The weekend of the 26-27 November saw the top 50 teams that had qualified from the 2011 Humminbird Bream Classic Series head to Mallacoota to battle it out for the big one: the 2011 Humminbird Bream Classic Championship.
Every team had to earn their spot to fish in the invitational, so there was no doubt the competition would be fierce. Mallacoota had the quality fish and the anglers had the skills, which made for unbelievable results over the weekend.
Forty-five of the 50 teams weighed in a 5/5 bag on day one and a bag weighing in at 4.07kg was only good enough for 20th position after the first day. The teams had to fish at their absolute best to have a chance of taking out this event.
For Team TyrePower JigPro’s Dean Gamble and Mark Cribbes the stars aligned and they produced two of their best days of competition angling at the perfect time to hand them the championship.
Mallacoota may have had the quality fishing but it definitely turned on the worst weather anyone had experienced in recent times in a Vic Bream Classics tournament.
Day one dished up almost 90mm of torrential rain and up to 60 knot wind gusts, so the early signs didn’t look promising. The rain was so heavy that one angler reported getting so wet in a downpour that his automatic PFD went off – a first in any Victoria Bream Classics tournament.
Thankfully for the field someone had forgot to tell the bream that the weather was ordinary as they relished in the wind and rain and absolutely chewed their heads off.
For Team TyrePower JigPro their first few hours fishing on day one set a strong foundation for them to build on as they had their full bag by 9.15am.
“We started out on day one at the Eight Foot Bank and Baker Bight area fishing edges. We landed our first legal fish, a 39cm fork black bream, in first 10 minutes of competition,” said Dean Gamble.
No more fish came from this area, so the team moved to Harrisons Chanel to fish the flats until the tide started to come in.
They fished in about 1m of water using a combination of Camostiks, Takeda Fireblades and Rantall Custom Rods matched to Suteki and Daiwa Certate Reels spooled with 4lb and 6lb Takeda and Unitika braid with 3lb and 4lb Yamatoyo and Takeda Millenium Flourcarbon leaders.
Using a variety of lures on the flats including Sakana DD40F (ghost browney), Jackall Chubbies (brown suji), Atomic Cranks (muddy prawn) and Berkley Gulp 2” Banana Prawns rigged on 1/48 Jig-Pro jigheads the boys managed to land some quality fish in this area securing their five bream bag.
“After getting our five bream in the well early we moved into the green water and managed to upgrade for the next two hours catching a fish about every second cast,” Dean said.
Even with such spectacular fishing and a five bream bag that weighed an impressive 5.13kg the boys from TyrePower Jig-Pro still didn’t have enough to hold the lead on day one.
Instead the 2011 Club Marine Team Of Year Champions Team Minn Kota (Warren Carter and Cameron Whittam) held the lead at the end of the first day with a slightly more impressive five bream bag weighing 5.15kg. However with just 1kg separating 1st to 16th place it was still anyone’s championship to win.
With such a strong bite at the Harrisons Chanel area in the last few hours of day one Team TyrePower JigPro decided to head straight to their honey hole in the hope the fish would still be there. When Mark landed a 32cm fork yellowfin bream on his first cast of the morning the boys knew it was game on.
The boys spent the next few hours drifting along the same stretch of water picking up enough legal fish to fill their bag but not the size that they felt they needed to take the victory.
“After getting our bag we anchored in what we thought would be a great upgrade spot but after fighting the wind and waves for only one more undersized fish we decided to move out to the channel. With only about a 4kg bag we knew we needed a few more quality fish to keep us in the hunt,” Dean said.
The move really paid off for the boys as they spent the remainder of the session upgrading fish to what eventually turned into a five bream bag of 5.02kg giving them 10/10 bream for a total weight of 10.15kg.
Immediately after Team TyrePower JigPro had weighed in, all eyes turned to Team Minn Kota, who needed a 5.01kg bag to take the victory. As Team Minn Kota’s bag hit the scales the weight jumped up over 4kg then slowed and stopped at 4.27kg. It wasn’t enough for Team Minn Kota so Team TyrePower JigPro became the 2011 Humminbird Bream Classic Champions.
Along with the honour of being crowned the 2011 Humminbird Bream Classic Champions the boys won a swag of prizes including $8,000 in cash and BLA vouchers, Engel MT45 fridge freezers, Spotters sunglasses, Eco-Gear, Atomic, Bassday, Shimano and Flow-Rite products. To top it off as they boys used Atomic Cranks to help them secure the win they scored two Samurai Reaction Rods thanks to Frogleys Offshore’s Samurai Reaction Rods bonus program.
Taking out 2nd place in an exceptional run at the lead was Team Gatty. Jason and Marc Gatt smashed the Atomic Bassday Best bag prize with a day two bag of 5/5 bream for 5.2kg taking themselves from 9th to 2nd position.
The Gatt boys nearly also stole the Ecogear Big Bream Prize when one of their day two fish pushed the scales to 1.47kg, but it just wasn’t enough to pass Team Bluey’s Bait and Tackle (Matt Leach and Robert Harvey). On day one Team Bluey’s weighed in a thumping bream that pushed the scales to 1.49kg and won them the Ecogear big bream Prize.
The 2011 Humminbird Bream Series was an exceptional year of tournament angling with great results across all venues.
If you are interested in this style of fishing then grab a friend and jump on the www.vicbreamclassics.com.au website to download an entry and get involved.
The first round of the 2012 Humminbird Bream Classic Series is from Docklands on 4-5 February so get in now and secure your teams’ spot. For more enquiries please call Bill Hartshorne Tournament Director on 0409 823 070. –Bill Hartshorne