Fifty-four boats graced the waters of the Tweed River for the 4BC Tweed River BREAM Challenge.
With the first schooling bite of the season testing angler’s skills in the deep, one angler showed he was up to the task the best, eclipsing the rest of the field to secure his first BREAM qualifying round win and the rewards that go with it.
For Trent Short, a tackle sales representative from Ballina, it was a long overdue win after seven grinding years on the BREAM circuit. Compiling a 10/10, 5.27kg limit for the event, Short spent his tournament time fishing the Terranora arm of the system, focusing his attention on the gravel patch area adjacent to Kennedy Drive. Positioning his boat on the upriver edge of the patch, Short worked the area, targeting fish holding in 6-ft of water.
“Most of the guys were fishing on top of the reef, chasing the bream that were holding in the deeper swirling water,” Short said.
“Rather than do the same thing I decided to hit the shallow section upriver and target the roaming fish.
“Getting to the spot early and getting there quickly each day was important.
“It was the first 20 casts before anyone else arrived each morning that produced the bigger fish,” he said.
The technique that delivered Short these kicker fish each morning was a standard fast flowing water presentation. With the nose of the boat pointed into the current Short would cast his lure 45 to the boat, before working it back with the current and into the path of the waiting fish.
Opting for an evolving presentation, Short modified his lure choice, swapping between Ecogear Padtues, Short Curls and Grass Minnows (small), and 2” Berkley Shrimps to continually present the fish with something different to eat.
Rigged on a range of 1/32oz, 1/24oz, and 1/16oz Nitro Jigheads, Short presented his offerings with a pair of G.Loomis SR 842-2 rods matched to Daiwa Emeraldas 2508 spin reels. One was spooled with 2lb Basic FC fluorocarbon and the other 4lb Strike Pro Braid.
Hot on Shorts’ heals was close friend and regular fishing partner Travis Davies, who compiled a 10/10, 4.87kg limit to secure second place and the second Grand Final boater berth on offer at the event.
Fishing a game plan established during the Friday prefish, Davies, like Short headed straight to Kennedy Drive, and used a deep water soft plastic approach to tempt his quarry.
The lure of choice was the hugely popular 2” Berkley Gulp Shrimp (new penny), rigged on a 1/32oz jighead. The assortment of tackle used to present the shrimp included a 7’2” Millerod Bream Buster Finesse rod, and a 1500 Daiwa Fuego spin reel. The important addition by Davies’ own admission was the use of 2lb Sunline Basic FC fluorocarbon, fished all the way through to the jighead.
Davies also claimed the Lowrance QLD BREAM Angler of the Year title. Compiling 194/200 points for the two Queensland rounds, it was due reward for a fine display of consistency over the Queensland leg of the BREAM Series.
The non-boater division proved to be laissez faire, with the Daniel Brown claiming the title with his 10/10, 4.36kg two-day bag. Fishing with Michael Maas on day one and Darren ‘Dizzy’ Borg on day two, Brown mastered the bite the best, fishing deep water rocks walls and holes to fill his bag each day.
Using a combination of 2” Berkley Gulp Shrimps (new penny), and 4” Berkley Turtleback Worms (pumpkinseed) rigged on 1/22oz, size 1, TT jigheads, Brown fished the offerings to bottom hugging fish, floating it through the water column before dead sticking it on the bottom.
The tackle of choice used by Brown included a 6’10” G.Loomis Drop Shot rod, 1500 Daiwa Advantage reel, 8lb Berkley XDS Fireline, and 5lb Tortue leader.
The Go-So Big Bream fell to a 1km+ fish; with Gold Coast local Jade Masters claiming the $500 prize for his 1.08kg specimen wrestled from one the Tweed’s many rock walls on day one.
One qualifying round remains in the Ford Courier BREAM Series, with the final event, the Lowrance Port River BREAM Challenge taking place in South Australia, 9-10th September. For more information visit www.bream.com.au or phone ABT on (07) 3268 3992 (b/h) or 0427 326 464 (b/h). – ABT