The 2017 season will see ABT giveaway three fantastic prize boats, two Bluefin boats for the Costa BREAM Series Grand Final, one for each boater and non-boater, as well as a fantastic BassCat Margay for the BASS Pro Grand Final. All three of these vessels will be equipped with Garmin units to make the transition from prize boat to pride and joy so much quicker.
Few brands can attest so much success to tournament fishing as Australian manufacturer Cranka. Steve Steer and Andrew Cox would tell you themselves that tournament success on their incredible Cranka Crab lure has been one of the key reasons behind the lures cult status among bream savvy anglers.
We’re thrilled to have Cranka back into the ABT sponsors circle and look forward to continuing the thrilling journey of Cranka in 2017. You only have to look at the average bag weight at venues like the Clarence River pre-crab and post-crab to see the difference for yourself.
Another Australian success story Pro Lure, are also joining the sponsors fold and will showcase their range of specifically designed hard and soft baits along the Costa BREAM Series all year long.
Pro Lure has enjoyed a steep rise through the often cluttered bream lure marketplace over the past few years, and now increasingly finds its lures responsible for tournament success the country over.
Lews began their story way back in the 1940s, when Lew Childre began experimenting with homegrown bamboo in his search
for the best fishing rod material. Fast forward to 2016 and the Lew’s brand was finally available locally in Australia, thanks to Lew’s distributor Craig Simmons.
Lews had a small presence on the 2016 BassCat BASS Pro Series, but in 2017, you’ll see that presence grow as Lews look to establish themselves as one of the premier fishing reel brands in Australia.
Their range of low profile baitcast reels have already proven themselves in the hands of ABT veterans like Simmons, Kanowski, Urquhart and Thompson. With plenty more in the works expect to see a lot more of Lews on your local tackle shop shelf this year than ever before!
One of the best stories to come out of the 2017 series is the return of the Australian Open. The BREAM Australian Open is steeped in history, and we’re so excited to be returning to Sydney Harbour, and the Hawkesbury River for another instalment of arguably the hardest test of a tournament bream angler.
2017 also sees us roll out the format in the first BASS Australian Open, where anglers can try their hand at increased 5 fish bag limits thanks to a QLD Fisheries Permit in a solo tournament designed to reward consistency over a few lucky bites. These two tournaments ink out their spot on the calendar thanks to two great new sponsors. Franklin’s Australia and Storm Fishing.
Long time BREAM Australian Open competitor and ABT veteran Graham Franklin has longed for the return of his favourite tournament, and this year showed he means business by signing on as the events naming sponsor. Franklin’s Australia has a long family history spanning more than 20 years and goes to show their commitment to quality and reliable service.
Storm Fishing, under the global Rapala banner signs on as BASS Australian Open sponsor, and will use the occasion to unveil a range of new baits aimed at catering for Australia’s native freshwater angling.
The Storm BASS Australian Open will also be the first time ABT utilizes an increased 5 fish bag limit, in partnership with Fisheries QLD in an attempt to increase the impact fishing can have on regional areas within Queensland.
Along the same lines, South Burnett Regional Council has also become involved in the series, promoting their Two Dams, One Destination slogan promoting the South Burnett’s wonderful resources in Lake Boondooma and Bjelke-Petersen. With the BassCat BASS Pro Series heading to Boondooma in June, we’re expecting the winter-time jerkbait bite to be in full swing.
Deps, along with Valleyhill and Geecrack all hail from Japan and are dominant brands in the domestic market but up until now, have been missing from the walls of Australian tackle shops. Thanks to local distributors Dogtooth Distribution things are about to change.
With the explosion of swimbait fishing for Murray Cod and Barramundi, Deps should bring a welcome dose of Japanese artistry to the big bait craze. Their range of Slide Swimmer swimbaits, arguably the most sought after worldwide. Valley Hill also offer Australian anglers the true ultra tuned JDM experience with their products perfect for the bream, bass and barra tournament angler market.
Last but certainly not least is a Japanese brand many Australian’s will know and love – Keitech. Australian distributor Baden Sparrow is no slouch when it comes to the BassCat BASS Pro Series, winning an event on Somerset Dam a few seasons ago. Keitech has established itself as a tournament winning bait, with the title of most popular bass tournament soft bait firmly in its grasp.
The 2017 range including the new Mini Mad Wag is sure to continue on the path paved by tournament must haves like the three-inch Easy Shiner.
Without sponsors ABT would cease to exist, and it’s our sponsors that come back year after year that make ABT what it is to you, our anglers and customers. For the full list of returning and new ABT Sponsors, visit the 2017 Sponsorship Partners page on abt.org.au.