Kevin Attard stunned the field with a tournament best 5/5, 4.36kg bag of Lake Macquarie bruising bream on Sunday to take the honours at the Ugly Fish sponsored round of the Daiwa BREAM Tour. The win signalled a breakthrough for the 32 year old salesman from Sydney, who has fished the tour for several years.
Fishing deeper sections of the popular Chain Valley Bay in the southern part of the lake, Attard targeted water between 10-15ft and threw a combination of blades and plastics to accumulate a four fish, 2.6kg bag on the first day.
Sticking to his plan, the big bream bit on Sunday, delivering several XOS specimens, including a fish that upgraded his full bag by over a kilogram.
“I’m stoked to finally win an ABT event after many attempts. It’s an amazing feeling,” Attard said.
He threw two primary bait types: Ecogear VX and ZX35s in a brown/chrome colour and a 3” Berkley Minnow in lime tiger rigged on a TT 1/12oz jighead. He rigged these on a Lamiglas Finesse Elite rod and Stella 1000 reel loaded with 4lb Fireline and 4lb Vanish leader and a Daiwa Heartland solid core rod fitted with the same reel and line combination.
“I’d pause the baits for a long time on the bottom – usually for around 10 seconds – before feeling for a fish. They were there when I’d lift the line,” said Kevin.
As well as the $2,600, Attard also pocketed the $250 Mercury bonus and a bonus Ugly fish prize pack, as well as instant qualification for Grand Final, to be held in Forster later this year.
Day-one leader, local Team Hobie angler Shayne Gillett, backed up with a near 3kg limit on the Sunday, but ultimately fell short by nearly half a kilogram.
Shayne also fished the southern parts of the lake, but alternated between the shallows and deeper water to accumulate his 10/10, 6.49kg tournament limit. “In the shallows, I’d drop the Power Pole and fish over water only a foot or two deep using a Smith Camion shallow in black.”
When action in the shallows slowed, he’d switch to a Squidgy bloodworm wriggler on a 1/8oz TT jighead. Moving out to the 4m mark, he’d rip the bait off the bottom quickly and then let it settle and wait for the fish to eat it.
“It was important not to try and set the hook too quickly,” Gillett said “You had to wait until a second tick on the line to know that they’d taken it properly.”
Gillett used Pfleuger rods and reels exclusively with Stren 2lb and 2lb V-Hard leaders.
Non-boater champion, Bernard Kong, fished with Attard on the Sunday and presented a bag big enough to swoop from 9th into first place. His 9/10, 4.5kg tournament limit relegated day one leader, Jack Dihm, into second place.
Kong has been fishing ABT events for three years, and was stoked to top the field for the first time. His approach mirrored Attard’s, with a combination of blades and plastic presentations. He used a red/white Ecogear ZX35, a olive/silver VX35 as well as a Tackle Craft green prawn rigged on a 1/8oz TT jighead.
“I’d rip the blade off the bottom and the bream would hit it on the drop,” Kong said.
Bernard’s gear was a Daiwa Luvias 2000 on a Samurai Reaction rod – spooled with Sunline Castaway 10lb line and 3lb Sunline FC leader.
For the third time at this venue the Big Bream was tied: 1.49kg fish were weighed by Warwick Cregan (on a bloodworm 100mm Squidgy Wriggler rigged on a TT Jighead) and Gregg Flett (on a Pontoon 21 48mm Crackajack in HJ bluegill). They shared the $500 prize.
From Lake Macquarie, the tour next moves to Western Australia’s picturesque Blackwood River. See www.bream.com.au for details or contact ABT on (07) 3387 0888 (B/H) for further information.
Place Angler Fish Weight(kg) Payout
|1||Kevin ATTARD||9/10||6.96||$2600 + $250 Prize|
|2||Shayne GILLETT||10/10||6.49||$1600 + Prizes|
|4||Mark HEALEY||10/10||5.78||$900 + Prizes|
|5||Gregg FLETT||9/10||5.76||$700 + $250 Big Bream|
|10||Steve MORGAN||8/10||5.13||$350 1st Pro|
Place Angler Fish Weight(kg) Payout
|1||Bernard KONG||9/10||4.50||Prize Pack|
|2||Jack DIHM||7/10||4.20||Prize Pack|
|3||David PACKHAM||7/10||4.13||Prize Pack|
|4||Nathan MCINNES||7/10||3.62||Prize Pack|
|5||Geoffrey BORG||8/10||3.36||Prize Pack|
|6||Andrew JOHNSTONE||5/10||2.44||Prize Pack|
|7||Brad DOLMAN||4/10||2.35||Prize Pack|
|8||Jonathan THOMPSON||4/10||2.23||Prize Pack|
|9||Dion BULL||5/10||2.12||Prize Pack|
|10||Nathan LEICHT||3/10||2.01||Prize Pack|