Under clear autumn skies and warm conditions 68 boats headed off into the expansive Hawkesbury River system to kickstart the Ecogear Hawkesbury River BREAM Challenge.
After two days of tournament fishing, Glen Helmers, a 31-year-old mechanic of Lake Munmorah, showed that he’d put the day two jitters of 2005 behind him and was now up to task, delivering a great day-two limit to capture his first BREAM Qualifying Round win.
Compiling a 10/10, 6.63kg ‘full house’ limit for the event, Helmers relegated Clayton Gusmerini to second place. For Helmers it was an overdue win fuelled by a desire to perform well after his second day failing of 2004.
Helmers spent his tournament time in the Brisbane Waters area, focusing his attention on the scattered shallow racks on the flats. Concentrating on locations four feet and less in depth, Helmers presented his offerings with a series of long searching casts retrieved over the shallow.
“Early in the session each day you could swim the plastic across the surface or sub-surface, and the fish would appear behind it, then take it as it was paused in their face,” Helmers said.
“As the day progressed and the fish hung a little deeper I had to present it a little tighter to where they were.”
For Helmers this involved working the lure across the racks and flats before pausing and stalling it into holes and adjacent to prime fish-holding features. The result was a string of fish each day, pulled from water that in many cases had his hull hitting the sand and his electric motor churning mud.
“The lure set-up and retrieve that did it was fairly standard,” Helmers explained.
“A 1/40oz TT jighead rigged 3” Gulp Minnow Grub (watermelon) early when the fish were high and the wind low, and a heavier 1/16oz TT jighead rigged 3” Grub Minnow (watermelon) and Eco Products 3” Eye Ball Tail later in the day when the fish dropped deeper and the wind was stronger,” he added.
Helmers’ tackle choice showed similar diversity as his jighead choice, with his lighter 1/40oz offering being presented with an outfit comprised of a 6’10,” 2-4kg, Daiwa Procaster rod, 1500 Daiwa Laguna spin reel, spooled with 4lb Berkley Fireline and 6lb Siglon leader.
While the outfit used to present his 1/16oz jighead rigged plastic included a 6’10” G.Loomis Drop Shot DSR 820S rod, 2500 Shimano Twin Power spin reel, 6lb Berkley Fireline, and 8lb Siglon leader.
Anchoring his tournament winning bag was the event’s Go-So Big Bream winning fish, an outstanding 1.40kg specimen man-handled from an oyster rack in Brisbane Waters.
The 41cm fork length fish provided Helmers with an added $500 bonus to his $3000 1st prize cheque, and his $200 Mercury Sponsor Bonus prize as the highest placed boater running a Mercury outboard.
Second place boater and event runner up Clayton Gusmerini opted for different approach in comparison to Helmers, instead choosing an edge bite pattern to compile his 10/10, 6.13kg tournament limit.
Fishing the rocky banks and weed beds between Eumina Point and the Parsley Bay stretch of the Hawkesbury, Gusmerini used a steady stream of Berkley plastics to temp his fish and fill his livewell each day.
“Once rigged on either a 1/24 or 1/16oz Nitro jighead I’d pitch the Berkley to the edge, before working it along the bottom and back to the boat with a slow hoping retrieve,” Gusmerini explained.
“In most cases this had the lure working down the slope of the bank and into water up to 3 metres deep,” he added.
While the presentation varied little, Gusmerini’s choice of lure alternated significantly, rotating between a series of Berkley Gulps including, 3” Minnow Grubs (pumpkinseed), 4” Turtleback Worms (pumpkinseed), 3” Frys (pumpkinseed), and 6” Sandworms (natural).
The remainder of his tackle included a Daiwa Battler Sparrow (6’6”) and Kingbolt (6’8”) rod, both matched to 2500 Daiwa Sol spin reels, spooled with 4lb and 6lb Berkley Fireline, and 8lb Berkley Transitional Vanish fluorocarbon.
“It was a great weekend, plenty of fish, and a hell of a lot of fun,” Gusmerini said after the presentation.
“After the disappointment of missing the Grand Final last year, I’m stoked that I’m going to be there this year,” he added.
The champion non-boater title went to Rainbow Flat resident Troy Oehlman claiming victory with his, 8/10, 4.21kg limit. Finishing 840g ahead of his nearest rival, Oehlman seemingly found the going easy, fishing with champion boater Glen Helmers on day one and bagging out on day two with ABT regular Dave Welfare.
As the only non-boating angler to finish with over four kilo Oehlman took home a bounty of prizes including, an Angler Rod DCX spin rod, Daiwa Capricorn spin reel, and an assortment of tackle from the tour’s many sponsors.
For more information visit www.bream.com.au or phone ABT on (07) 3268 3992 or 0427 32 64 64 during business hours. - ABT
|1||Glenn HELMERS||10/10||6.63||$3000+ $500 Big Bream + $200 Mercury Bonus|
NON BOATER RESULTS
|1||Troy OEHLMAN||8/10||4.21||Angler Rod, Daiwa Capricorn , Prize Pack|
|2||Peter MESSENGER||5/10||3.37||Angler Rod, Tica reel, Prize Pack|
|3||Nigel WEBSTER||7/10||3.32||Spotters Sunglasses, Prize Pack|
|4||Byron GARDINER||5/10||2.94||Pflueger Rod, Prize Pack|
|5||Simon SCZEPANIAK||4/10||2.38||Strudwick Softbodz rod, Prize Pack|
|6||William LONGANI||3/10||2.22||Shimano Raider rod, Prize Pack|
|7||Norm KEMP||5/10||2.16||Tica reel, Prize pack|
|8||Jeff MOULDS||4/10||2.13||Nitro Rod, Prize Pack|
|9||Ben TURBOTT||5/10||2.05||Prize Pack|
|10||James YEUNG||3/10||1.98||Prize Pack|