In the tenth year of ABT, Brad Hodges kicked off the 2008 season in style at the Strike Pro Glenelg River event.
A quality field emerged with three of the 2007 AOY champs competing, two top-ten ranked anglers, and a handful of confident locals in the mix.
The non-boater winner of the 2007 Glenelg River Qualifier, Brad Hodges, made the change to boater this year and after a standout bag on the first day, including a kicker fish of 1.36kg, set a challenge to the other competitors.
Backing this up on Day Two with another full limit, there was no denying Hodges the win and the all-important Grand Final qualification. He managed to pocket himself a nice $1800 cheque for the winning total, plus an extra $250, thanks to the Mercury Bonus scheme.
Hodges used a Shimano T-Curve 2-4kg rod matched to a Stradic 2000 reel spooled with 3lb Berkley Crystal Fireline and 4lb Vanish leader.
He travelled each day to the boathouses at Donovans and worked his way back to the start line along the edges. And he caught his kicker fish early both days. His technique was to skip an Ecogear Grass Minnow in colour 119 pink rigged on a 1/60 light TT hidden weight jig head deep into the shadows of the structure.
“I used a simple lift, drop retrieve never letting the plastic go down further than a metre,” Hodges explained.
To work the river edges he chose the popular Ecogear SX40 in colours 304 and 306, winding the lure to its running depth and then working it with a twitch pause retrieve.
“Day Two proved testing with the wind and tide working against each other. Accurate casting became all the more important,” Hodges said.
Cam Whittam, current VIC AOY holder and last year’s winner, had to be satisfied with second place this year. Whittam used a G Loomis SR842 and a Daiwa Certate finesse spooled with 4lb Crystal Fireline and 4lb Sunline V Hard fluorocarbon.
Using only a hard-bodied approach to the weekend, he chose a Lucky Craft Cra-Pea in colour 207, and worked the area of Taylors Strait. Knowing the fish were deeper, Whittam targeted the second drop-off from the edge, working his lure in 2m of water.
“I would wind my lure to depth and then use an erratic twitch,” Whittam explained.
“With the fishing harder on Day Two I had to slow the retrieve down,” he continued.
Taking home the Go-So $500 Big Bream cheque was Warren Carter with a lovely 1.48kg specimen. Carter used a deep diving Jackall Chubby in sugi shrimp colour with a slow roll and high rod tip retrieve on the flats towards the river entrance.
In his first competition as a non-boater, Rob Williams from Wodonga proved to be consistent enough to take out the top title.
He used a Sage three-piece 6’ rod and a Shimano Slade reel with 4lb Berkley Crystal and 4lb fluorocarbon leader. He chose to throw plastics on Day One, with the working lures the Berkley Gulp Mullet in pearl white and the 2” Gulp Shrimp in new penny.
Switching to hard-bodied lures on Day Two, he scored four fish working the flats with a shallow-diving Chubby in blue gill and a slow rolling retrieve.
The eager crowd gathered around the Nelson Pub on both days to see a total of 255 fish weighed in. and a couple of impressed anglers showing off their mulloway by-catch.
The Sponsor Bonus prizes for 2008 proved to be popular, with a sea of orange Daiwa hats at the weigh-in and a Bassday lure catching the kilo-plus Big Bream.
The series now goes to Taree for the first Super Series of 2008, with a guaranteed $10,000 going to the winner. Catch all the results on www.bream.com.au or contact ABT on 07 3268 7958 for further information.
Strike Pro Glenelg River Qualifier Boater Results
|1||Brad HODGES||VIC||10||6.155||$1800, $250MB, Hooked On voucher|
|2||Cameron WHITTAM||VIC||9||5.65||$1000, Hooked On voucher|
|3||Shane DYASON||Vic||10||4.685||$750, Hooked On voucher|
|4||Robert HARVEY||VIC||9||4.48||$600, Hooked On voucher|
|5||Warren CARTER||Vic||7||4.425||$500, $500BB, Hooked On voucher"|
Strike Pro Glenelg River Qualifier Non-Boater Results
|1||Rob WILLIAMS||VIC||6||3.245||Tica reel, Stren Microfuse, Berkley TEC Scales, Strike Pro lures, Hooked On voucher, prizepack|
|2||Jordan TRUSTY||VIC||6||3.085||Tica reel, Berkley Culling System, Platypus Sinking braid, Strike Pro lures, Hooked On voucher, prizepack|
|3||Steve PARKER||VIC||4||2.915||Uglyfish Sunglasses, Platypus Sinking Braid, Strike Pro lures, Hooked On voucher, prizepack|
|4||Anthony WILLIAMS||SA||5||2.48||Xtools Grip n Weigh, Fireline, Strike Pro lures, Hooked On voucher, prizepack|
|5||Dion VAIL||VIC||5||2.215||Berkley Tacklebag, Fireline, Strike Pro lures, Hooked On voucher, prizepack|
|6||Matthew SMITH||SA||4||2.185||Berkley Bag, Fireline, Strike Pro lures, prizepack|
|7||David ORSINI||VIC||4||1.59||Berkley DVD, Fireline, prizepack|
|8||Paul MALOV||VIC||3||1.575||Platypus Super 100, Strike Pro lures, prizepack|
|9||Nick MACE||VIC||3||1.53||Platypus Super 100, Strike Pro lures, prizepack|