The weekend of 29-30 April saw a capacity field of 57 teams head to Marlo for the Maria Lures Sunline Bream Classic. The reports in the lead up to the tournament were patchy with low water levels reported two weeks prior to the event.
By the time pre-fish day rolled around, the conditions for the weekend were nothing short of perfect. With whispers of a few good fish kicking about on pre-fish day, the anticipation was high that Marlo would finally produce the quality of fishing that its renowned for.
For Team Colac Tackle Samurai Rods Steve Parker and Dan Mackrell it would be a very short trip to their first hotspot and with most boats pushing up into Lake Corringle, they had relatively no pressure fishing the first island some 300m from the start.
“Starting around the first island on day one where we marked large amounts of fish on pre-fish day, we fished tight to the edge using Atomic 65mm suspending jerkbaits, OSP Dunks and paddle-tail soft plastics. We had five fish in the well for over 4kg in the first 45 minutes before the bite in the shallows shut down. From here we were able to use the day to further explore the estuary and also venture out into the lake. With fish caught in most locations and numerous upgrades it was obvious to us that the place was fishing well and it was going to take big bags on both days to be in the hunt,” Dan said.
‘Big bags’ was an understatement, as after weighing in 5/5 bream for 5.70kg, the boys were only sitting in second place. The talk of day one was the huge bag weighed in by Team JML Anglers Alliance Daniel Kent and Phil Partington which went a massive 5/5 bream for 6.07kg, and secured them the Maria Lures Best Bag for the weekend and had them sitting in first place going into day two.
Another standout capture on day one was the 1.82kg thumping bream that Team SAD’s Dean Gamble and Shane Barling landed. This secured them the JML Anglers Alliance Big Bream. With the top six teams all weighing in over 5kg and with the top 20 teams all weighing in over 4k,g day two was set for a huge finish. Marlo was turning on some of the best fishing the Vic Bream Classic Series has seen in many years.
On day two anglers awoke to weather that my almost too perfect for fishing with no wind and bright blue skies. With these conditions the bream could potentially become super spooky and much harder to catch. For Team Colac Tackle Samurai Rods it was back to the productive day one spot, only a short distance from the start line. Having to make up some 300g on the lead team, they knew they had to secure a quality bag again on day two to take the victory.
Using a combination of Samurai and G-Loomis rods, Daiwa reels, Unitika braid and fluorocarbon tied to a variety of lures, including Atomic 65mm jerk minnows, OSP Dunks, ZMan Slim SwimZ and Atomic 2.5” paddle-tails, the boys set about getting that winning bag.
“Day two [we] started in the exact some place as day one. How could we not? We landed three fish really quickly in the shallows, but then that bite shut down. A quick move out a bit deeper put the next two fish in the well and we would have had about 3.5kg, so it was time to look for upgrades.
“With the still conditions and sun rising fast we moved to a deeper rock wall where we caught two, 39cm fork length fish in quick succession, substantially increasing our bag weight. Again, this edge bite died out pretty quickly. Using the sounder we were able to locate smaller schools of larger fish sitting underneath large baitfish schools. Using a heavy 1/8oz Atomic Seekerz jighead, it was important to get to the bottom and stay there to avoid being bitten off by tailor. Bream were happily picking up the plastic on long pauses resting on the bottom. With 30+ legal fish landed for the session we headed back to the scales and weighed our fish fish for 5.27kg,” Dan said.
With 10/10 for 10.97kg the wait was on for Team JML Anglers Alliance to weigh in. When their bag hit the scales and only managed 4.22kg, it was official that Steve Parker and Dan Mackrell from Team Colac Tackle Samurai Rods had taken out the 2017 Maria Lures Sunline Bream Classic in style with an almost 11kg total haul.
There was a lot of movement on the leader board on day two with some teams finding new fish and others dropping right away when their day one spots failed to produce. Team Sniper Bro’s Ray and Chris Dorman took out the Hurricane Monster Movers prize when their day two 5/5 bream for 4.37kg shot them 25 places up the leader board to finish in 16th place.
The next stop for the 2017 Atomic Bream Classic Series is Million Dollar Metung for the Club Marine East Gippsland Bream Classic. Being the last qualifying round before the Grand Final and the last round to earn points towards the 2017 Club Marine Team of the Year race, it’s sure to be a hotly contested event. If you’re interested in entering please visit www.vicbreamclassics.com.au for all the entry details. – Vic Bream ClassicsReads: 541