Warren Carter, a 46 year old roof tiler from Patterson Lakes, Victoria, has taken out the Gladiator Hawkesbury River BREAM Qualifier. Carter’s 10/10, 8.28kg tournament limit was anchored by the tournament’s largest day two limit of 4.40kg, which propelled him into the number one spot.
“The key location I fished during the tournament was the washes in Broken Bay. The location is one that I have known about and fished for around 4 to 5 years. During the prefish it quickly provided two fish in two casts in the morning and when I returned later in the day another two fish in two casts so I locked it in for the tournament.”
The writing was on the wall on day one as Carter quickly compiled his 5/5 tournament limit in the first hour of competition. A further 10 upgrades followed before Carter moved to Lion Island targeting boat hulls. One further upgrade was secured before returning to the weigh-in.
“The prawn trawlers were working nearby on the Friday so I knew the bream would not be too far away”.
On day two Carter returned to his location and started where he left off, again securing his limit in the first hour and upgrading twice. As the bite slowed around 9am Carter made the move to Lion Island where a further three upgrades were secured.
“The location had swell pushing directly into it. On the first day the swell was about half a metre, but day two saw it get to around 2m. I would position the boat in around 20 feet of water and cast tight into the wash. My key lure was the Berkley Gulp Shrimp in a variety of colours rigged on 1/12oz and 1/16oz jigheads.
“The key was keeping in contact with the lure in the wash and following the natural contour of the bottom during the retrieve. The bites at times would be subtle, so I would just feed a little line back, feel to see if the rod loaded and then hook up. Every fish that was properly hooked over the two days made it to the boat. Even when I was bricked, by using steady, gentle pressure the fish kept moving and eventually they would come.”
Tom Slater finished in second place with 10/10, 8.13kg. Slater also successfully targeted the washes in Broken Bay albeit with a different approach. Two consistent 4kg+ limits ensured a top two finish and Grand Final qualification for later in 2013.
“I found fish during the prefish and decided to focus my efforts on a 500m section that was 6-7ft deep. On day one I had my five fish limit in 20 minutes. The fish were all in good condition and I was hopeful of getting a number of upgrades. By 9am I had a further 6-7 upgrades and the bag had pushed over 4kg. My electric motor however started to malfunction, so I had to abandon my location and fish the area known as The Carpark [Barrenjoey Flats]. No further upgrades followed.”
On day two, Slater returned to his day one location. The fish were still active and he had his bag within 30 minutes. While the fish were smaller than day one he was happy with the initial proceedings. A further ten upgrades throughout the session gave him a competitive chance heading back to the weigh-in.
“My technique involved casting hardbody lures tight into the wash and slow rolling the lures out. The lures I used were the OSP Dunk 48 in P43 colour and the Imakatsu Dilemma 60. Importantly these lures were diving deep, up to 3m+, which allowed me to follow the steep drop-off of the area I was fishing. With no bust offs or pulled hooks to speak of, I was able to maintain momentum throughout the two days”.
Slater tackle consisted of a 13 Fishing 6’10” L Omen prototype rod teamed with a Daiwa Caldia 2004 reel spooled with 3lb Toray S Hard Upgrade fluorocarbon fished straight through.
John Wright, 10/10, 8.58kg, took out his first ABT win in convincing fashion. Wright beat his nearest non-boating competitor by an astounding 2.27kg, such was the quality of his fish. In only his second ABT event Wright took out the top prize and demonstrated technique and understanding that belied his tournament experience.
“On day one I was paired with Scott Bilton. We targeted fish in the washes in Broken Bay using a soft plastic presentation. Using a 2 1/2” Berkley Gulp Shrimp in camo colour rigged on a Nitro 1/32oz jighead I would cast to areas of clean water and dead-stick the lures. By 7.45am I had my five fish bag and I continued to upgrade throughout the entire session. By my reckoning I would have caught 40 fish throughout the day. We moved between our key location and Barrenjoey flats.”
“Come day two I was paired with Russell Babekuhl. We fished the washes in Broken Bay, but positioned the boat at closer proximity than on day one. I started fishing with my day one presentation, but was finding the going tough. I noticed that the water was a dirty, milky colour with weed and floating debris. I also noticed bait in the area, specifically prawns. I changed my lure to an Austackle Sakana in raw prawn colour. I would cast it tight and slow roll the lure adding in twitches and pauses. We focused on a 500m section and soon the bites started to come. After a slow start by 10am I had my five fish limit. Throughout the rest of the session I would have upgraded about 15 times”.
“The crankbait brought on the bigger fish. The change in presentations proved very fortuitous. I’m glad I backed my decision making under the circumstances.”
Wrights tackle consisted of an Austackle Dominator 1-3kg 7” rod teamed with a 1500 PBI Cruz reel spooled with 4lb Austackle braid and 6lb mono leader.
Gladiator Big Bream
Steve Gill, a 34 year old Cabinet Maker from Woollania, NSW, took out the $500 Gladiator Big Bream prize for the event. The bream was caught on day one at Barrenjoey Flats, also known as The Carpark.
“It was 11am, about halfway through the run-out tide. I was fishing a weed edge using a green colour Gladiator Smash Bait rigged on a TT 1/28oz hidden weight jighead. I was using a hopping retrieve, flicking the lure over the top of the weed when the fish hit.
“Initially I called the fish for a kingfish, as it stripped 100ft of line off straight away. I followed the fish on the electric and eventually netted it shortly after. Excited to say the least, and a great upgrade to my bag.”
Shimano T-Curve 701 flight series rod
2500 Shimano Stella
Varivas Avani Eging 14.5lb braid
Varivas Ganoa Absolute FC in 4lb and 6lb
“Not losing fish was the difference. The combination of the prawn trawlers, quality tackle and patience made the difference over the course of the two sessions.”
Place Angler Fish WeightPayout
Non Boater Results
Place Angler Fish WeightPayoutReads: 1255