McGrath wins Bribie Qualifier
  |  First Published: September 2011

Drew McGrath, 10/10, 6.35kg has taken out the Austackle Bribie Island BREAM Qualifier. The 37-year-old Graphic Designer was the only angler to catch over 3kg each day, and ultimately secured the victory by a 1.32kg margin.

For the pre-fish McGrath headed to Caloundra and fished within 1km of the mouth targeting sandbanks and drop-offs. The fish were spawning in deeper water and were travelling up onto shallower areas protected from the current to feed.

“I only had the opportunity to fish the area for about 15 minutes before encountering starter motor problems, but the fish I caught during that period convinced me that I had found my prime tournament location,” McGrath said.

“I was looking to put in a solid effort, perhaps even a top five finish. I knew a 3kg bag each day would have me in contention. It was a fourty minute trip each way, but I was confident that the spot would be under less pressure than others.”

The decision paid off as for McGrath, who had his bag within the first seven casts of the day. The following 10 casts yielded multiple upgrades. The first two hours was the prime bite window and he caught more than 40 fish with continuous upgrades.

“I managed the spot by fishing deeper when there were other anglers in the area and moving back onto it when there was nobody around,” He said.

On day two McGrath had a slight lead and felt the pressure heading out.

“It was my first time leading an ABT tournament and I had Tim Morgan ready to pounce if I fell short. I was confident heading to my spot, and was rewarded on my second cast with a fish. It took me about an hour to get my five fish limit.”

The following hour and a half yielded 30 to 40 fish with progressive upgrades. Unfortunately livewell issues shortened his session and he left around 12pm.

“I hoped I had done enough, but with Moreton Bay capable of producing some massive bags, it wasn’t until the last competitor had weighed in that I knew I had the win,” He said.

McGrath’s go-to lures included the Atomic 38 Crank Mid in ghost wakasagi colour, Atomic 2” Guzzler Prong in midnight purple clear disco and Berkley Gulp Shrimp in pepper prawn colour. Both plastics were rigged on a 1/12 TT jighead.

McGrath’s outfit consisted of a Duffrods 6’10” TPB classic rod teamed with a Daiwa Certate 2000 spooled with Unitika 8lb braid and Sunline Rockfish 4lb leader. On day two this was downsized to Sunline Super Sniper FC in 3lb. He used about 7m of leader to reduce the visibility of his line in the clearer conditions.

“It is great to qualify for the season ending Grand Final. I qualified last year, but due to family reasons I was unable to fish it. Having to miss a Grand Final on my home waters was difficult, so to bounce back and have the opportunity again is great,” said McGrath.

“I am pumped for the Grand Final and also for the opportunity to compete for the QLD AOY later this year on the Gold Coast.

“A big thank you to Custom Craft Marine at Caloundra for their assistance with repairing my boat. They quickly sorted out the issue and replaced my starter motor within an hour. It is as close to F1 mechanics I have found for boat repairs and I am indebted to the team at Custom Craft Marine. I also owe a big thanks to Steve Eldred, Matt Fraser and Karl Rembacher for taking time out of their pre-fish on Friday to assist me. ”

Tim Morgan showed he is still a force to be reckoned with by producing a 10/10, 5.03kg tournament limit, and securing second place in the tournament.

Morgan fished North Reef at Scarborough for both days; on day one it even took about 50 minutes to get there given the rough conditions. Once there Morgan positioned himself on the southern side of the reef and began casting into the wash on the rocks. The key was obviously holding position, which is where his electric motor, a MinnKota I-Pilot, came into its own.

“The lure that did the damage was an Atomic Crank 38 deep in ghost gill brown colour.”

On day two in the calmer conditions Morgan headed back to North Reef, but couldn’t find the bites, so he changed down from 4-6lb to 2lb. In the end the change made the difference with 12 legal fish coming throughout the session. Size wise they were around 26-28cm to the tip”.

Morgan’s outfit consisted of a Millerods Bream Buster XF long cast 7’6” rod teamed with a Shimano Stradic C14 2500 spooled with Unitika FC 2,4 and 6lb. Additionally lures were covered with Megastrike in crawfish scent. Unlike other scents, even when you are constantly removing weed from the lure, the scent sticks to the lure and keeps working”.

Shane Wolhuter, 7/10, 4.41kg, secured the non-boater title at the event. To cap off a great weekend Wolhuter caught the event Big Bream on day one, bolstering his prizes with $500.

Fishing with Tristan Taylor on day one Wolhuter put together a 5/5, 3.2kg limit. This limit included a Big Bream candidate of 1.25kg. On day two Wolhuter was paired with Craig Simmons. Wolhuter had a slim lead of 360g from his nearest competitor. Whilst unable to find his five fish limit on day two, Wolhuter’s 2/5, 1.21kg saw him finish at the head of the field.

“On day one we fished around rocks and boulders in the Redcliffe area. I used Atomic Hardz deep in ghost gill brown and matt ayu colours. I would break up this presentation with a Berkley 2” Gulp shrimp in banana prawn and natural colour rigged on 1/6th – 1/8th 2/0 Atomic seekerz jigheads”.

“Day two we headed to the Hornibrook Bridge and area around Scarborough swimming pool. Fishing in shallow water, up to around one meter, I used Atomic Hardz shallow 38 in ghost gill brown and flash prawn colours”.

“It’s great to get the win and I look forward to competing in other ABT events such as the Gold Coast Super Series. Making the Grand Final is very exciting. I have some experience of fishing Forster and I love fishing around structure so it ticks all the boxes. Also a big thanks to my boaters Tristan Taylor and Craig Simmons for their help, and also thanks to Aaron Sharpe for pointing me in the direction of Atomic lures and sharing his knowledge of this great lure range”.

Wolhuter’s outfit consisted of a Samiki 6’10” 2-5kg single piece rod teamed with a Shimano Stradic 2500 C14 spooled with 4lb Berkley fireline in ghost and pink colours and 4lb Berkley vanish leader.

ABT now looks to the next event, the StrikePro St Georges Basin BREAM Qualifier, August 6-7. For more information check out www.bream.com.au or contact ABT on (07) 3387 0888 (B/H).


Boater Results

Place Angler Fish WeightPrize
1Drew Mcgrath 10/106.35kg$2100 + Austackle Rod/Reel/Line/Leader Combo
2Tim Morgan 10/105.03kg$1,200
3Grayson Fong 10/104.69kg$1,000
4Tristan Taylor 10/104.43kg$1000
5William Lee 10/104.26kg$950
6Peter Cashman 8/103.95kg$500
7Peter Herbst 9/103.57kg$500
8Aaron Sharp 10/103.57kg
9David Mckenzie 10/103.53kg
10Steve Eldred 8/103.33kg

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