ABT specialises in three tournament species – BREAM, BASS and BARRA – and there’s one part of the Australian coastline where you can catch all three. From Bundaberg through Gladstone, the three species overlap and we are able to fish for multiple targets on the one trip.
This is on the cards for ABT competitors in 2020, starting with the Mercury sponsored Gladstone BREAM event.
In 2019, 28 anglers logged over 500 bream on the ABT Tournament Series app over the three days (one practice and two event days) and plenty of anglers raved about the fishing. The fish were a mix of yellowfin and pikey bream – the latter weighing slightly heavier per centimetre than the yellowfin.
We have available length/weight curves for both species and it added an interesting slant to the species you targeted.
Some anglers targeted fish on plastics and crabs, others on crankbaits and topwaters. No matter what your specialty, the Gladstone bream would eat it. And like BARRA events, there’s no minimum size limits when the fish are measured and immediately released. Stewie Walker caught a limit of 850 grams for his smallest five fish. You can work out things like that in an app based event.
As an added bonus, the images of the bream were then used by the Gladstone Healthy Harbours Partnership body as a way that they could use community monitoring to help with fish health studies. The ABT event is an excellent way to get images of 500 fish in a couple of days.
Straight after the Gladstone BREAM event is the Venom BARRA Australian Open. A three day barramundi fishing event, also run on the ABT Tournament Series app, features 100% cash payback of entry fees as well as a $5,000 product prize pool. If there’s 30 teams, that means $20,000 in cash and prizes.
Last year, the winning team (Troy Dixon and Adam Meredith for Team Venom) took home $5,000 from a 14-boat field.
Like the BREAM Australian Open, the BARRA Australian Open uses the best time of the moon cycle to run the event, which means that it’s a mid-week deal. It also means that you’ll get to be on the water in conditions a whole lot less crowded than a weekend derby.
Local guide Justin Nye helped ABT choose the dates. We asked him to pick the best days leading up to the best moon of the year, and this is where we landed.
Rolling on straight after the BARRA Australian Open is the Rapala BASS Queensland Open on Cania Dam. Queensland’s northernmost bass lake, it’s a couple of hundred kilometres from Awoonga, but it’s eminently achievable to fish the Opens for both BARRA and BASS if you want to do so. This event also features 100% cash payback of entry fees.
Cania dam is an amazing bass fishery in spring. The fish are big, the schools can be big and often they’ll eat whatever you like throwing.
Plus, in the spirit of being together when we’re apart the Rapala BASS New South Wales Open will run on exactly the same weekend as the Queensland Open at Glenbawn Dam. Giving all ABT bass anglers in NSW and QLD the opportunity to get out on the water to compete for some serious cash and some great giveways from the naming sponsor.
So there it is – three species in a week including 100% payback BARRA and BASS Opens means a great way to extend into more than one of the events if you’re looking for a challenge.
Full event details found on the relevant links on the website.