Team Colac Tackle Samurai Rods take out the win at the East Gippsland Bream Classic
  |  First Published: July 2016

The weekend of 30 April 2016 saw 54 teams head to Mallacoota for the Bayford Volkswagen East Gippsland Bream Classic. Round 3 of the 2016 Atomic Bream Classic Series meant that teams really needed to secure a good result if they were to stand a chance to challenge the Club Marine Team of the Year title.

For Team Colac Tackle’s Dan Mackrell and Steve Parker it would be yet another successful weekend to add to their many victories, as they produced two solid days of fishing to claim the Bayford Volkswagen East Gippsland Bream Classic title for 2016.

On Day 1, Mackrell and Parker took off in 15th place and went straight to the edge of Goodwin Sands hoping to fill a quick limit and get out of there. Upon arrival at their chosen spot, they were surprised by a pod of dolphins harassing the area!

“We fished for 5-10 minutes without so much as a bite, so we lifted the electric motor and got out of there. We went to our big fish area from the day before and really didn’t move too far from here for the rest of the day.”

The first fish they splashed into the well was a chunky 35cm fork length model. Two casts later a 37cm found its way to the net. Things went quiet for a little while and they worked their way back to a deeper hole that dropped off from the main flat. This was obviously where the fish had retreated to, and once they hit the mark, they quickly filled a limit.

“With another 36cm chunker, we really only needed to upgrade two 30cm fish to have a solid bag. It was only 8:30am so we had plenty of time. We just kept cruising around in that area trialling different runs and looking for more holes and drop-offs to try and key in to exactly what the fish were doing.”

The pair caught plenty of 28-30cm fish through the session, but after a couple of hours they revisited the deeper hole and managed to upgrade the two smaller fish with a 36cm and 33cm fish.

Steve, who owns and runs Colac Tackle normally has a great laugh when the tailor population are in force and can always be heard saying how good they are for the tackle industry. There was no laughing on this day though, as by the end of the session as a result of some serious tackle loss, the pair were both running very low on the Atomic Seekerz 1/11oz jigheads and grub style plastics that had been doing the damage on the bream.

Thankfully they were able to restock for Day 2 thanks to good friends Declan, Corey, Damian and Adam.

As the boys placed their bag on the scales after a very productive day, they had 5/5 bream for 4.47kg and were sitting in 2nd place behind young guns Isaac Primmer and Morgan Flook from Team ‘Keepin’ It Reel’, who weighed in 5/5 bream for 4.55kg – a bag that would secure them the Maria Lures Best Bag Prize for the weekend.

“We were keen to get at it and put in another big day as we took off on Day 2 in 2nd, some 80g behind the leaders.”

The fishing started off well for the pair, who secured a limit before 8am, but not one of the original fish made the cut to the scales at the end of the day. They decided to persist in the area, and some time later after a couple of small upgrades they managed a couple of 34cm fish. Things were on the up, and they could tell the fish were about to fire up.

The bait and tailor pushed back into the deeper area and the larger bream cruised back in underneath for an easy meal. Another 35cm fish came aboard shortly after and the next few bites resulted in big headshakes. They knew they were onto some winners. Midday arrived, and so did the wind, causing them to have to work the electric motor hard and fishing the key area into the breeze proved difficult.

“I made a change and put on the 1/8oz Atomic Seekerz head to ensure I spent maximum time in the strike zone and this paid off in the form of a bream just under 38cm,” said Mackrell.

With the smallest fish in the well around 33cm, the team fished hard until the last minute to try for another kicker. Time was up, and it was time to head back to the weigh-in.

Back at the scales their five fish weighed 4.24kg, and gave them a total of  10/10 bream for 8.71kg. The final weigh-in was incredibly close with Team Keepin’ It Reel also weighing in a solid bag of 5/5 Bream for 4.13kg, however when the calculations were done the boys from Colac Tackle Samurai Rods had done just enough to sneak past Keepin’ It Reel to claim victory.

One of the other highlights of Day 2 was the cracking JML Anglers Alliance Big Bream of 1.48kg, weighed in by Team MPW’s Peter Marshall and Will Reinelt.

Next stop sees the 2016 Atomic Bream Classic Series head to Metung on the Gippsland Lakes for the Club Marine East Gippsland Bream Classic. For more information, or if you’d like to get involved in the series please visit www.vicbreamclassics.com.au. – Bill Hartshorne

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