In one of the closest BREAM Grand Finals in ABT’s history Sean Clancy’s 15/15, 13.24kg overall tournament bag secured the title, and the accompanying $10,000 first prize cheque.
By producing heavier tournament limits for each day of the tournament, Clancy steadily moved from 19th to 10th and ultimately took out the title with the tournament’s heaviest bag on day three, weighing 5.58kg.
“I couldn’t believe it when the scales finally stopped and I realised that I had secured the win. It was unexpected and a great honour to achieve this result against the best bream anglers in the country,” Clancy said.
“One of my goals was to represent myself and all my sponsors by competing over the entire event. I am especially pleased at finishing strongly with a good bag. To achieve this result at Mallacoota, my home waters and a system I love to fish, is very special.”
On day one Clancy initially travelled to a shallow water bay in Bottom Lake. Fishing in 1-4ft of water using an Ecogear SX40 Long Cast (colours 369/307) failed to yield fish. This prompted a move to rock wall structure in Top Lake.
The first legal fish soon followed, before a move to deeper water in Bottom Lake provided the fish Clancy was ultimately searching for. Fishing in 4-5m of water Clancy used Ecogear ZX35 (colour 416) and VX35 and VX40 (colours 401/439/443/445) to fill his five fish limit and upgrade once.
“The key was the Humminbird Side Imaging feature. I was able to identify where patches of fish were concentrated and effectively target them”.
Day two saw Clancy return to his first two locations from day one; and again he had no luck. Heading back to his deep water spot in Bottom Lake, Clancy had his first legal fish on his first cast. With Clancy’s non-boater Tyler White contributing to the shared weight with an impressive 38cm fork length yellowfin bream, caught on an Ecogear VX35 (colour 443), Clancy ultimately filled his limit with one upgrade before heading to Top Lake.
Fishing stretches of bank identified in the prefish proved difficult as other competitors were already working the areas. Eventually finding his own patch, Clancy tried to find further fish with no luck.
“I had an edge bite plan and knew that my areas held good fish. As it turned out the edge bite didn’t really materialise during the first two days and when wind came through on day two the bite shut down,” he said.
“The key with the wind and conditions on day two was being able to use my Humminbird sounder and the spot lock feature on my Minnkota electric motor, to find the fish and stay on them when they were active.
“Come day three I was worried about the wind in the morning and its repercussions. I headed straight to the deep water spot from the previous two days, sounded fish and used spot lock, but wasn’t able to get any fish. I travelled into shallower water at the same location, again with no luck. I then travelled back to the bank area I had fished the previous two days with no luck to try and find fish”.
Using an Ecogear prototype lure, a sinking stickbait, rigged on 3lb Famell Spinning Fluro straight through, Clancy worked shallow rocky edges in search of fish. With the first legal hitting the boat shortly afterward, Clancy employed a drogue and his electric in tandem to combat the wind blowing across the bank.
After hooking fish he used the electric to motor into deeper water where he fought the fish. He then employed the spot lock so after landing the fish he could retie the lure, check hooks and return to the same place he had hooked the fish in the shortest possible time.
Clancy maximised his time with this method, and could return to areas where the fish were active.
“I was confident that my setup was capable of handling the next potential capture. Spot lock was the key to making it all happen,” he said.
“My key area was 200m of a 600m stretch of bank. By focusing my efforts on this active stretch I was able to catch my five fish limit by 9:30am. The Blue Eye sunglasses I was using made the job a lot easier.
“After I got my limit I was able to still find two further upgrades with one 39cm fork length fish replacing a 30.5cm fork length model. In the end my fork lengths read as such; two 39cm fish, a 36.5cm, a 36cm and a final fish that weighed 900g.”
Clancy’s outfits consisted of a 701 Daiwa Tournament Master ZG MLFS rod teamed with a Daiwa Luvius 2000 reel spooled with 3lb Famell Spinning Fluro and a 701 Daiwa Luvius LFS rod teamed with a Daiwa Sol 2000 reel spooled with 4lb Daiwa TD Sensor braid and 4lb Yamatoyo Harris Fighter FC leader.
“Heading to the weigh in I knew I had a good bag, over 5kg. It was always going to depend on what other competitors had caught. Being in 10th place heading out on the final day I was hoping for a top five finish. At the tubs I saw a couple of the other anglers had got their five fish. After I weighed in I secured the hot seat and just had to wait,” said Clancy.
“I was 1.44kg behind the tournament leader Chris Wright after two days. I knew Chris had caught fish, but didn’t know the quality. In the end it was between me and Chris, I knew what he needed and when the scales went down I looked across and realised that I had won by 110g.
“To take the win and have the quality of competitor such as Chris Wright there congratulating me is something I will never forget. Accepting a humble, genuine congratulations from a friend and one of the best bream anglers in the country, made the moment all the more special”.
“Obviously without the support of friends, family and my sponsors I would find it difficult to attend tournaments so a big thanks to all those people. A big thank you to my two non-boaters, Andrew Hamilton and Tyler White, for their efforts and contributions. To my close friends Wayne Friebe and Jarrod Healey, we worked as a team and shared prefish knowledge in order to help one another. Without their support I would have found the tournament far more arduous, so a big thanks”.
