Austackle’s Jamie McKeown and Don Johnston took it to the wire to win the 2013 Tinny and Tackle BREAM Invitational. They produced a cracking bag of 10/10 for 6.115kg, and held off the fast finishing Team Toray (Peter Herbst and Ben Biggs) who managed 10/10 for 5.905kg.
With McKeown and Johnston’s limited experience on the Brisbane River and Bay area, the pair stuck to a structured game plan through out the event.
Each morning the pair would begin the session fishing the reclaimed rock wall on Fishermans Island. As the tide ran out, the pair would look for the cleaner pockets of water on the edge of the wall and cast their favoured Austackle Sakana-Kan crankbaits tight to the edge before starting a slow rolling retrieve back to the boat.
“It was all about finding the colour change in the water and rolling your bait back through it; as soon as you hit that colour line the fish would be all over the lure,” said Mckeown.
While the pair did manage to fill their limit both days fishing the rock wall, for McKeown and Johnston it was only a secondary spot while they waited for the tide to rise.
Once the tide had started to rise the pair would make the short journey to Pinkenbar sunken wall. The pair took a risky tact casting their lures over the sunken wall before slow rolling them back into the wall with most of the fish hitting the lure before it came over the top. It was again the Austackle Sakana-Kan crankbait in plasma red that did the damage.
The pair used Austackle Feather light rods matched with Austackle Cruse reels, spooled with 3lb fluorocarbon. The pair both thought that the key to getting the best out of the small Sakana-Kan was to use 3lb fluorocarbon.
“We would have lost between 30-40 lures over the weekend but it was the only way we could get better quality fish,” said Johnston.
“It was great to have a game plan and it work out, we both have had limited time on the Brisbane River but maybe that was an advantage only having two spots and having to work them over thoroughly. I would like to thank Austackle for their on going support, they make tournament fishing much easier for the whole team,” said Mckeown.
Team Toray’s Peter Herbst and Ben Biggs game plan could not have been any different to that of Austackle’s with the pair running and gunning across the bay over tournament weekend on their way to a solid second place with 10/10 for 5.905kg.
On day one the pair started at Cleveland Point fishing shallow rocky points. The pair would cast up onto the shallow rocks before hopping Gulp Shrimp in natural rigged on a 1/28 TT Lures HWS jighead, down the drop off before allowing it to rest on the bottom.
Herbst and Biggs managed to fill their limit quickly but couldn’t find those all-important kicker fish.
The pair then moved to the Aquatic Paradise canals, the pair’s lure of choice in the canals was an Imakatsu Dilemma Popper. The pair would cast the lure tight to the edge before imparting an erratic walk and pop retrieve until a fish would swirl on the lure, the pair would then allow the lure to sit until all the ripples disappeared with most of the fish hitting the lure as it sat dormant on the surface.
Day two saw Herbst and Biggs start the session at their day one honey holes at Cleveland Point. Herbst started the session fishing a Lucky Craft Sammy 55 while Biggs target less active fish with a Gulp Shrimp. Early in the session Herbst managed a cracking bay bream but the good numbers of fish from day one had disappeared.
The pair moved back to the canals at Aquatic Paradise but only managed one fish. With time running out the pair had to go back to the drawing board and go in search of both numbers and good-sized fish.
Herbst and Biggs made the decision to hit the shallow flats of Green Island. The pair made long wind-assisted casts across the flats before imparting an erratic rolling retrieve back to the boat. The lure of choice for this was a Jackall Chubby Minnow; Herbst cast this on a Smith Bayliner rod matched with a Daiwa Luvias 2000 spooled with 7lb Toray Shallow finesse braid and 4lb Toray Super LEX fluorocarbon. While Biggs used the ever-popular Samurai Reaction 201 matched with a Daiwa Exist with 7lb Toray Radius braid and 4lb Toray Super LEX fluorocarbon.
“It was a great feeling to come home strong on the second day, and after a slow start I feel like we made the correct decisions on the water and coming second in a quality field like this is always a good feeling,” said Herbst.
Rod: Austackle Feather light
Reel: Austackle Cruse 1500
Line: 4lb Fluorocarbon
Lure: Austackle Sakana-Kan plasma red
The key to getting the best out of the small Sakana-Kan was to use 3lb fluorocarbon.