Trying conditions and a challenging bite tested angler for the Strike Pro presented Glenelg River round of the 2012 Daiwa-Hobie BREAM Kayak Series, 21-22 January. Forty-three anglers hit the water on the opening morning of competition with strong winds and cool conditions making the going hard.
Mastering the conditions and the bite, the best was 50-year-old Patterson Cheney Holden Customer Service Manager Chris Burbidge of Victorian. He compiled a 6/6, 3.57kg limit to run down day one leader Richard Somerton (6/6, 3.06kg) and secure the event win.
Burbidge fished an upriver and down river pattern to catch his fish, starting out early on day one fishing a shallow flat down river of the start line before heading upriver to Taylors Strait to located better fish.
“I caught my first two legals down the bottom on Jackall Chubbies then high tailed it up river to try and find my third,” said Burbidge.
The change in attack paid off with Burbidge catching his third and final legal fish for the session on a shallow running Jackall Chubby worked along a rocky edge. The retrieve for the Chubby was the same regardless of the location, a slow roll that had the lure bumping across the bottom.
With his best fish for the day coming from upriver and a bust off on the bridge to show for his upriver pattern Burbidge headed straight there on day two, bypassing the flats pattern he started out with on day one.
“I had a feeling that going upriver was going to deliver me better results, so I peddled up and fish the sheds, Simpsons Landing, and Taylors Strait,” said Burbidge.
With no fish in the well at 9.45am Burbidge was beginning to think that he might have made the wrong the choice.
“I had nothing to show for my efforts then I hit a patch (300m stretch) near Taylors and started catching,” said Burbidge.
While the crankbaits from the day before produced results, it was the addition of Cranka Vibes to his repertoire that did the majority of the damage.
“I wanted something more finesse so I fished deeper and slower with a gentle lift and drop retrieve,” said Burbidge.
With the gun retrieve locked in, Burbidge would fish his way through his 300m stretch, rest it, then head back to the top of his run before doing it all again. The rest and attack approach paid dividends with Burbidge upgrading three times for the session, the last of which came 15 minutes before the end of the session.
The most consistent angler over the two days of competition Burbidge weighed in the largest bag (1.81kg) for the tournament on the final day, taking a 40g deficit at the end of day one and turning it into a 510g winning margin.
One of the most consistent anglers on the Daiwa-Hobie BREAM Kayak tour Burbidge now has a Glenelg River victory to add to his maiden round win from the Bemm River in 2010.
“It’s great to win again and feels even better to have qualified for the Bemm River Grand Final in November. Richard (Somerton) is a great guy and a great angler so to finish one-two with him is fantastic,” said Burbidge.
For event runner-up Somerton it was another quality performance with the 40-year-old Victorian BREAMer adding another top two to his event winner from the Forster GTS event only a few weeks earlier.
“It’s great to get another cheque and more importantly it’s satisfying to be in some good fishing form,” said Somerton.
Hitting the shallows down river to catch his fish, Somerton keyed in on one specific area as the hot spot to target. A shallow rocky reef that ranged in depth from 1m deep to breaking the surface.
“The reef had gutters and deeper sections running through it and these were the areas where a lot of the fish were holding,” said Somerton.
Fishing parallel along the reef Somerton would cast a salmon guts colour Cranka Cranka along the reef before working it back with a slow jerk-pause retrieve.
“The pause was important, you had to stall the lure and let it sit there to tempt the fish to take it,” said Somerton.
The takes were text book black bream bites with fish hitting it as it sat motionless. Somerton’s location and technique had him with his limit by 12.30pm on day one and with his limit by 10am on day two.
With a hot start to the season Somerton will be one to watch in the next round of the Daiwa-Hobie BREAM Kayak Series, the Victorian State Titles event at Marlo, 25-26 February.
• 7’ Lamiglass Finesse Elite, Daiwa Steez 2508, 6lb Sufix Performance braid, and 4lb FC Rock fluorocarbon leader.
• Jackall Chubby (shallow and deep) in suji shrimp, and deep Atomic Hardz Crank 38 in muddy prawn.
“Going more finesse on day two was the difference. I swapped lure [Cranka Vib] and outfit [a softer Lamiglass Finesse Elite and Daiwa Steez 2004 spooled with 4lb Power Pro PE] and it paid off.”
Hogs Breath Boss Hog
The Hogs Breath Boss Hog Prize went to Richard Somerton with the event runner up claiming the prize with his day one kicker fish, a 770g bream that came from 1.2m deep shallow sandy flat 400m inside the mouth of river.