Pflueger BREAM Pro Andrew Homann claimed one of the most coveted titles in BREAM fishing, securing victory at the Shimano Clarence River BREAM Challenge. Sitting on top the talented 63 boat field at the end of three days of competition, Homann annihilated the opposition by nearly 2kg (15/15, 10.74kg) to record a stunning and profitable victory.
Homann secured the win and the $10,000 cheque fishing upriver of the MacLean tournament base, working the cane grass and snag-laden edges between the Lawrence and Ulmarra ferries.
"I'd never fished the Clarence before so I did a bit of research before heading to the event, and it was while I was checking over some maps that I pinpointed a location that looked the goods," explained Homann.
His hunch was correct with the prefish delivered him a bag just under 3kg.
Day one was a continuation of the hot bite for Homann, with the Clarence champ heading straight to his hot spot from the take off.
"The tide wasn't running hard enough when I first got there, so I bided my time by fishing a nearby flat," said Homann. His wait was short. He hit the top of his run and began his productive drift down river.
"I'd work the boat parallel along the bank casting the lure ahead and drifting it in under the overhanging cane grass. I'd add the occasional pronounced hop to raise interest and work the lure out from the bank and through the 3-8ft deep strike zone," added Homann.
At the end of the drift Homann would rest the bank for 45 minutes before heading back up river and re-commencing the run.
This methodical process delivered 20 legal bream on day one, 15 on day two, and eight on day three. While the quantity of fish each day was standard tournament form the quality was exceptional, with his smallest bag weighing 3.04kg and the average weight of his fish a very respectable 0.72kg.
The gear used to compile his tournament winning bag was a 7' Pflueger Supreme, 2-4kg rod, Pflueger Supreme 8030 reel spooled with 3lb Stren Microfuse line and a 4lb Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon.
The money bait that delivered the win was the newly released banana prawn coloured 2" Berkley Gulp Shrimp, rigged on 1/16oz and 1/12 oz, size 1/0 Nitro Bream Finesse jigheads.
"The new banana prawn Gulp Shrimp worked exceptionally well over the weekend. It's the most life-like of all the colours and the bream responded accordingly, eating it with gusto," said Homann.
The victory for the 34 year old Sydneysider was his first on the Ford Ranger BREAM Tour, with the Super Series win adding a healthy $10,000 boost to his career earnings. The rewards didn't end there with the Pflueger pro picking up an additional $500 for the Skeeter bonus.
"Everything played out flawlessly, my pre-event research was spot-on, the spot fired, the fish stuck, and the bite lasted for three days and never died out… it all simply fell into place," said Homann.
Leading the charge of the chasing pack and securing the runners-up position was former Super Series victor and current Grand Final Champion Ben Godfrey (15/15, 8.77kg) from the Gold Coast.
Fishing the middle and northern walls in the lower Clarence, Godfrey worked deep, plunging the depths with a combination of Ecogear VX 35s and VX40s.
"The depth of water I fished varied from 15 to 50 feet," said Godfrey.
"I moved around throughout the session, adjusting position with the changing tide and water clarity," he added.
His presentation involved drifting along the bank and casting ahead of the boat at 45 degrees towards the wall. He then employed a long lifting retrieve interspersed with short hops, working the lure above the bottom as it drifted over the rocky substrate and into the path of the waiting fish.
"I used this approach with a VX40 for most of the session then down sized to a VX35 as the tide slowed and the water became more discoloured," said the 2007 Grand Final champ.
To make the most of the discoloured water Godfrey positioned his boat closer to the wall, and adopted a more vertical presentation.
"This helped a lot to maximise contact with the rocky bottom and stay in touch with the lure and enquiring fish," said Godfrey.
His tackle included a 6'10" Nories Finesse Sweeper rod matched to a Daiwa Sol 2500 spooled with 3lb Berkley Crystal Fireline with 3lb or 4lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon leader. Godfrey also down sized his leader on day two to overcome the dropped fished issue that was plaguing him on day one.
"I was using a 15-20 feet long leader on day one and I was missing a heap of fish, so I shortened the length down to 6 feet and they started to stick," explained Godfrey.
The result for Godfrey was a perfect lead-in to the impending Queensland rounds of the Ford Ranger BREAM Series and his defence of the Gold Coast BREAM Challenge, the last Super Series event on the 2008 calendar.
In contrast to the boater division the battle for the title of champion non-boater came down to the wire, with only ten grams separating first and second. Gold Coast local Grant Lazzaro (10/10, 5.39kg) secured the win narrowly pipping Clarence local and ABT debutant Darren Painter.
Fishing with Kris Hickson on day one, Lazzaro covered a lot of ground, hitting Browns Rocks, The Caves, the reef at Maclean and the canals near Yamba to fill his bag. The approach in all locations remained the same, slow hopping and dead sticking molting coloured 2" Berkley Gulp Shrimps across the bottom. In the deeper faster flowing locations he rigged the Gulp on a 1/8oz TT jighead, while in the canals Lazzaro opted for a lighter 1/32oz TT jighead.
Day two saw Lazzaro head upstream, fishing a 20-30 feet deep, gravel bottomed location near Lawrence.
"Paul Gillespie took us to this spot first thing in the morning and we started getting fish straight away," said Lazzaro.
His approach in the location involved fishing a combination of Paul Kneller's new Shake-n-Bake blades and TT Switchblades.
"I'd cast the lure up-current before working the lure back across the bottom with a life and drop retrieve," said Lazzaro.
The gear used included a 7' Strudwick Sic Stik, 1-2kg rod and Shimano Stradic reel, spooled with 4lb Berkley Vanish. His choice of leader changed over the two days with Lazzaro opting for 6lb Berkley Vanish on day one and down sizing to an eight feet long 2lb Vanish leader on day two.
The Clarence once again produced a string of kilo plus fish with the largest of them all, the Go-So Big Bream, going to Steve Morgan's day one 1.18kg kicker fish. Caught near Brushgrove the $500 winning fish came on an Ecogear SX40 (colour 339) fished along a weed lined bank.
The ABT Sponsor Bonus Program continued in its popularity with Brenton Smith claiming the $200 Daiwa Merchandise Pack, Shaun Chapman the $480 Bassday Big Bream Bonus, and Ben Godfrey the $250 Mercury Bonus as the highest placed Mercury outboard user.
ABT would like to thank Paul and Sherryl Kneller from Big River Bait and Tackle for their assistance in running the event, as well as the support and sponsorship from Maclean Services Club, Bimbimbi Caravan Park, Duraplas Water Tanks, and Corbett Earthmoving.
For more information or entry forms visit www.bream.com.au or phone ABT (07) 3268 7958. – ABT
|2||Darren James PAINTER||10/10||5.38|