The Skeeter ABT National BREAM Classic Championship at Port Macquarie November 10-11 was the grand finale of a culmination of six Australian States Classic events throughout the year. A total of 73 teams braved the torrential rain and dirty water conditions, all trying to take home the Skeeter SX170 with Evinrude motor on offer for the winner.
Day one tested the resolve of many of the competitors with the downpour damping the start. Team Squidgy, consisting of Shimano work mates Chris Cleaver and Zac Crombie, weighed in the five heaviest fish of the day (5/5, 2.87kg) and were content to go to bed early with a 430 gram lead on the Saturday night.
Despite the weather fining up on Sunday, the brown fresh water took over the river. All the anglers felt the pressure to be on their game to take the win. Port Macquarie Tackle weighed-in early and set Team Squidgy the mark of 2.42kg to win. The boys knew they had a cracking bag, but was it enough?
Handing their limit over to the weigh master, the scales tipped 3kg and the celebration began. Their winning weight was a total of 5.94kg for a full limit of ten fish.
Crombie used a Finesse Bream Raider rod matched to a Shimano Sustain 1000 reel spooled with 4lb Nitlon braid and 6lb Basic FC leader. Choosing the same line class, Cleaver used a Custom Hastings rod with a Shimano Stella 100FB reel.
Borrowing the wrapped Squidgies boat from Brett Wilson, the boys travelled upriver to fish mangrove banks, drains and underwater snags.
“We could see the fish hugging the mangrove roots far up the back,” Crombie said.
Using a Koolabung Fizzer with a double fizz, the team-mates used pause and retrieve to extract several bronze backed bream. Missed hits were followed up with either a Squidgy Stealth Prawn (wasabi) or the new Pro Range Lobby (wasabi) to tempt those inquisitive followers.
Runners up, and taking home an Engel fridge/freezer each, were Chris Blanch and Nathan Johns of Team Port Macquarie Tackle. These guys found their first-day fish against the rockwalls at the mouth of the river using Berkley Gulp Sandworms on 2lb straight through fluorocarbon. They then moved to the racks in Limeburners Creek on Sunday. Here they choose Bassday Kangoku Shads and shallow diving Jackall Chubbies in ghost ayu and wagasaki to extract their bream from the oyster encrusted racks.
Blanch choose to use a G.Loomis Bronzeback rod and Daiwa Sol 2000 spooled with 4lb Fins braid and 10 FC Rock fluorocarbon. Johns used a GL2 DSR820 matched to a Daiwa Certate 1500, Sunline Super PE braid in 8lb and the same leader.
The big bream of the weekend was a hotly contested affair with the Bassday prize pack finally going to the crew from Team Blackfish, weighing a cracking 1.25kg specimen.
A total of 351 fish were weighed in for 159.5kg, the average bream weighing a healthy 450 grams.
The sun made its way out to the presentation on Sunday and this brought out the Port Macquarie crowds. With the Shimano team-mates winning the Skeeter – it was like a dream come true for the pair. The ready-to-fish package will definitely get used at some of at the ABT Classic events in 2008.
ABT would like to acknowledge the work and contribution of all of ABT’s BREAM Classic organisers and sponsors in 2007, and would like to thank Skeeter Boats for their support and sponsorship of the inaugural BREAM Classic Championship.
For more information and images visit www.bream.com.au .
|1||SQUIDGY: Chris Cleaver & Zachias Crombie||5||2.89||5||3.05||10||5.94||Skeeter SX170, 115hp E-Tec, Minn Kota, Humminbird package|
|2||PORT MACQUARIE TACKLE: Chris Blanch & Nathan Johns||5||2.46||5||2.85||10||5.31|
|3||WHITEHEAD TIMBER SALES: Dean Truman & Shane Hill||5||2.48||5||2.59||10||5.07|
|4||PFLUEGER: Darren Borg & Gregg Flett||5||2.18||5||2.39||10||4.57|
|5||BLACKFISH: David Blackman & Mitchell Fischer||3||1.44||5||2.81||8||4.25|
|6||CULBURRA BAIT N TACKLE: Grant Kime & Scott Brown||5||2.12||5||1.95||10||4.07|
|7||BERKLEY: Scott Towner & Mark Mangold||5||1.73||5||2.32||10||4.05|
|8||WOODSTOCK BOURBON AND COLA 2: David Welfare & Nicholas Reay||5||1.82||5||2.12||10||3.94|
|9||BUSHNBEACH/BERKLEY/4BC: Chris Britton & Ben Collins||3||1.48||4||2.44||7||3.92|
|10||BIAS BOATING: Gary Fooks & Elliot Fooks||3||1.27||5||2.59||8||3.86|