Warren Carter drew first blood in the 2012 Daiwa BREAM Series with victory in the opening round of the series, the Mercury Glenelg River BREAM Qualifier, 21-22 January.
Compiling a 10/10, 6.69kg two-day bag to win the event, Carter shone on the final day; a day when many of the anglers in the top ten stumbled. Event runner-up Jarrod Healey powered home, charging through from ninth to second to claim a spot on the winner’s podium.
Victory though belonged to Carter with the 44-year-old Victorian BREAMer fishing an upriver pattern to catch his fish.
“I found an area at the top of Taylors Strait in the prefish two weeks before the tournament that held fish, so I headed straight there on the first morning,” said Carter.
The area involved a 1km stretch of bank featuring steep rock edges, drop-offs and the occasional overhanging tree.
“The trick was to fish tight along the banks, making parallel casts that had the lure swimming along either the first ledge that was close to the water’s edge or out a little wider and deeper on the second ledge,” said Carter.
The retrieve was text book black bream fishing; an initial wind down of the lure followed by a series of twitches and pauses. Some pauses being up to five seconds long. The takes, especially when fishing tight to the edge, more often than not came in the first two feet of the retrieve. As expected the majority of hits came as the lure sat motionless.
Day one was the hottest of the action for Carter’s twitch and pause retrieve, with the Victorian BREAMer catching 12 legals and 40+ undersize fish for the day, while on day two he caught six legals and 17 undersize.
“It was a lot tougher on the second day, there were more boats in the area, more fishing pressure and the fish a lot less active. So late on day two I moved down river to try my luck on the flats, and it paid off. I picked up one upgrade,” said Carter.
While his day two bag was nearly 1kg smaller than his day one limit, it proved more than enough for him to leap frog day one leader Steve Parker (third) and hold off a fast finishing Jarrod Healey (second) and Steve Morgan (fourth).
For event runner-up Jarrod Healey it was his best result to date on the Glenelg River, and like Carter, fished upriver of the tournament start line to fill his limit each day.
“I could only find one spot during the prefish that had fish, so I fished there for the whole tournament. It was a 300m stretch between Taylors and Simpsons that had undercuts banks, snags and rocks,” said Healey.
Like Carter and the majority of anglers fishing an upriver pattern, Healey used a parallel crankbait approach to catch his fish. Throwing a combination of deep and super deep Jackall Chubbies in suji shrimp colour. Healey’s technique involved making a long cast as close to the edge as possible then slow rolling it back.
“The water varied from 1.5-3m, so on some retrieves the lure would be bumping the bottom, while at others it wouldn’t touch. If it hit, there was a good chance you’d get a fish,” said Healey.
Day one he had his limit by 9.30am (2.51kg), but on arrival to his spot early on day two Healey was greeted by dirtier water and a suspicion that things were going to be a lot harder.
“I was worried when I saw the water, but I had nowhere else to go so I just stayed there and plugged away,” said Healey.
Healey’s decision to stay and play paid off with the 31-year-old landscape gardener hammering the fish and upsizing his day one bag by nearly 1kg. His 3.48kg bag catapulted him up the scoreboard into second, and into the November Daiwa BREAM Grand Final.
Mallacoota is the next the stop on the Daiwa BREAM Tour and with Carter and Healey having both won there in past years. It’s building as a battle to see which of our Glenelg River top two can claim bragging rights for the Victorian/SA rounds of the series.
Claiming the honours in the non-boater division was former Glenelg River boater champion Stuart McKinnon. The Warrnambool angler fished with Spiro Spyropolous on day one and Shane Dyason on day two.
Fishing the shallow flats in the lower reaches of the Glenelg on both days, McKinnon’s day one approach involved drifting camo coloured Berkley Gulp Worms across the flat with the tide.
“The bites were very timid, so when I felt a fish at the lure I fed a bit of line back to it before setting the hook,” said McKinnon.
The approach was spot on with McKinnon catching a 2.73kg limit, and leading by a comfortable 820g margin heading in day two.
Day two was very much a repeat pattern of day one, albeit with a slight twist.
“The fishing was hard, so rather than using the same lure as day one, I offered them something different, an 80mm bloodworm coloured Squidgy Wriggler,” said McKinnon.
The horses for courses approach worked with McKinnon eking out two fish for the session, enough for him to maintain his lead and secure the win. The win not only delivered McKinnon an assortment of Daiwa tackle but also a berth into the Daiwa BREAM Grand Final in November.
“I’m hoping to make the trip to Queensland, it’d be great to head up north and catch a few yellowfin,” said McKinnon.
• 1-4kg Shimano T-Curve Flight Series rod, 2500 Shimano Stella reel, 4lb braid, and 4lb Varivas Absolute fluorocarbon.
• Smith Jade 43 MD in colour #1 (brown with white belly).
“It was one of those weekends when everything went right. Every fish that hit the lure hooked up and every fish I hooked I landed.”
Daiwa Big Bream
Dan Mackerell not only made the top ten at the event but also claimed the $500 Daiwa Big Bream Prize. His winning fish came on day two and was caught in less than a metre of water on a shallow weed flat in the lower reaches of the river on a twitched and paused Cranka Crank Deep.
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