Mallacoota Turns It On
  |  First Published: December 2008

It felt like only yesterday I was reporting on the first round of the 2008 Humminbird Vic Bream Classic Series from Mallacoota, and yet here I am again covering the big one, the 2008 Humminbird Vic Bream Classic Invitational.

What a huge weekend it was on October 18/19, with 48 of the state’s best bream teams set to battle it out on Mallacoota Inlet. With the weather dishing up beautiful blue skies and warm conditions, a huge weekend was definitely in store, especially for Team Nitro’s Matt Campbell and Thuan Huynh.

On Day One, anglers were greeted with an awesome sunrise, no wind and mild temperatures, which were a stark contrast to the usual cold wind, drizzle and black skies that Vic Bream Classic anglers have come to expect in winter.

The boats were away at full pace, and Team Nitro headed made their way to Fairhaven. They started their shot the title when they found a sandy bank that didn’t already have another team working it. Using a combination of G-Loomis rods, Daiwa reels, 3-6lb Berkley Crystal Fire-line and 3-4lb Siglon and Yamatoyo fluorocarbon leaders the boys made long casts into the shallows using Jackall Chubbies, Team Daiwa Spikes, Ecogear SX-40s and SX-48s and Culteva Mirrashads.

“We cast as close to the bank as possible and, with a high rod tip, ripped the lures through the weed. As the lure came up out of the weed, the bream would slam it even if it had been fouled”, Matt said.

After a cracking day on the water Team Nitro presented 5/5 bream for a whopping 5.84kg, giving them Saturday’s Berkley Best Bag Prize, the Ecogear Big Bream lead with a horse of a bream weighing 1.6kg, and a handy lead going into Day Two.

Using a totally different strategy of flicking Berkley Gulp 6” Sandworms into snags, Team Smack That’s Brad and Mike Hodges were hot on Team Nitro’s heels in second place with 5.78kg.

When the field was let go on Day 2, it was no surprise that more boats headed to the Fairhaven area than the day before. With the added pressure of more boats following them, the Grand Final on the line and a camera crew on board, Matt and Thuan knew they had to get some good fish early.

“We felt it was important to focus on duplicating our efforts from the previous day and fish similar structure and methods. We knew the fish were there it was just a matter of tempting them”, Matt said.

And tempt them they did, as early on Day Two the boys hooked into a 38cm (fork length) fish and then another solid fish. As the camera boat left them it looked a formality for Team Nitro to claim victory.

As 11am approached I received a phone call from Matt of Team Nitro. “Bill the fishing has shut down, we have three good fish, but one of the 40cm bream we landed doesn’t look well. If we don’t weigh in now we risk losing him, so we’re coming in early”, Matt said.

To give up two hours of fishing when in front in a Grand Final with only three bream in the well must have been a very tough decision to make, but the boys knew that one good bream was worth two average fish and were prepared to take the risk.

Team Nitro started the final day’s weigh in with three bream for 3.46kg, giving them a total of 8/10 bream for 9.30kg. Considering no team had won a Vic Bream Classic at Mallacoota with less than a 10kg bag, it didn’t look good for the boys.

As Team Smack That weighed in, the tension was high, they only had four bream but how big where they? The scale displayed 2.68kg, which was not enough. Team Nitro had held off one challenge.

Nobody seemed to be getting close until Team Mitchell Fishing & Outdoors walked up with a bag that looked all of 5kg. Sitting in seventh position with 3.94kg on Day One, they needed 5.37kg to knock off Team Nitro. As the scales settled the display read 4.66kg, a cracking bag and Sunday’s Berkley Best Bag, but not enough to take victory away from Team Nitro.

Matt Campbell and Thuan Huynh of Team Nitro were the 2008 Humminbird Vic Bream Classic Champions and had also taken out the Ecogear Big Bream along the way with their 1.6kg bream from the day before.

If you are interested in fishing the Vic Bream Classic Series, be sure to log onto www.vicbreamclassics.com.au where you can read all the rules and regulations and download entry forms for the 2009 Humminbird Vic Bream Classic Series. Alternatively call Bill Hartshorne, Tournament Director, on 0409 823 070.



PlaceTeamAnglers Total fish Total weight
1Team Nitro Matt Campbell & Thuan Huynh89.30
2Mitchell Fishing & Outdoors Aaron Dyer & Graeme Dear108.60
3Smack ThatBrad Hodges & Mike Hodges98.46
4Team Gulp AliveJarrod Healey & Steve Steer 87.86
5Salty Dog FilmsWarren Carter & Jordan Trusty87.18
6Giddy UpAlex Franchuck & Paul Malov 87.00
7McCallums Bait & TackleSteve Gill & Simon Pender96.90
8Cepac Towbars Kevin Tormey & Rob Williams106.88
9Team HumminbirdShuan Clancy & Wayne Friebe 66.74
10SamboarisShaun Quirke & Dale Pattison 106.52

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