On a system with tough fishing conditions many anglers still found amazingly good fishing in the Club Marine Gippsland Lakes Super Series held at Metung.
This was the first Super Series event held in Victoria and with $10,000 guaranteed for first place, Mark Mangold travelled Sydney to take a stunning last day come from behind victory.
A Super Series event is a chance to put on a show and set upon the foreshore of the Metung Hotel the public had a chance to see tournament fishing up close. With sponsors such as Flowrite demonstrating new livewell and recirculation technology, as well as the impressive 125% payback scheme, the stage was set for the final day Top Ten Shootout.
Starting some two kilograms behind on that final day, Mangold weighed in the heaviest bag of the weekend at 4.48kg to claim victory and etch his name into the ABT records.
Missing the Mallacoota round the previous week due to an illness in the family, Mangold didn’t want to miss an opportunity of a Super Series event, even though he had not been fishing at his best. A blue green algae bloom had cursed the Lakes region for the four weeks prior to the event and the local word was the bream had shut down. This tough bite tested even the seasoned tournament pro anglers, yet still yielded a technique that could be classed as the innovation of 2008 on the bream scene.
Stuart Buckingham had led the charge for two days, but with electric problems on the final day didn’t manage to weigh a fish in on the crucial ‘money’ day. A 2kg lead meant the other anglers in the final day’s shootout had to bring in a limit, with Mangold and second placed Shaun Clancy doing just that. These two final day limits were part of only five limits presented to weigh masters for the entire weekend.
Shaun Clancy, who was fishing jetties in the Metung area alongside Mangold, just did not have the quality fish in his bag to catch a rampaging Mangold and it was Mangold who reigned supreme and claimed $10,000.
Mangold used a Berkley Pro Tactic 2-4kg rod, with an Abu Cardinal 802 reel spooled with 3lb Microfuse and the new 4lb Vanish Trilene leader.
Mangold’s fish came on the popular Ecogear VX40 vibration bait that he covered with Gulp Shrimp Spray every few casts. “The use of a scent,” Mangold said “was the edge I needed to lure the deceptive Gippsland black bream to the net”.
Using his sounder to locate fish, Mangold discovered that the fish were hugging the bottom, looking like they were sulking and trying to endure the conditions rather than actively feeding. Using a vertical jig to attract the fish, Mangold then let the Ecogear metal vibe lay dormant on the bottom in the dirty water long enough for the inquisitive bream to pick up the lure.
Having patience and waiting for the bream to move out from behind some boarded jetties proved to be the key, with two of his larger bream on the final day caught within a 10 minute period.
“Feeling only a small peck, I would lift weight on the rod,” said Mangold.
“Most of the fish had the trebles caught on the outside of the mouth and face.
“I stuck with 4lb leader in the dirty water conditions even though I paid the price on day 2 losing some quality bream to pylons,” he said.
And this obstinance and sticking to his game plan was the ultimate key to success as Mangold presented his big day 3 bag limit.
Mangold’s 50 points earned for the Super Series win has now moved him to third in the BREAM rankings and the extra $10,000 has shifted his earnings to over $30,000 for his ABT BREAM career.
Behind Mangold, and missing the big prize by almost 1.5kg was Victorian and tournament favourite Shaun Clany. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Clancy as his two second places for the Victorian rounds saw him claim the 2008 Lowrance Victorian Angler of the Year title.
As Shaun said at the presentation “If you can’t win the event, being ranked the best BREAMer in Victoria is a fantastic second prize”.
The Lowrance AOY title is an important feat amongst some of Australia’s most talented bream anglers. Shaun has been fishing ABT events for years and as the BLA representative in the southern states of Australia, has concentrated on honing his angling skills at every opportunity in tournament conditions.
With only the renowned black bream specialist Kaj ‘Bushy’ Busch hot on his heels, Shaun was excited to once again qualify for the 2008 Ford Ranger BREAM Grand Final and score the lifelike bream AOY trophy.
Clancy’s tackle consisted of a Berkley Pro Tactic rod that he matched with a Daiwa 2500 Tournament Z reel spooled with 8lb Fireline and 10lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon. This outfit allowed him to land a massive 110cm mulloway on the final day as well as his limit of bream. A stark contrast to the week before in Mallacoota where he chose to fish a much lighter 3lb Crystal and 4lb Rockfish leader.
Like most anglers Shaun suffered from a bad prefish. He had spent at least a week travelling around the vast Lakes system with very little return. He too had found the bream around the jetties in the Metung area and chose to work these with the Ecogear VX40 vibes. Using some acknowledged etiquette Clancy worked vacant stretches alongside Mangold and Kaj Busch.
On the final day, he started in 4th place and raced to his spots to get his limit. Coupled with his mulloway at 8am, Clancy had his limit by 11am, but the last 3 hours were quiet as he desperately tried to upgrade some of the bream in his livewell.
Using a small 6 inch lift of the metal vibe with a 3-4 second pause, Clancy worked meticulously watching his Humminbird sounder and marking fish. While not giving him the fish for a win Clancy still walked away with $1200 to his credit plus a growing reputation as a serious tournament gun angler.
Champion non-boater Dean Nash fished with Mangold and Clancy on consecutive days giving him an advantage few anglers could catch. Access to the top two boaters allowed Nash to compile four fish over the two days non-boaters fished the event and also allowed him to score the Go-So Big Bream prize of $500 a whopping 1.78kg specimen.
Using a Daiwa Heartland Z Saegake rod with a 2000 Airity reel spooled with 3lb Crystal Fireline and 4lb Sunline leader, he chose the Ecogear vibes, but the $500 fish ate the smaller 35mm version.
Using slow hops off the bottom Nash said, “I felt no bite, but lifted the rod gently to pick up weight”.
In the sponsor bonus program, Martin Richardson weighed in first on day one wearing his orange Daiwa cap to claim the $200 pack, while Drew McGrath weighed the heaviest bream on a Bassday to score the $480 lure prize. Brad Hodges was the highest placed Mercury owner receiving a $250 cheque, his second for the year.
The win for Mangold now makes him the third highest ABT BREAM money earner since the start of his long career. The added 50 points for a Super Series win bolsters his place amongst Australia’s top 10 breamers, but the dream will not be complete until he has that elusive Grand Final win and berth on the Australian Fishing Championship.
For further information visit www.bream.com.au or call ABT on 07 3268 7958. – ABT
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