Chris Wright, 15/15, 13.13kg took out second place in the tournament, falling short of Clancy by a mere 110g. Wright led the tournament heading into the final day, but was unable to match Clancy’s final day big bag.
Wright fished shallow flats and bays in the Fairhaven area throughout the tournament. On day one, fishing water between 1-2ft, Wright used a Shimano Lure Project medium minnow in purple ghost and a Stiffy minnow in brown snake colour. Using a rip and pause retrieve Wright caught fish throughout the day and secured 3-4 upgrades.
Day two saw Wright return to his Fairhaven locations, which he alternated with weedy drop-off areas to 15ft deep at Goodwin Sands.
Wright said the main difference between both days was his retrieve. On day two he used a constant retrieve with no pauses. At Goodwin Sands he used a 100mm Squidgy bloodworm wriggler rigged on a 2g jigged and fished straight through on Sunline FC.
Wright used a different hardbody, a Shimano Lure Project finesse crank in natural shrimp colour, rigged on 3lb PowerPro braid and 4lb leader. When using braid he extended the leader length up to 6m to compensate for the water clarity”.
“Come day three I was just glad to be in the top 20,” Wright said.
“I was relaxed and looking forward to a third day of fishing. I headed back to Fairhaven where I targeted flats, points and weedy bays.
“Straight through Sunline FC in tandem with my day two lures were steadily catching fish. I was tending to find the fish in slightly deeper water. I had my bag by 11am and had three small upgrades throughout the session. As with other anglers there also was a lot of by-catch to deal with, which always keeps you on your toes.
“Getting back to the weigh in I was very nervous. I knew it would be close. I kept looking at my fish, comparing them to what Clancy had brought in, and in the end it was too close to call. When the scales went down and I realised Clancy had won, I was happy with the result; Clancy is a top bloke and good friend.
“A big thanks to my non-boaters over the first two days, Lee Younan-Wise and Nick Georgiadis; we had a great time on the water. And a big thanks to all my friends, family, supporters and sponsors; it really was a thrill to be part of it all.”
Wright’s outfits consisted of a 7’3” Millerods XF longcast rod teamed with a Shimano Twin Power 1000 reel and a 6’9” Millerods Bream Buster Brawler teamed with a Shimano Stella 1000 reel spooled with Sunline FC straight through.
Ross Beinke, 10/10, 9.51kg, secured the champion non-boater title for 2010. Taking away a 25HP Evinrude outboard for his efforts, Ross was vocal in his praise for his day one and two boaters.
“On day one I was teamed with Cameron Whittam. Fishing in deeper water Cameron had me up the front casting with him, teaching me hardbody techniques and generally helping me. He was an absolute gentleman and is a top class angler,” Beinke said.
“On day two I was teamed with Scott Towner. We fished shallow 1-3ft deep, clear water conditions. Scott recommended I use 2lb FC straight through, something I had never done previously, and showed me how to fish soft plastics. Again a true gentleman and a legend in the sport.
“I knew Scott was probably retiring at the end of 2010, so there was added incentive to help him go out on a high note. I unfortunately did lose a good fish that may have helped his cause, but to his absolute credit he dismissed my concerns and we went back to fishing. He is one of the best for a reason and I will carry the whole experience of the Grand Final for the rest of my life.”
Beinke’s outfits consisted of a 7’2” piece Loomis 4-8lb rod teamed with a Shimano Twin Power 2500 reel spooled with 7lb Fins braid in green colour and 4lb Yamatoyo FC leader and a 6’8” two piece Loomis 3-6lb rod teamed with a Shimano Twin Power 1000 reel spooled with 2lb FC straight through.
Jordan Trusty took out the tournament’s big bream prize with his day two 1.59kg effort. Just shading Wayne Friebe’s 1.52kg effort, Trusty caught the bream in a bay behind 8ft bank.
“I was targeting a sandy patch near weed where I had caught fish previously. I was using a shallow Stiffy minnow in Tassie tiger colour,” said Trusty.
“I gave the lure two cranks and the lure went ‘clunk’ as the fish hit it. It came to the surface where it tried to shake the lure free before ripping drag off. It was a last cast situation and there was a nervous few minutes before the bream came to the boat and we netted it.”
Trusty took away a $100 gift voucher courtesy of Fisherman’s Hut for the event big bream.
A big thanks to all ABT anglers and ABT support staff for their efforts in 2010. A special thanks to Kay Lewis, Events Co-Coordinator at East Gippsland Shire Council and Peter Neal, Deputy Mayor of East Gippsland Shire Council for their help and support bringing this national event to Mallacoota, Victoria.
ABT now looks to the Daiwa BARRA Tour. For information on these events check out www.australianbarra.com.au.
To take part in all the tournament fishing action, log onto www.bream.com.au and keep an eye on the tournament calendar or phone ABT on 07 3387 0888 for more information.
Fact Box 1
Grand Final Winners
PlaceAnglerTotal FishTotal Weight (kg)Prizes
Non Boater Results
PlaceAnglerTotal FishTotal Weight (Kg)PrizesReads: 2424