The final qualifying round of the 2008 Ford Ranger BREAM Series delivered a new angler to the winner’s podium with Victorian angler Wayne Friebe securing his maiden Ford Ranger BREAM Series victory at the Atomic Port River BREAM Challenge on September 7/8.
Friebe compiled a 5/10, 3.46kg bag for the tournament and, like the majority of the field, struggled under the sunny and clear water conditions on Day One. Waiting until Day Two to make his mark on the scoreboard, he eclipsed the 18-boat tournament field.
Fishing the middle reaches of Port River, Friebe bagged out in his honey hole early in the session. He focussed his attention on a patch of fish holding high in the water column on a cluster of pylons upriver of the refuelling depot.
“They were easy to spot sitting just below the surface hanging and feeding on the heavy weed growth on the pylons”, explained Friebe.
Friebe pitched his Tiemco Stick Minnow in colour 007 tight to the structure, allowing the lure to sink for 10-20 seconds before imparting small, sharp hops to the lure.
“The lure was a great prawn imitation with its clear centre and brown strips, and the fish responded accordingly, subtly taking the lure on the drop”, said Friebe.
The takes were so subtle that Friebe often looked for the slightest tick in the line to indicate a bite, rather than feeling for a take, which is often the case when fishing with a hardbodied approach.
While the approach delivered the 2008 Port River champion a full bag on Day Two it also produced six memorable dust-ups by fish he couldn’t stop, and another three similar outcomes on Day One.
The tackle used by the Victorian Ecogear representative included a Mad Dog custom-built G.Loomis SR842 GLX rod, Daiwa Gekkabijin 2004 reel, spooled with 2lb Berkley Micro fuse and 4lb Yamatoyo leader. Friebe used a two rod approach with his second outfit comprised of a Nories 680LS Finesse Sweeper rod, Daiwa Airity 2500 reel, spooled with 3lb Stren Microfuse and 8lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon.
“I stepped up to the heavier Nories outfit when I got done over by a couple of fish”, explained Wayne.
The swap paid dividends allowing Friebe to complete his limit and secure his first victory on the BREAM Tour. It was the perfect outcome for the VFM writer with his recent run on hot form, including his qualification for the BREAM Grand Final at the Gold Coast Super Series only three weeks prior.
Friebe further added to his winnings for the event, securing the $250 Mercury Bonus as the highest placed boater running a Mercury outboard.
Flying the flag for the local contingent in the field was SABT organiser and 2008 St Helens runner-up Tom Deer.
Like Friebe, Deer waited until Day Two to trouble the scorers, compiling a 3/10, 2.41kg limit to secure another second place for the season and pick-up the $600 runners-up cheque.
Fishing the mangrove edges around Torrens Island, Deer opted for a soft plastic approach, using a banana prawn coloured 2” Berkley Gulp Shrimp to tempt his fish.
“I had a good feeling the bream would be up in the mangroves”, explained Deer.
“We just needed to wait until the tide had dropped enough to force them out to the edge of the mangrove fringe where they would sit waiting for food to come drifting by”, he added.
The technique was textbook with Deer casting his 1/32oz jighead rigged Gulp Shrimp to the edge of the mangroves and drifting it along the vegetation line with the current.
“You could see them come out from under the trees swim down and pick up the plastic”, explained the contented Adelaide angler.
A 20m stretch of mangroves produced the lion’s share of action, with Deer making continual drifts past the hot spot to catch his fish.
“The bite lasted about an hour then the tide dropped too much and the bream made a run for deeper water”, added the SABT bream organiser.
The tackle used by Deer to tempt his Port River bream included a 6’10” Tica Duffman rod, Daiwa Luvias 2004 reel, spooled with 6lb Daiwa TD Sensor and 6lb Berkley Vanish leader.
The race for the non-boater title was a close affair with only 190g separating first and second place. Graham Whibley claimed his first podium finish at a BREAM event, compiling a 2/10, 1.895kg bag to book a berth in the 2008 BREAM Grand Final.
Fishing with Tom Deer on Day Two, Whibley adopted the same approach as Deer drifting a soft plastic along the mangrove edges to score his fish. The kicker fish in his bag claimed the Go-So Big Bream title and weighed an impressive 1.315kg.
Whibley used the number one go-to lure on the BREAM Tour at the moment, a pepper prawn coloured 2” Berkley Gulp Shrimp, rigging it on a 1/50oz jighead to score his fish. The technique that did the damage was spot-on to his boaters, with Whibley casting his offering tight to the edge of the vegetation, before allowing it to sink to the bottom and drifting it along the edge and into the path of the waiting fish.
The tackle he used to put the fish in the well included a 7’2” Shimano Raider BREAM Finesse rod, Pflueger President 1000 sized reel, spooled with 6lb Nitlon PE and 4lb Berkley Vanish leader.
The Daiwa Sponsors Bonus was claimed by Day One’s leading boater Wade Fahill, who returned early to claim the prize and set the mark for anglers to chase heading into Day Two. Day One also unearthed the Bassday Big Bream with 2007 Port River Champion boater Shaun Ossitt claiming the prize with his 690g specimen.
All attentions now turn to the final event of the year, the Ford Ranger BREAM Grand Final on October 31 until November 2. It is the biggest event on the tournament calendar and anglers will be honing their skills and preparing themselves for the pinnacle event of the year.
With a Ford Ranger, AFC guernsey and an assortment of outboards on offer the competition is set to be fierce. All qualifying anglers will receive their invitation in the coming weeks, so get set for the action to begin.
For more information on the event visit www.bream.com.au or phone ABT (07) 3387 0888. – ABT
Atomic Port River BREAM Challenge Boater Results
|1||Wayne FRIEBE||5||3.460||$1000 + $250 Mercury Bonus|
|4||Shaun OSSITT||2||1.155||$300 + $480 Bassday Bonus|
|5||Wade FAHILL||2||1.120||Berkley scales & cooler bag, prize|
|6||Nicolas GLENN||1||0.570||Berkley scales & prize pack|
|7||David WELFARE||1||0.555||Prize Pack|
Atomic Port River BREAM Challenge Non-Boater Results
|4||Richard BRAUND||1||0.125(-0.45 LP)|