Mercury powers to victory
  |  First Published: June 2012

Aaron Sharp and Steve Eldred of Team Mercury powered to an emphatic victory on the final day of the Brisbane Tinnie and Tackle BREAM Invitational, 23-25 March. While many teams faltered on the final day Team Mercury turned a 430g deficit into a 1.03kg winning margin on their way to claim the Aussea Resources Perpetual trophy.

Eldred and Sharp did their homework leading into the event then executed a perfect game plan to once again show that they’re the team to watch when a BREAM tournament hits the bay.

Team Mercury started each day fishing the weed lines of Mud Island with Atomic Hardz Crank 38 in ghost gill brown in the mid and deep. The pair would slow roll the lure across the top of the weed, continually switching between the deep and mid crank depending on the depth of the water. Each day Eldred and Sharp would fill their bag before venturing off into the Southern Bay looking for bigger fish. “Filling our bag each morning really took the pressure off,” said Eldred.

Once catching their limit Team Mercury employed a run-and-gun approach, spot hopping their way through the islands of the Southern Bay. The pair targeted rocky points and outcrops looking for the bigger more solitary fish. Eldred and Sharp made long casts across the points before starting a slow rolling retrieve with their deep Atomic Hardz Crank 38. The standout lure colours were the ever-popular ghost gill brown and ghost wakasagi.

“The key was to get the lure to skip and bounce off the rocks. As the lure bounced of the rock the fish would hit the lure, it was like ringing a dinner bell,” said Sharp.

As the session progressed the water got dirtier and dirtier. Mercury stayed ahead of the curve and opted to put Mega Strike on their lure every 3-4 casts.

“It kept the confidence high and gave the fish something extra to hone in on,” said Eldred. As well as adding scent to their lures the pair would run heavier leader giving them more chance to pull the bigger fish out of the tight cover.

The pair commented that even with the poor water clarity the key was to know exactly where the rocky out crops where located. Eldred and Sharp used the new Mako high definition polarised lenses to cut through the surface of the water and pinpoint these areas.

After spot hopping through the bay, the pair would head back to the start-finish location in the Brisbane River in search of one more up-grade. The pair would fish the rock retaining walls near the Queensland Golf Club, again using their favourite Atomic Cranks cast tight to the wall before cranking the lure down the face of the wall.

Eldred and Sharp showed that a thought out plan can be the key to tournament victory. The pair commented that is was a real team effort with Eldred catching eight of the team’s legal fish and Sharp put seven in the bag.

“I can’t explain how pumped I am to take out the Aussea Resource trophy and get my name on the ‘Bronze Bream’ said Sharp.

Sunstate shine second

The ever-consistent Team Sunstate Hobie consisting of Grayson Fong and Will Lee showed they are always up to the challenge in a Moreton Bay BREAM event, with last year’s runners up finishing second for the second year in a row.

Lee and Fong headed north from the Brisbane River each morning, starting each day fishing an area known as The Wells. There they would target fish holding in the reef structure with a two-pronged approach: Fong targeted them using an Atomic Hardz Deep Crank 38 in muddy prawn, while Lee used Z-Man Shrimpz (rootbeer gold) rigged on a Tackle Tactics 1/12oz jigheads. Much like team Mercury, Lee and Fong aimed to get their bag early before hitting their Northern Bay big fish spots.

Team Sunstate Hobie would then spot hop around the Redcliffe Peninsular looking for lone bommies that would have received less fishing pressure.

“We would look for areas that we thought would have seen less lures,” said Lee.

The pair used a tandem crankbait approach with Fong using an Atomic Hardz Deep Crank 38 in muddy prawn, while Lee opted for a brighter Jackall Deep Chubby in orange shrimp.

The plan worked for the team on day one and two but with stronger winds the team had to change tacts on day three.

“We couldn’t hold boat position when fishing the lone bommies so we had to look for larger patches of reef that we could get longer wind drifts over, unfortunately these areas just didn’t hold the fish we needed to win this tournament,” said Fong.

With the Humminbird Queensland BREAM Open set for the 19-21 October, will Team Mercury hold on to the crown as the team to beat on Moreton Bay or will there be a new team on the block? Tune in to the weigh-in livestream in October to find out. – ABT

Winning Tackle

Rod: Samuria Reaction 101 and 203

Reel: Daiwa Steez 2004

Line: Unitika Light jigging braid 10lb (main), Unitika Aiger 4lb (clear water) and 6lb (dirty water).

Winning Edge

“Having high quality polarised sunglasses mean that you can see through the water surface and get an understanding of what the area you are fishing is really like,” said Sharp.


PlaceTeam AnglersFishWeight(kg)
1MERCURYSteve Eldred and Aaron Sharp 15/158.15
2SUNSTATE HOBIEGrayson Fong and William Lee 13/157.12
3HUMMINBIRDTim Morgan and Michael Starkey 15/156.97
4RAPALAPeter Leggett and Jamie Ryan 14/156.76
5DAIWAMike Connolly and Simon Barkhuizen 15/156.21
6ECOGEARGavin Dunne and Dean Thompson 14/155.06
7AUSTACKLEDrew McGrath and Jamie McKeown 13/154.75
8ATOMICTristan Taylor and Craig Simmons 9/153.85
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