Sunday 20 March saw the numbers of the Sydney round doubled from the 2015 season, with 66 kayak anglers from New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria. Anglers blasted through the Power-Pole starting gates and out onto the head waters of the Georges River and the southwestern reaches of Botany Bay in the first ‘One Day Wonder’ of the 2016 season.
There were 27 anglers in Atomic round four who hauled aboard full bags, which was four bream on the day. A total of 149 fish with a combined weight of 78.32kg were brought to the scales after a day of fishing. Tough conditions tested anglers’ kayak handling skills with strong winds and driving rain coming in around midday, adding an extra unpleasant condition that lasted until the end of the day.
Anglers were chasing the round win and a place in the Australian Championship, Angler of the Year and rankings points as they headed to their preferred starting locations at 7am. The vast majority headed to Woolooware Bay with its oyster racks, mangrove, flats and derelict boat hulls. Others split in small numbers heading under the Captain Cook Bridge to fish boat hulls around a number of mooring sites and a small group headed into the edge of Botany Bay itself.
At the end of one of the toughest days on the water this season, the Lowrance Leaderboard was headed by Brad Chin from Heathcote in New South Wales with an impressive four bream bag weighing 3.28kg, taking home $1100. Chin also picked up a bonus $100, taking out the Hogs Breath Cafe Boss Hog Big Bream (the biggest fish of the tournament), the monster weighed in at 1.43kg, the heaviest bream caught at any round so far in 2016.
At the end of the day, Chin held a 350g weight advantage over second place finisher Simon Morley, from Bulli in New South Wales, who bagged four bream for 2.93kg and round three winner Carl Dubois from Sydney continued a successful run of performances, netting a four bream bag at 2.86kg and third place, his second podium finish in the last two rounds of the series.
Decked out in Atomic gear from his head to his fingertips, it was a touch of irony that Chin blasted his way to win the Atomic round, his first time ever to compete in the bream series.
Chin said that he went into the one day tournament with a well thought out game plan in mind.
“I was always going to fish Kogarah Bay, blading around the boat hulls and hitting their anchor blocks and using deep cranks along the edges,” he said. “I stuck to my plan and for most of the day and I was basically there by myself, I only ever saw a couple of other competitors. The plan worked well, but the wind was a bit of a factor because I was using the Hobie MirageDrive the whole time when I was facing into the wind, casting into the bow of the boats and bringing the blades back. I couldn’t have done it without the MirageDrive.
“When I moved from the boats, the edges I found today were pretty bouldery, so I was throwing the hardbodies at them and slow rolling over the boulders waiting for the hit to come on.
“I had a few mishaps during the day, my home made livewell broke while I was out there. I overcame the problem by emptying out my drinking water bottle and continually topping up the water with it. It was a homemade livewell and so now I’ve won, I’ve got myself a bit of money to buy myself a new Hobie Livewell XL… a proper one. Despite the draw backs, I ended up getting some good fish, so overall I had a cracker of a day.
“I got back early because there were a couple of fish I was a bit worried about so I ended up standing out in the water for an hour and a half swimming a couple of fish in a net to keep them healthy. I was happy to see them swim away strongly after the weigh-in.
“What a great event this was despite the weather, Hobie has the reputation of putting on great kayak events, and I mainly do boating events, but I reckon this would have to be one of the best events going around, a great production. I’ll definitely be having a go at a few more.
“If I get permission from my wife I might have a go at the Hobie Fishing Worlds rounds next year!”
“I think the blade gave me the edge today. The Atomic blades are my go to lures and seem to work really well, especially in that ‘hay u’ colour, it’s definitely one of my favourites.”
2015 Australian kayak Angler of the Year Simon Morley worked the magic that won him many podium finishes last year, landing him into the top three for the first time in the current series.
“I was pretty happy really with how I went, I got a fair few fish. I caught two legal fish early and a lot of small fish and I jagged my big one at about a quarter to nine, which was really good,” Morely said. “It took a bit longer to get my fourth legal to fill my bag. From then on, I slowly upgraded all day and overall I probably caught 10 legals and maybe 15 smaller fish.
“From the start I headed straight over from the event site to the Woolooware oyster racks and I stayed there the whole day. I fished using a Daiwa Steez 2560 reel on 13 Fish Envy Black rods and I caught most of my fish on Atomic Hardz. That combination really worked for me today, just slow rolling the Atomic hardbodies.
“The weather was fantastic, everybody loves a bit of rain, right? There was plenty of wind too, but I actually like the wind because it makes the fish feel safe and lets them come out and play a bit better. It can be a bit painful in heavy wind and because of it I had to keep pedalling non-stop all day. But I used the wind to my advantage and I think the fish were more interested when I threw low trajectory casts into the wind and worked it back slowly with the wind and waves. I reckon without that technique, I wouldn’t have caught nearly as many fish”.
Round winner Brad Chin pigged out this round and weighed in the tournament’s biggest fish, a 1.43kg bream, taking another $100 home for his efforts with the Hog’s Breath Cafe Boss Hog Big Bream cheque. He caught the Boss Hog using an Atomic Hardz Metalz 35 1/8oz in ‘hay u’ colour.
The divisions that are encouraging new anglers, women, youth and old hands to try their skills in tournament kayak fishing were once again on offer this round. Division winners to take home impressive sponsor prize packs loaded with goodies including a Hobie Yoke PFD.
Congratulations go to the winners for the Atomic round. In the Youth division (16-21) James Morgan from NSW took out the day. In the Women’s, Tracey Wright from NSW came out on top, and in the Grand Masters (65+) Brian Rutledge from NSW was able to snare a win.
This year, Hobie Fishing have been encouraging ‘First Timer’ competitors to enter tournament kayak fishing with free entry into the Hobie Kayak Bream Series events. The Atomic round over the weekend saw the largest number of new entries this season with seven new anglers joining the old hands. Well done on a really hard day on the water to the whole group and Hobie Fishing hopes to see you all back in future rounds.
The top ‘First Timer’ at the end of the tournament taking home a Hobie Fishing Jersey and a Hobie Cap was Allen Delaney from NSW.
The ‘One Dayer’ Mortgage Corp Door Prize for round 4, went to Justine Belobraydich who was able to finish her first Hobie tournament, a day that was a real struggle, on a high note taking away the Mortgage Corp Picnic Pack.
As with all of the events in the Hobie Kayak Bream Series, this round could not have gone ahead without the generous support of our sponsors Daiwa, Berkley, Atomic, Lowrance, Rhino-Rack, Strike Pro, TT Lures, Power-Pole, Mortgage Corp, Hog’s Breath Cafe and ABT.
Thanks also to the team from Sailing Scene in Mona Vale who sat through a day of wind and rain to provide Hobie dealer support.
|Line||Unitika Bream Super PE Jr 8lb|
|Leader||Unitika Silver Thread FC 4lb|
|Rod||Samurai Reaction RE181-70 7ft 3-6lb|
|Reel||Shimano Stradic CI4 1000F|
|Lure/s||Atomic Hardz Metalz 35 1/8oz in ‘hay u’ colour, and Hardz Bream Crank 38 Double Deep in ghost brown shad|
|Women: Tracey Wright||1.37kg|
|Grand Masters: Brian Rutledge||1.84kg|
|Youth: James Morgan||0.87kg|
|First Timer: Allen Delaney||1.49kg|