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Borg Bags Bassday
  |  First Published: July 2011



Darren Borg added another tournament win to his growing list of victories with a comprehensive win in the Bassday Clarence River BREAM Super Series, 20-22 May.

Claiming a first and second place finish for TT Lures with stable mate Kris Hickson, Borg turned the tables on last year’s winner Hickson and relegating him to second and promoted himself to first. Claiming his third Clarence River win Borg once again showed he’s the man to watch when the Daiwa BREAM Series comes to town with a comfortable 1kg+ win.

Fishing a combination of locations and lures, Borg adjusted and modified his approach each day to stay on the fish and make the most of the tough bite that was plaguing the field.

Targeting a deep bite in the lower reaches of the river on day one Borg fished a combination of locations, compiling his limit at Collis, Turkeys Nest and Middle Walls before hitting South Wall in search of upgrades. To fill his bag he used 2” Berkley Gulp Shrimps fished on 1/28, 1/16 and 1/4oz TT jigheads, before swapping to Z-Man Shrimps and Craws rigged on 1/4 and 3/8oz TT jigheads to catch his upgrades.

“The objective was to offer a bigger presentation and get the big fish to move out from the wall and play,” said Borg.

Hopping and shaking the plastic down and along the wall the pitfall of the technique is that it can result in a lot of snagged lures, popped leaders and missed opportunities.

“The Z-Man lures are a lot more buoyant, float with the tail up and allow you to fish the structure with a lot less snags,” said Borg.

The approach paid dividends with Borg upgrading four times and finishing the day with a 2.70kg bag, second place next to his name and a sense of excitement of what lay ahead for day two.

Hitting the same limit-filling locations as day one Dizzy found the going a lot tougher, and with only two fish in the well he made the decision to tackle the rougher conditions closer to the river mouth and hit the North Wall.

The change paid off with Borg picking up three big fish straight away as he swapped between Gulp Shrimps rigged on 1/4oz jigheads and 6-8lb leader and his big fish bait the Z-Man Shrimpz rigged on 3/8oz jigheads and 8-10lb leader.

Grinding away for the next three hours Dizzy picked up a couple more upgrades before the tide changed, the bite died and he pulled the pin to head back for the weigh-in.

Weighing in the only 3kg+ bag (3.26kg) for the tournament Borg jumped to first and was primed to head off first on the final morning with a comfortable 1kg+ lead. With a tonne of momentum heading into the final day it was going to take a big bag for someone to run him down on the last day.

Simply catching his limit was Borg’s goal as he headed off on the last morning. With this forefront in his mind he hit his got-to spots from the first two mornings. Unfortunately they misfired and only produced a string of undersize fish.

“I new I had to play the percentages, if I went to South and North Wall there was a likelihood of bigger fish but also the chance of catching nothing. So I moved to a section of Middle Wall that had less risk and was more inclined to produce plenty of fish,” said Borg.

The safe approach paid off with Borg catching his five within an hour on Z-Man Grubz rigged on 1/12 and 1/8oz jigheads.

“The Z-Man lures are a lot more robust than other plastics allowing you to fish longer and catch more fish on the one lure. This means you can fish more thoroughly and not lose valuable time rigging lures,” said Borg.

With a full limit Borg hit North and South Wall a couple of times to look for some upgrades but ended up with only two bust ups to show for his efforts. Satisfied with his bag he headed to the weigh-in confident he had enough to stave off the biggest of day three challengers.

The last angler to hit the stage at the final weigh-in Borg needed only a 730g bag to claim the win. With 1.89kg hitting the scales he did it easy. With three wins to his name on the Clarence, Borg can consider the event his own. Adding his $61,000 in career earnings to the equation Borg is on his way to a great 2011.

The tackle he used to claimed his win included a 3-5kg Duffrod, 2500 Daiwa Certate reel, 15lb PE mainline and a combination of 8lb and 10lb fluorocarbon leader on the rockwalls and 6lb and 8lb fluorocarbon leader everywhere else. Scent was a crucial component to his lure set-up with Borg adding Dizzy’s Tournament Gel to his Z-Man plastics.

Runner up

For event runner-up Kris Hickson it was another solid Clarence River performance with the number one ranker BREAMer in the country fishing a ‘run and gun’ approach to catch his bag each day.

“I hit my winning spots from last year but the fish just weren’t there. Or there wasn’t enough current flow to turn things on,” said Hickson.

With fish hard to find, Kris simply covered water and hit as many different structure types as possible. Hitting mangrove banks, pontoons, and rock walls, both shallow and deep between Maclean and the mouth of the Clarence, the objective was the same, fish as much water as possible and put his lure in front of as many fish as possible.

While the locations varied the lure remained the same, a 95mm Squidgy Lobby in dusk colour when fishing deep and a 75mm Squidgy Lobby in dusk colour everywhere else. TT jigheads were his rigging method of choice with sizes ranging from 1/28oz when fishing shallow and 1/8oz when fishing deep.

