Towner Triumphs on Derwent
  |  First Published: April 2008

The final round of the Tasmanian leg of the Ford Ranger BREAM Series lived up to it’s expected hype producing record bags and XOS fish for the 58 strong tournament field.

Day one set the tone for the weekend, with Chris ‘Slick’ Wright rewriting the five-fish limit record with his 7.055kg bag, and the average fish weight pulling the scales down to 1.05kg.

Day two proved tougher with many anglers struggling to find the hot bite of the previous day. Nevertheless, one angler continued his day one form, with Scott Towner advancing from second place on day one to secure his third BREAM Qualifier victory. Compiling a 10/10, 12.83kg bag for the event Towner spent the duration of his weekend fishing the rocky shoreline and weed fringes between Bowen Bridge and Dog Shear Point.

Fishing a 3” Berkley Gulp Fry in lime tiger colour, Towner would cast his offering to the weed fringe then allow the lure to sink to the bottom before working the lure with an aggressive double hop retrieve.

“The key was to move the lure quickly then let it to sink to the bottom. Most of the takes came as the fry was sinking or as it sat on the bottom”, explained Towner.

“Watching the line for the smallest of hits during this process was important, especially on Sunday when the bite was tougher.”

Towner’s most productive banks featured baitfish and shrimp working along the weed line, a pattern that he cracked during the Friday pre-fish.

“I fished last year’s banks first up in the morning and they failed to fire like they did the year before”, explained Towner.

“So I looked a little further a field and quickly identified the best banks as the ones with bait on them.”

This pattern saw Towner land 15 fish on day one and another dozen on the day two.

Towner’s tournament-winning tackle included a 6’9”, 2-4kg Berkley Pro Tactic rod, ABU Cardinal 802 reel, spooled with 6lb Stren Micro Fuse and 4lb Berkley Trilene leader. Scott rigged his money bait, a 3” Gulp Fry, on a 1/12 oz, size 2 Nitro jighead.

“I was fishing a jighead with a larger hook during the pre-fish and was dropping fish, so I downsized to a size two and they started to stick”, he explained.

The rewards for Towner’s well executed tournament were numerous with the Bowral BREAMer claiming the $500 Go-So Big Bream prize for his 1.755kg day one kicker fish and the ultimate prize for the Tassie Tour, the Lowrance Tasmanian BREAM Angler of Year Title. Securing the title for the second year running Towner will be gunning for the AOY three-peat when the tour returns to Tassie in 2009.

Securing the runner-up title for the event was 2007 winner and Hobart local Leigh McKenzie with 10/10 and 11.975kg. Fishing rocky structure above Bowen Bridge, McKenzie used a jighead rigged soft plastic and crankbait approach to fill his well over the two days.

Fishing soft plastics on day one McKenzie used a 3" Berkley Gulp Fry (camo colour) rigged on a 1/16oz Nitro jighead, working the lure over the top of rocks and weeds in two metres of water using a series of lifts and pauses.

“Letting the current drift the lure along the structure was just as important as the retrieve, with the big blacks nailing the lure with gusto and heading straight for the rocks”, explained McKenzie.

Day two proved tougher for McKenzie with his day one spot failing to fire. Changing tact in search of fish McKenzie heading upriver to Bridgewater where he filled his well fishing an Ecogear SX48 (316 colour) along the weed edges at low tide. Making long casts towards the edge McKenzie used a rolling retrieve with intermittent pauses to score his fish.

McKenzie’s choice of tackle included a G.Loomis SJR6400 IMX rod and Daiwa Airity' spooled with 10lb Sunline Castaway and 3 and 6lb Sunline V-hard fluorocarbon when fishing soft plastics, and a G.Loomis DSR820S GLX rod for his hardbodies. McKenzie added to his earnings for the tournament, claiming the $250 Mercury and $250 MotorGuide bonuses as the highest placed Mercury/MotorGuide user.

The local contingent continued their excellent performance in the event, with 40-year-old Hobart Restaurateur Plinio Taurian securing victory in the non-boater division with 10/10 at 9.655kg. Fishing with Steve Duff on day one and Shaun Clancy on day two, Taurian compiled his limit fishing rocky structures in the lower reaches of the Derwent with a combination of soft plastics and hardbodies.

His soft plastic approach involved working a 3” Berkley Gulp Fry in (watermelon colour) out from the edge with an aggressive double hop followed by a short pause. Slowing down the retrieve as the lure worked its way over the drop-off and into the strike zone. While the approach delivered the desired results on day one, day two proved more difficult, with Taurian switching to a twitch and pause Daiwa Presso and Squidgy Stiffy to complete his limit.

His choice of tackle included a 7’ Strudwick Sic Stik Pro rod, 2000 Daiwa Sol reel, spooled with 4lb Bass Hard line and 4lb Yamatoyo Rock Fish leader. Adding to his tackle line-up was his choice of jighead with the non-boating champion using a mixture of 1/12, 1/16 and 1/20 oz TT jigheads.

The Sponsor Bonus Programs continued in its popularity with Victorian BREAMer Mick Pressnell claiming the $200 Daiwa Merchandise Bonus, while Andrew Krushka secured the $480 Bassday Big Bream prize with his 1.15kg specimen on day two.

The next event of the Ford Ranger BREAM Series sees the tour head to Victoria for the Evinrude Mallacoota BREAM Challenge on 12-13th April. For more information on the event or any of the series visit www.bream.com.au or phone ABT (07) 3268 7958.


Ford Ranger BREAM Series: Shimano Derwent River BREAM Challenge Boater Results

Place Angler State TF TW Payout $
1 Scott TOWNER NSW 10 12.830 1300 + $500 Go-So Big Bream (1.755kg)
2 Leigh MCKENZIE TAS 10 11.975 900 +$250 Mercury Bonus + $250 MotorGuide Bonus
3 Mark MANGOLD NSW 10 11.400700
4 Don JOHNSTON WA 10 11.080 500
5 Steve MORGAN QLD 10 11.000 400
6 Chris WRIGHT NSW 9 10.680 300
7 Shaun CLANCY VIC 10 10.305 Prize Pack
8 Patrick SULLIVAN TAS 9 9.670 Prize Pack
9 Wayne FRIEBE Vic 8 8.930

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