Ninety-two anglers fought both bream and traffic on the weekend while Dick Cheney was in town, some surviving better than others.
Finishing strongly from eighth place on Day 1 was Andrew Howard who compiled a 10/10 bag for 6.63kg. Second went to Steve Morgan (10/10, 5.87kg), third Mark Mangold (10/10, 5.62kg), fourth Andrew Homann (10/10, 5.56kg), and fifth Darren Borg (10/10, 5.48kg).
Howard, a carpenter from Taree, used a Millerod 7ft Finesse rod matched to a Shimano Twin Power 1000 reel, spooled with 3lb Berkley Crystal and finished with 6lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon.
Fishing Berkley 2” Shrimp (natural) on a Nitro 1/32oz jighead, Howard cast these under docks with lots of twitches, keeping the lure high in the water column looking for a follower.
Fishing the Black Wattle Bay area and surrounds, Howard explained how important he found the presence of seaweed.
“At one spot with a vertical concrete wall, I worked the shrimp over the top of the weed, then let it sink down the face for two seconds,” he said.
After finding a productive 100m stretch of horseshoe bay, Howard worked the stretch, then left to rest the spot before returning later on. He repeated this a number of times, to good effect.
Steve Morgan, the only Queensland boater to make the trip south, finished strongly to take second place. Catching the majority of his bream on hard-bodied crankbaits on the Saturday and on surface poppers on Sunday, he juggled his spots to suit the conditions.
“I know only a couple of ways to catch bream in Sydney – in the Parramatta River on hard bodies and in Middle Harbour on topwater,” he said. “The crankbait fish need current and the topwater bream need wind, so I spent the run-out tide in the Parra and then made the run to Middle Harbour mid-session.”
Morgan’s Saturday bag was anchored with bream landed on an Ecogear SX40 (col 339) fished on 3lb Yamatoyo Spinning Fluoro around docks and rocky banks with a soft 7” rod and 2500 Daiwa Airity.
“The Parramatta River bream were very structure-oriented on the last of the ebb tide – often the best cast was so close to structure that there was no chance of getting the fish out again,” Morgan said. “I suppose the guys at Ecogear like that pattern!”
After moving to Middle Harbour, Morgan fished the windblown banks with ‘el-cheapo’ Gillies poppers, retro-fitted with Owner trebles on an Angler DCX 840 rod, Daiwa Airity reel, 2lb Platypus SuperBraid and 8lb Black Magic copolymer leader.
“Those clear water bream definitely bite better when it’s blowing – you pop the topwater a few times and you can see the bream shadow the lure before eating it,” he said. “It’s great fun. You’ve just got to discipline yourself to not strike until the bream hooks itself.”
The winning non-boater for the weekend was Craig Johnson. Fishing with Norm Kemp on Day 1 and Andrew Howard on Day 2, he accumulated a 6/10, 3.14kg limit.
Fishing deep on Saturday in 20ft of water with Gulp worms and 3” Craws, Johnson then made the switch on Day 2 with TT Hidden Weight jigheads and Gulp Smelt Minnows.
He used two outfits, a Millerod Brawler and a Millerod Classic with matching Shimano Stella and Sustain 1000 reels.
The $500 Go-So Big Bream cheque went to Vicki Winter who caught a 1.31kg brute from under the boats in Lane Cove on Day 1. Fishing with 2007 Oz Open Winner Wayne Reed, Vicki enticed the fish with a Berkley Gulp 3” Grub (watermelon) rigged on a 1/16oz Nitro jighead.
Make sure you visit www.bream.com.au for all the latest results.