Sydney Harbour once again proved its worth as one of the standout tournament venues on the BREAM tour with quality and quantity hitting the scales in the opening round of the 2014 13 Fishing BREAM Series.
Presented by Hobie, the first of the four event qualifying series saw over a 100 of Australia’s best breamers hit the water of Australia’s iconic Sydney Habour.
Drawing first blood to claim victory in the event was Sydney Harbour bream gun Ross Cannizzaro, who used his extensive knowledge to dominant the talented tournament field.
Fishing a power fishing style that Cannizzaro loves so much he started each morning fishing west of the Harbour Bridge before heading east when the wind started to blow.
“The wind would pick up about 9/10 each morning so once it did I headed east of the bridge and fished my favourite big fish spots in the clear water,” said Cannizzaro.
Fishing non man-made structure including jetties, pontoons, boat hulls and wharfs at Mosman and Double Bay, Cannizzaro would fish a Berkley Gulp Crabby rigged on Nitro jighead.
“I’d cast the Crabby tight to structure then let it sink. It was on the sink that most of the bites would come,” said Cannizzaro.
If no bites were forthcoming he’d give the lure a shake, but never for a long period of time.
“If I didn’t get a bite on the sink or after a short shake I’d crank the lure back in make another cast to another good looking spot. I didn’t waste time trying to convince a fish if he was there that he should eat it. I was more looking for the active fish that would nail the lure as soon as it was in the area,” said Ross.
The run and gun approach by Cannizzaro delivering him 20 legal fish on day one and 30 legal fish on day two.
One of the keys to the success with the technique was his choice of jighead, or more to the point the jighead weight.
“When the wind was light I’d use a 1/32oz jighead then as the wind got stronger I’d progressively go up to a 1/24oz, then a 1/16oz. This was important to get the right sink rate and get the crabby in the fish’s face,” said Ross.
Weighing in the heaviest bag, and the only 4kg+ bag for the tournament, on the final day, Cannizzaro in the end secured a comprehensive victory, winning by nearly 1.5kg.
“It’s awesome to finally claim a BREAM Qualifier win, especially on Sydney Harbour in March. The fishing here in March is tailor-made for my preferred fish style, so to win here doing what I love and against the field that we had fishing the event is very rewarding,” said Cannizzaro.
For event runner up Michael Colotourous it was a near perfect start to his boater career in the 13 Fishing BREAM Series with the 23-year-old Sydney sider fishing a combination of pontoons, boat hulls and marinas to catch his fish.
Focusing on clean, clear water between the Harbour Bridge and Birkenhead, Colotourous fished locations, including, Balmain and North Sydney and used a combination of TT HWS rigged Squidgy Wriggler and Berkley Gulp Crabby to impressive effect.
“The water had to be clean, because I was largely using a visual technique, if the fish couldn’t see the lure clearly and I couldn’t see the fish eat the lure then it didn’t work,” said Colotourous.
His technique involving throwing his plastic tight to structure, then letting it sink for 5-10 seconds, if there was no bite he’d then aggressively work the plastic out from the structure with a series of hard and sharp twitches.
“The twitches would fire the fish up and they’d follow the lure out. Once they were worked up and ready to eat the lure I’d pause the retrieve and let them eat it,” said Colotourous.
With multiple fish charging out from cover to take his lure, Colotourous in many instances was able to choose which fish he hooked.
“If one of the small fish was about to eat the lure I’d pull it away from it so a bigger fish would the have the opportunity to eat it,” said Michael.
There were a few keys to getting the technique to work.
“The water needed to be clear, if I was fishing and the water was starting to get discoloured I’d move to somewhere else where the water was clear. The other thing was feeding fish, if I could see fish feeding on the structure then the chances of catching fish greatly increased,” said Colotourous.
Alternating between two lures (Wriggler and Crabby) Colotourous had a ‘horses for courses’ approach and picked his colour based on one important fact.
“I threw the Squidgy Wriggler on 1/24oz jighead primarily when I was fishing pontoons (they work best there for some reason), while the Crabby I threw everywhere and used camo colour because it perfectly matched the growth that was on the pontoons, boats, and marinas.”
The tackle he used included four outfits, all exactly the same, made up of a 6’6” Daiwa Interline rod, Daiwa 2004 Certate Finesse reel, 6lb Super PE mainline, and 4lb Sunline FC Rock fluorocarbon leader.
Claiming the non-boater title at Sydney was 16 year old Forster angler Todd Riches. Fishing with Scott Butler on day one and Geoff Borg on day two, Riches fished a combination of pontoons, boat hulls and flats to catch his fish.
“On day one with Scott we focused on the pontoons and boat hulls in Iron Cove and I threw a Berkley Gulp Crabby rigged on a 1/40oz hidden weight jighead,” said Riches.
His technique involved casting tight to structure then letting it sit so the fish had a chance to size up the lure before they ate it.
The approach delivered Riches 5 fish for the session and a 3.7kg bag, in the process out fishing his boater.
Day two saw him start the day on the flats throwing a Cultiva CT55 hardbody, a small minnow shaped crankbait that soon had Riches with his first fish for the day. Measuring 26cm to the fork, it was a positive start but would prove Riches’ only fish from the flats.
“There wasn’t much happening on the flats so we headed to the boat hulls,” said Riches.
While Riches had four fish in the well by 9am on day one, day two proved a lot tougher and it wasn’t until 12.30pm that he had fish number four.
“It was a grind, and unfortunately I couldn’t get my fifth fish,” said Riches.
While only weighing in four fish for the session it was enough when combined with his healthy day one lead to claim the win, and prove himself as an angler to watch for the future.
Attention now turns to the second qualifier of the 13 Fishing BREAM Series with the tour set to head to Victoria for the Spotters Mallacoota BREAM Qualifier, 17/18th May.
Austackle Big Bream
Ross Cannizzaro claimed the Austackle Big Bream prize at Sydney, securing the coveted title with his first fish on day two, a 1.28kg bream that fell to an emerald shiner coloured Gulp Crabby on a moored super cruiser.
“I found the bigger fish in the clear water east of the bridge, the key to catching them was to wait until the wind started to blow then match the weight of the jighead to the strength of the wind”.
Rod: Pflueger Patriarch XTR, 1-3kg, 6’10”
Reel: Pflueger Patriarch XT 9530
Line: 5lb Berkley Exceed (orange)
Leader: 3-6lb Berkley Sensei fluorocarbon
Lure: Berkley Gulp Crabby (camo and emerald shiner), 1/32, 1/24, 1/16 Nitro, size 2 jighead
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