The final Queensland stop of the 2012 Daiwa-Hobie BREAM Kayak Series delivered anglers a challenging bite, yet substantial rewards at Bribie Island with Grand Final and Hobie Worlds berths on offer for the 27 gathered anglers.
Victoria, NSW and Queensland anglers were represented at the event, but it was in-form South East Queensland breamer Stephen Maas who claimed the Queensland state title crown. The kayak bream ace compiled a 4/6, 2.06kg bag to secure the win.
Keeping it in the family was event runner-up Timothy Maas who put together a 5/6, 1.88kg bag over the two days of competition to claim a podium finish and a berth in the Daiwa-Hobie BREAM GF and Hobie Worlds.
For event winner Stephen Maas, it was a victory built on no prefish the day before the tournament but instead waterway experience he’d accrued at a previous event at Bribie.
“I caught some fish in a few canals in an event a couple of months earlier so I went straight there in the hope that the fish would still be there,” said Maas.
Crankbaiting the concrete retaining walls first up Maas had little to show for the first half hour and was beginning to question his location and technique.
“I was twitching, pausing and slow rolling a 35mm Deep Cranka and didn’t even get the slightest touch, so I stowed the hardbody away and swapped to a soft plastic.”
Changing to a cut-down 80mm Squidgy Lobby rigged on a 1/16oz Nitro jighead, Maas’ technique was text book pontoon bream fishing – fish the inside of the pontoon between the pontoon and the rockwall, skip the plastic in tight next to the pontoon then let it sink to the bottom, watching the line for any hits or bites.
“I focused on three main areas of the pontoon: the posts at either end and right in the middle,” said Maas.
Maas didn’t have to wait long for his change in approach to impress. The second pontoon that he hit with his soft plastic approach delivered him his first fish of the day. The second fish was quick to follow, and proved the standout for the day.
“A lot of the bigger fish come from tight to the best structure, but not this guy however. It ate the plastic as I dead-sticked it under the middle of the pontoon,” said Maas.
Weighing 1kg it proved to be the kicker fish in Maas’ day one bag and ultimately claimed the Hogs Breath Boss Hog for the tournament.
His third fish quickly followed, delivering Maas his limit by 8am.
“It was a dream start. So once I had my bag I tried a few different lures to see what else would work. At 10am I called it quits in the canals and went looking for different spots that held fish,” said Maas.
Sitting in second place at the end of day one, Maas was hoping to pick up from where he left off but the bite proved a lot tougher.
“I went straight back the canals and started skipping the plastics back in tight to the pontoons. One hour in I had nothing, two hours in I finally picked up my first fish. But unfortunately that proved to be it for the day. I had two other follows from good fish but just couldn’t get them to take the lure,” said Maas.
Weighing 390g it was enough to leap frog day one leader Peter Woods and keep at bay his fast finishing brother, Timothy Maas.
“I’m over the moon with the result, to win the QLD State Title event, and qualify for the Hobie Worlds is more than I could have hoped for,” said Maas.
For event runner-up Timothy Maas is was a dream start to his ABT tournament career. The Brisbane breamer finished second and qualified for the Daiwa-Hobie BREAM Kayak Grand Final and Hobie Worlds in his very first ABT event.
“I can’t believe it’s happened to be honest. I’ve been bream fishing for over 10 years and for my first ABT tournament to go like this just blows my mind,” said Maas.
Fishing the canals like his first placed brother Stephen, Tim opted for a soft plastic approach, but in contrast concentrated his efforts on the shaded edges.
“I fished the shaded edge regardless of whether it was on the inside or outside of the pontoon.”
Using a selection of plastics including Squidgy Lobby, Squidgy Wriggler, and Gulp Craws the technique was the same – cast it tight to the edge, dead-stick it to the bottom, let it sit motionless for quite some time before giving it a slow hop.
“The fish were very inactive so you didn’t want to overwork your lure,” said Maas.
While Maas used three different lures the standout was the Lobby in grenade colour, cut down and rigged on a 1/40oz TT HWS jighead. The approach delivered Maas a full limit on day one, including three upgrades. However, on day two he could only manage two legal fish for the session.
“It was a lot harder on the day two, there was a lot more boat traffic and more anglers fishing the canals,” said Maas.
While Maas delivered more fish (5/6) to the scales than any other angler in the field it was the kicker fish of his brother and event winner Steven (4/6) that proved the difference.
“It was Steve’s big bite that made the difference; that’s just the way tournament fishing goes,” said Tim Maas.
With a Bemm River Grand Final and Hobie Worlds qualification berth next to his name, Maas has made a sensational start to his ABT tournament career. If his beginners form is anything to go by he could be one to watch at the Grand Final in November.
Rod: Samurai Reaction 101
Reel: Daiwa Caldia 2004
Lure: 35mm deep Cranka, and a cut-down 80mm Squidgy Lobby (colour-grenade) rigged on a 1/16th Nitro jighead.
Line: 2lb Berkley Fireline Crystal
Leader: 3lb Sunline FC Rock
Rather than fish the heavily fished outside edge of the pontoon, Stephen Maas made the most of his kayak and sneaked up on the inside of the pontoon and fished the side closest to the rock wall.
Hogs Breath Boss Hog
Event winner Stephen Maas valued added his winnings from the Bribie Island State Title event by claiming the $100 Hogs Breath Boss Hog Prize with his 1kg fish caught on day one. The standout fish for the tournament was caught on a jighead rigged Squidgy Lobby.
|1||Stephen MAAS||4/6||2.06||$600||Prize Pack||Worlds|
|2||Timothy MAAS||5/6||1.88||$350||Prize Pack||GF and Worlds|
|3||Bob BOSS||4/6||1.84||$250||Prize Pack||GF|
|4||Guy STRUTHERS||4/6||1.81||$200||Prize Pack|