True Class rises to the top at Hopkins Classic
  |  First Published: September 2012

The weekend of June 16-17 saw 45 teams head to Warrnambool on the Hopkins River for the Hooked On Rods ‘N’ Reels Bream Classic.

Being Round 4 on the 2012 Humminbird Bream Classic Series, all teams were eager to put in a good performance to secure vital points towards a place in the 2012 Humminbird Bream Classic Grand Final at Metung in November. While anglers were all keen to perform, the Hopkins River’s black bream population had other ideas with a very tough weekend experienced by all. For Team Berkley their experience and skill to find fish under pressure proved too good as they cruised to victory on day two.


Anglers awoke on Saturday to less than perfect conditions with gusting winds and cold temperatures making getting up at 5am a little challenging for a number of teams. For Team Berkley not having the opportunity to pre-fish on the Friday meant that they had to simply take a chance on where the fish may be.

Using a combination of Berkley Pro Tactic Tiger Rods matched to Abu Revo PRM20 Reels spooled with 4lb and 6lb Nanofil braid and 4lb Trilene Fluorocarbon leaders the boys started their assault to get their bag.

“We had picked a starting point just up from the Mahoney Boat Ramp and the plan was to just drift with the wind and zig zag our way up the river, fishing shallow flats, deeper reefs and rocky banks. While fishing a shallow bank we hit a patch of fish that saw us land three legal fish in four casts. Using Berkley Puppydogs in the ‘mongrel’ pattern, we tweaked and paused our lures and it was on the pause when the lure hung suspended in front of the fish when we got the bites.

As we continued our way up river we were able to vibe up the other two fish, but with no real pattern emerging throughout the day it was just a ‘keep on casting’ approach that seemed to work” Brad said.

Although no real pattern emerged for the boys they still managed to bring to the scales 5/5 bream for 2.63kg enough to give them 2nd place going into day two.

Day one saw most of the prizes secured for the weekend with Team Solar Dynamics Doug Phayer and Danny Torgersen claiming the Maria Lures Best Bag Prize with a solid 5/5 bream bag weighing 2.69kg and the Eco-Gear Big Bream prize was also locked away for Team Minn-Kota’s Cameron Whittam and Warren Carter with a 1.12kg black bream. With a number of teams all pretty close at the top of the leader board and with challenging fishing conditions it was still any ones tournament to win going into day two.


Day two started with more stable weather conditions for the anglers with many hoping the fishing would improve also. Team Berkley, with no real plan, decided to try and repeat day one’s process.

“We headed straight back to the shallow bank were we had caught consecutive fish on Saturday and after 40 minutes and no sign of fish we made a quick switch to the other side of the river where the bank looked more fish friendly with large rocks and the timber snags. It was a frustrating start with a couple of fish just falling short of legal length and then being busted off by a 1kg plus fish.

We were using Berkley Puppydogs aimed deep into the rocky bank and Bigeye blades toward the middle. Over the next hour of fishing, bites came consistently and we landed our 5 fish, which was a relief. As we set about trying to upgrade, the bites dried up completely, but we were satisfied that having a full bag would at least give as a chance of catching the leaders” Brad said.

Catch the leaders they did, as many teams in the top ten failed to weigh over a 2kg bag. Team Berkley with their 5/5 bream bag weighing in at 2.42kg helped them cruise to victory and take out the 2012 Hooked On Rods ‘N’ Reels Bream Classic.

The 5th and final qualifying round of the 2012 Humminbird Bream Classic Series is the Cranka East Gippsland Bream Classic at the Mecca for bream tournament fishing the mighty Mallacoota Inlet.

This round is sure to be huge with Vic Bream Classics also running the Hobie Kayak Series qualifying round over the same weekend. Check out HYPERLINK "http://www.vicbreamclassics.com.au" www.vicbreamclassics.com.au to download an entry form for both tournaments or call Tournament Director Bill Hartshorne on Mobile 0409 823 070.


PlaceTeamAnglersTotal Bag
1Team BerkleyBrad Hodges/Mike Hodges10/5.05kg
2No Breaming IdeaDaryl Hislop/Greg Cahill6/3.39kg
3Team DaiwaMark Gercovich/Nick Murrel7/3.33kg
4Solar DynamicsDoug Phayer/Danny Torgersen6/3.18kg
5Hobie Pro AnglersTommy Purcell/Matt Petrie6/2.80kg
6WirthrodsHugh Wirth/Greg Wirth4/2.80kg
7Cranka LuresSteve Wheeler/Gary Lockyer5/2.80kg
8HelimaticBarry Thomas/Chris Allwood4/2.64kg
9Rantall RattlersPaul Tippett/Mick Rantall5/2.50kg
10Austackle 2Shane Barling/Trent Stephenson4/2.21kg

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