Local angler, Robert Irons, conquered cold conditions and a quality 116 angler field to secure victory at the Mercury Lake Macquarie Bream Qualifier 28/29 June. Irons secured victory with 10/10 bag for 5.25kg – a slim victory with a mere 40g separating the top two anglers.
Using his local knowledge of the vast Lake Macquarie waterway and adapting to the difficult conditions ultimately allowed Irons to find fish and present his 5/5 bag limit each day to the weigh-master.
Irons targeted fish in the 10-12ft range using three outfits rigged with a combination of presentations, including Berkley Gulp Shrimp in sardine and banana prawn colours, rigged on 1/8oz TT jighead and Ecogear VX40 vibration baits in dark green shades.
Irons technique involved presenting his lures with an initial pause after it had landed on the bottom followed by a steady retrieve interspersed with either a one or two hop lift.
Irons’ victory gear was comprised of a G.Loomis GL3 7” rod teamed with a Daiwa Sol 2000 reel, and a Berkley Pro Tactic rod with an Abu Garcia Cardinal reel. Both outfits were spooled with 6lb Nitlon braid with a 6lb Nitlon Fluorocarbon leader.
The Lake Macquarie win for the 42-year-old local Computer Machinist was his first in a Ford Ranger BREAM qualifying event. Irons was able to add his first placed cheque of $2750, to his already accomplished BREAM Classic Events winnings that were staged at the same venue.
The event’s second place getter was Chris Russell who caught a limit of 10/10, for 5.22kg. Fishing his first qualifying event and leading Irons after day one, Russell’s day two bag fell agonisingly short of securing victory.
Russell used unweighted 2” Berkley Gulp Shrimps in banana prawn colour, and initially targetted the shallows with an aggressive retrieve followed by large pauses to capture the interest of any fish in the vicinity. But he eventually got success with the same lure for both days, the Ecogear VX40 in colour 439. And using a steady retrieve permeated with small lifts, proved the key to attracting bites.
Champion non-boater Chris Seeto also fought a tense battle to claim the title. Seeto’s bag of 7/10, 3.58kg, was only 60g ahead of second place winner Michael Milburn’s bag of 6/10, 3.52kg.
Seeto targetted fish on the flats in 6-12ft of water using a variety of plastics and crankbaits and varying the colours from natural to bright orange. He had the most success on the Ecogear VX40 and TT Switchblade vibration baits.
Second place getter, Michael Milburn, also claimed the Go-So Big BREAM Prize with his day one bag anchored by the 1.5kg monster. The large bream succumbed to a banana prawn 2” Berkley Gulp Shrimp rigged on a 1/2oz TT jighead.
The ABT Sponsor Bonus Program continued in its popularity with Andrew Drennan claiming the $200 Daiwa Merchandise Pack, Kendall Soo the $480 Bassday Big BREAM Bonus, and Chris Russell doubling up with both the $250 Mercury Bonus and $250 Motorguide Bonus.
The next round on the Ford Ranger BREAM Series sees the tour return to the Sunshine state to contest the first Queensland Qualifier at the Atomic Tweed River BREAM Challenge, 26/27 July. For more information or entry forms visit www.bream.com.au or phone ABT (07) 3268 7958. – ABT
PlaceAnglerFishWeight (kg)Payout $