The ABT Shimano Clarence River Super Series Event held on the weekend of June 8-10 was a hit with the locals and a goal fulfilled for back-to-back winner Darren ‘Dizzy’ Borg.
Having finished runner up at the Taree Super Series Event and seventh at the Hawkesbury two weeks prior, Borg felt some pressure to succeed on his home waters. Starting in fourth place on the final morning, some 180g behind the leader, the $10,000 oversized Shimano cheque was anybody’s.
Weighing in 5/5, 3.08kg (total 15/15, 9.44kg) to take the Shimano hot seat from Matt Fraser (15/15, 8.73kg) Borg was nervous to say the least, with Scott Towner weighing in last and needing 3kg even to win the event. As Towner’s bag passed by Dizzy’s eyes towards the scale the crowd fell silent.
“2.94kg,” came the call from the Weigh Master.
Borg had just done enough to hold off his fellow AFC opponent and at the same time claim the 2007 NSW Angler of the Year Trophy.
Taking advantage of the Sponsor Bonus program, Dizzy used Angler Rods DCX 840 and 841 models, and managed to get his grand final entry fees paid for. Matched to these rods he used Stealth 2000 reels spooled with 4lb Berkley Fireline and 6lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon.
Working the Browns Rocks area first up, Borg then moved to the walls in the middle of the day, before heading back to Browns Rock.
In an average water depth of 8m, Borg worked a 1/6oz TT jighead in the strong current. As it slowed, he worked back through the weight range to 1/16oz to continue the finesse bite.
Using the popular 2” Berkley Gulp Shrimp in a variety of colours, Borg would collate his bag then rig both the larger 3” version and a hard body to upgrade.
His hard body of choice was the Zip Bait 50mm Calibra. Darren explains his unique technique.
“In the deep water, I would let the line fall off the spool and the lure sink with the current. I would then lift the lure from under the boat and hold it suspended for ten seconds. It was while the lure was suspended that the bream would grab the crankbait and hold on. If not, I would let the lure flutter to the bottom once again, before repeating the process,” he said.
In contrast to Darren’s bottom of the river bags, Towner headed upstream from Maclean to fill his well. He used Berkley Pro Tactic rods in the 7ft 2-4kg range, matched to Abu Cardinal 802 reels spooled with 6lb Berkley Crystal and 4lb Vanish leader.
Towner went through almost fifteen packets Berkley Gulp 2” Shrimp in lime tiger, as there were lots of pesky undersize bream hanging around.
Rigged on Nitro 1/16oz jigheads, Towner would target the tight overhanging structure and continue to hop the lure down the rocks. Looking for upgrades, he would then move to the flats and cast 1/8oz jigheads at a 45-degree angle ahead of the boat and hop the lure back with the current. Sometimes he would interchange the Shrimp with the Berkley Sandworm to upgrade.
Winning non-boater for the weekend was Peter Kelleher scoring 10/10, 5.78kg. He used a Millerod Bream Buster 6’6” and a Daiwa Luvius 1500 reel spooled with 4lb Berkley Fireline and Vanish.
Using Berkley Gulp 2” Shrimp in molting on 1/8oz and 1/6oz TT jigheads, Kelleher fished the rock walls on day one, letting his lure sink with the current and waiting for the bite. On day two he fished Browns Rocks all day, casting out far, letting the plastic sink and then bouncing it along the bottom with the boat drift.
The most talked about angler on the weekend had to be Gary Newell. His first ever 5/5 bag at an ABT event placed him in the lead on day one, with a weight of 3.77kg. The 5/5 bag included a kicker fish of 1.07kg taken at Browns Rocks on a Berkley Gulp 2” Shrimp. This fish eventually won him the $500 Go-So Big Bream cheque.
Sleep deprived, Gary set out on day two with the lead. Only one bream to his name early, he moved to Palmers Channel to get away from the crowd at Browns Rocks. This was a good decision, as he scored another four fish.
Never confident, Gary weighed in 2.77kg to make the top ten cut and head out in first place on the Shootout Sunday. Ranked 147th in the current www.bream.com.au rankings, Gary had six out of the ten hottest ranked breamers on his tail.
Alas, Sunday wasn’t to be for Gary, as he caught only four fish. However, he walked away an absolute star in the eyes of the crowd, taking home the $500 cheque and experiencing the thrill of leading a Super Series event.
Along with five others, Gary qualified for the Grand Final to be held at Lake Macquarie in November. With only three more bream events for the year, it will be here sooner than you think.
For all the information on ABT events, log onto www.bream.com.au and you too could be fighting it out for $25,000 cash or that exclusive AFC spot at the Grand Final.