The ‘run and gun’ approach worked, but in reality only just. Kris caught only five legals on day one, and six legals on day two and three.

“It was a real grind, I just had to stay confident and back my ability and experience on the system to scratch up the fish I needed each day,” said Kris.

His self confidence paid off with Hickson adding another top two result to his impressive ranking points tally. His choice of tackle was straight from the Daiwa stable with his go-to outfit in the deep a Daiwa Tournament Master Z Interline 762LFS rod, 2000 Daiwa Sol reel, spooled with 6lb Shinobi PE and 4lb TD fluorocarbon leader, while his shallow outfit was a Daiwa Tournament Master Z Interline 662ULFS rod, 1000 Daiwa Luvias reel, spooled with 6lb Shinobi PE and 6lb TD fluorocarbon leader.

With the Hawkesbury round the next event on the schedule, Hickson will be keen to continue his good form and add another solid result to his Lowrance NSW Angler of Year points score. After relinquishing the title to Steve Morgan last year, Hickson will be a man on a mission when the Daiwa BREAM Series hits Sydney in June.

Non boater

Claiming the non-boater title at the Clarence was ABT debutant Scott Sutherland of Grafton. For the 36 year old breamer it was a dream start to his tournament career, fishing with Tristan Taylor on day one and Chris Gates on day two.

Fishing predominantly deep to catch his fish, Sutherland hit the seaway on day one after crankbait up two earlier fish at Palmers Island.

“While we got a couple early we knew fishing deep was where the better fish would be,” said Sutherland.

Fishing water ranging from 12-25ft deep, the technique was textbook deep jigging. Sink the plastic to the bottom then work it back with a lift-drop-deadstick retrieve. The choice of lure followed a similar pattern of familiarity with Sutherland using a combination of pepper prawn coloured 2” Berkley Gulp Shrimps and 3” Berkley Gulp Minnows, both of which were rigged on 1/8oz TT jigheads.

The approach was on the money with Sutherland weighing in a 2.16kg limit and holding down 3rd place heading into day two. If day one was good then day two was great, with Sutherland hitting the deep once again, catching his limit and weighing in an even bigger bag than day one.

Weighing 2.32kg it was the third biggest bag day two and rocketed him into the number one spot to complete his fairytale introduction to tournament breaming.

The tackle he used to catch his tournament winning fish included a G.Loomis Dropshot rod, 2000 Daiwa Certate reel, spooled with 5lb Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon, and fished straight through to the jighead.

With a tournament win next to his name and a Daiwa BREAM Grand Final berth sewn up for 2011 Sutherland will be keen to hit the water again soon. With the form he showed at the Clarence he’d be crazy not to strike while the iron is hot.

The Daiwa Big Bream Prize at the Clarence once again broke the 1kg mark with New South Wales breamer Shayne Gillet claiming the prize with his 1.01kg day one kicker fish. Caught on a deep diving Jackall Chubby Gillett caught the fish on a rockwall at Maclean around midday on the first of competition. Landed on 2lb Sunline FC Sniper fluorocarbon fished straight through it was a great achievement that was rewarded by an equally impressive prize, $500.

The next stop of the Daiwa BREAM Series sees the tour hit the North Shore of Sydney for the Shimano Hawkesbury BREAM Super Series, 10-12 June. Tune into www.bream.com.au from 2pm each day to see the livestream of the weigh-in, and checkout the results and pics from each day of competition. – ABT

Boater Results

PlaceAnglerFishWeight(kg)Payout
1Darren BORG15/157.85$5000 + $250 MB + $50 Gift voucher
2Kristoffer HICKSON15/156.69$2400 + $50 Gift voucher
3Chris BRITTON15/156.61$1900 + $50 Gift voucher
4Tristan TAYLOR15/156.44$1600 + $400 1st PRO + Prize Pack
5Russell BABEKUHL12/156.36$1300 + Prize Pack
6Michael TORLEY12/156.08$1,100
7Michael MAAS10/155.16$800
8Anthony WISHEY13/155.07
9Mark LENNOX11/154.89
10Tony THORLEY10/154.69

Non Boater Results

PlaceAnglerFishWeight(kg)Payout
1Scott SUTHERLAND10/104.48Prize Pack
2Nathan TUSKES10/104.44Prize Pack
3Glen STURROCK9/103.32Prize Pack
4Geoffrey BORG7/102.99Prize Pack
5James SMITH7/102.81Prize Pack
6Tom SLATER7/102.75Prize Pack
7Greg BYRNE6/102.50Prize Pack
8Heath BLAIKIE6/102.47Prize Pack
9Chris MAAS5/102.27Prize Pack
10Anthony DUFF5/102.18Prize Pack
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