Back-to-back for Samurai Reaction
  |  First Published: December 2012

Team Samurai Reaction Rod’s David McKenzie and Tristan Taylor managed their milk run of bream hot spots perfectly over three days of competition to weigh in a 15/15, 9.63kg tournament limit to relegate Team Atomic Hardz’s Aaron Sharp and Steve Eldred to second place and claim back-to-back Humminbird QLD BREAM Open titles.

With three days on Moreton Bay, McKenzie and Taylor knew it would take consistent bags around 3kg each day to be in the hunt for the title.

“We had a good run of spots that we felt would hold fish, it was all about managing those spots for the three days and only using them when we needed them, rather than burn it all for a big day one bag,” said McKenzie.

Day one saw the pair head to the productive ground of Peel Island, filling their bag early in the session. Samurai Reaction targeted ultra shallow rock and coral out crops with mid running Atomic Hardz Crank in ghost green shad.

To get their lure in the zone Samurai Reaction would electric-motor in as shallow as possible then position the boat so they could make long down wind casts. The retrieve was a slow roll, with most of the bites coming as the lure bounced off the rock and coral.

With thoughts to managing their spots the pair moved to Macleay Island in search of upgrades. With a change in location the pair changed their lure of choice to a Megabass Dog-X Jnr modena bone, in an attempt to cover more ground and get the attention of larger more predatory bream.

“The Dog-X casts like a bullet, and gave us the ability to cover a lot of water in those closing hours of the first day,” said McKenzie.

The pair managed to catch two upgrades before ending the day with 5/5 for 2.98kg.

Day two started off slowly for Taylor and McKenzie, with the pair starting the day at Peel Island, but with no fish showing the pair needed to change tact.

“The bay is a place that changes from day to day and having a good knowledge of the area enabled us to change tact and stay on fish,” said Taylor.

With their wealth of knowledge to draw upon the pair made the move to the Ormiston Flats in search of a bag. Again using the ever popular Atomic Hardz Crank in ghost green shad, the pair made long wind assisted casts before making a slow rolling retrieve back to the boat. This proved to be what the fish wanted with the pair filling their bag in quick succession.

With the pair struggling to find the upgrades need to stay in contention for the title they moved to the rocky out crops of Coochiemudlo Island. The pair continued to use their favoured Atomic Crank to catch three upgrades to and finish the day with a 2.93kg bag.

Day three saw the attitude of the pair change, from managing spots to chasing down their biggest possible limit.

McKenzie and Taylor headed to Ormiston Flats early in the session in search of some of the school fish that had left behind on day two. The change in wind meant the team needed to change their approach slightly.

“We were fishing a large expanse of water and without the wind assisting our casts we couldn’t cover enough ground with the cranks,” said McKenzie.

The pair opted for the longer casting Dog-X and it paid off with the McKenzie and Taylor filling their bag early in the session. With five fish in the well, the pair decided to swing for the fence and chase the larger fish that tend to hold off Coochiemudlo Island. The pair targeted fish holding in 6-9ft of water but, rather than swap to a crankbait, they stayed with their productive surface pattern in search of a reaction bite.

The pair worked the Dog-X with a rapid walk-the-dog retrieve with a short pause, with most strikes coming just as the lure began to move after the pause.

“We worked the lure so quickly it was almost as if we where trying to not let the fish bite, but the faster we worked it the bigger the bites,” said McKenzie.

The results showed with the pair catching their biggest limit (3.72kg) for the tournament and hauling day two leaders Sharp and Eldred. The XOS final day bag delivered them a 40g winning margin and their second Humminbird QLD BREAM Open title in as many years.

Pipped At the Post

Team Atomic Hardz of Aaron Sharp and Steve Eldred fought hard during the Humminbird QLD Open but unfortunately came up short with their 15/15, 9.59kg bag. Rather than manage a milk run of good spots the pair had faith in their honey hole of Mudd Island, targeting different areas each day to fill their limit.

Day one and two saw Sharp and Eldred fishing the deep weed lines of Mudd Island. The pair used a two pronged approach, Sharp using the new Double Deep Atomic Hardz Crank in Tim’s prawn colour, while Eldred used the ever productive deep Atomic Hardz Crank in ghost gill brown. The two lure approach allowed the pair to present two different colours and depths, maximising their catch rate.

The pair imparted a slow to medium rolling retrieve changing up the speeds throughout the session in order to keep the fish interested.

“The double deep really proved itself worthy of the Atomic name over the weekend, it just gave us an option to target fish that we would normally miss with the standard deep helping us to fill out limit each day,” said Sharp.

Day three saw the pair pull out all stops and went hunting in search of the bay’s elusive big bay bream. The pair started the session on the Ormiston Flats, but for little return. With no fish added to the well the pair made the run back to Mudd Island. Rather than target the deep weed lines as they did on days one and two, the pair targeted the draining pools. Using the spot lock function on their Minn Kota iPilot, the pair would hold in the zone, allowing them to fish the area more productively.

“It was great fishing, we would have caught over 30 fish but we just couldn’t get anything that was a decent weight for their length,” said Sharp.

The pair targeted these fish with deep Atomic Cranks in ghost gill brown and used Samurai Reaction 203 rods matched with Daiwa Steez 2004 spinning reels, spooled with 2.5lb Unitika Silver thread FC.

“Using 2 1/2lb can seem a bit crazy when fishing for bream but it can be the difference between catching fish and walking home empty-handed,” said Sharp.

Will team Samurai Reaction keep their hot form going into the Skeeter Classic Championships and take another win or will someone else step up to the plate. Stay tuned to www.bream.com.au for all the latest results and information.

Winning Edge

“Using Gamakatsu Wide Gap trebles made all the difference. On day three using the finer wire and wider set meant that we didn’t miss those crucial big fish bites,” said McKenzie.

Winning Tackle


Rod:Samurai reaction 203
Reel:Megabass Luvito 103
Line:Braid – Unitika 10lb
Leader:Unitika 6lb Agar
Lure:Atomic Hardz Crank Mid 38 in ghost green shad


Rod:Samurai reaction 203
Reel:Megabass Caiyen 256
Line:Braid – Unitika 10lb
Leader:Unitika 6lb Agar
Lure:Megabass Dog-X Jnr in modena bone



Place Team TF TW Payout
1 SAMURAI REACTION RODS: David McKenzie and Tristan Taylor 15 9.63 $3,000
2 ATOMIC HARDZ: Aaron Sharp and Steve Eldred 15 9.59 $2,000
3 ATTACK BOATS: Scott Corby and Mark Holman 15 8.5 Prize pack
4 UNITIKA: Peter Leggett and Glyn Barkhuizen 15 7.59Prize pack
5 SUNSTATE HOBIE: William Lee and Grayson Fong 15 7.41Prize pack
6 HUMMINBIRD: Tim Morgan and Steve Morgan 15 7.29

Final winners, AOY champs and AFC anglers.

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