Nigel Webster overcame recent heavy rainfall and a proliferation of undersized post-spawn bream to secure victory at the Bassday Tweed River Bream Qualifier 26-27 June, with 10/10 for 3.9kg.
Webster adapted to the tough conditions and secured a narrow victory in a quality field of 117 anglers, which boasted five of the top 10 bream anglers in Australia. The 35-year-old risk management consultant for SP Solutions and regular QFM contributor compiled his tournament limit in the Terranora area of the river. Finding and establishing a pattern in the pre-fish, he identified stinger hooks as the difference between staying connected and losing the timid bites on offer.
“The stinger hooks used on the 2” shrimp were #16 Tiemco TMC’s. I rigged my stingers using 6lb fluorocarbon and rigged them so the stinger was wedged in the tail of the plastic. Nearly every fish was caught on the stinger,” said Webster.
Targetting a productive bank found in the pre-fish, Webster fished a section of bank with natural structure overhanging a ledge that dropped into 1-2m of water.
“I would cast tight to the bank and retrieve the plastic with small hops to the top of the ledge. The plastic was then pulled over the ledge and allowed to drop down tight against the face of the drop. Having hit the bottom a slow draw/lift of the plastic was employed before allowing the lure to drop back to bottom. Most fish took the lure as it hit the bottom of the drop or immediately following the first slow lift of the plastic,” said Webster.
Day one saw the Tweed winner find success early in the session at the top of Terranora arm, with three fish in the live well by 7.30am. The key lure for Webster was the Berkley Gulp Shrimp 2” in banana shrimp colour, rigged on 1/12oz to 1/16oz no. 2 Nitro Berkley Finesse heads. His remaining fish came on hardbody lures fished in the shallows using a Halco Scorpion 35mm lure with the 1m bib in R26 colour around the weeded edges.
Day two saw him return to the same bank and catch four fish, by 7.30 am. Webster then travelled to the mouth of the Tweed to upgrade. Compiling his second full bag limit, he secured a narrow victory with only 50g separating the top two anglers.
The gear used to compile Nigel’s victory was comprised of a 7” 2-4kg Berkley Pro Tactic rod and a 7” 1-3kg Berkley Dropshot Pro rod teamed with Abu Garcia Cardinal 801 and 802 size reels. Outfits were spooled with 2-3lb Stren Microfuse braid teamed with 2-4lb Stren fluorocarbon leader.
Kristoffer Hickson (10/10 3.85kg) was narrowly relegated into the runners-up position. Picking up the $500 Mercury bonus on top of his winner’s cheque, but the 22-year-old BCF employee was upbeat about his performance over the weekend and the opportunity to fish the Tweed event.
Targetting the mangrove areas around the Terranora Creek on both days, Hickson pitched Squidgy Lobby’s in dusk and grenade colours, rigged on a 1/20oz jigheads to compile his limit. The Squidgy Lobby was cut down to resemble a small yabby and pitched tight into the root systems of mangrove areas. Bites came only when casts were tight to the structure.
Later in the session Hickson would target shallow flats with hardbody lures, including Smith Camion and Zip Baits Rigge Deep models. The lures were fished shallow in 1-3ft of water, and his limits came early with upgrades coming throughout the rest of the session.
The second placed victor used a Daiwa Infeet 6’8” rod teamed with a matching 2000 size Infeet reel spooled with 11lb Seabass PE braid and 6lb Team Daiwa fluorocarbon leader. For hardbody lures he used a 7’5” Daiwa Saltist rod matched with a Daiwa Luvius 1003 reel spooled with 4lb Genoa Finesse approach fluorocarbon.
Champion non-boater Trent Fahey (8/10 3.51kg) produced a day two, 2.36kg bag to secure victory. Fishing with Peter Herbst on day one, he targetted the canal network in the Kennedy Drive area, and compiled a 3/5, 1.15kg bag. Day two saw Fahey team with Nick Whyte, targetting rock edges in the Terranora creek area. He compiled a 5/5 2.36kg bag, with a kicker fish in the last 10 minutes, to anchor his maiden ABT victory.
Using Berkley Gulp 2” Sandworms in camo rigged on Nitro 1/16oz jigheads and Bassday Sugar Minnow hardbody lures Fahey had his 3/5 1.15kg bag by 12pm. Day two saw him rig Berkley Gulp Shrimp 2” in banana prawn and pepper prawn colours to compile his 5/5 2.36kg limit.
Changing between 1/12oz and 1/4oz depending on the current, Fahey would rig the shrimp with the barb beneath the surface in order to reduce snagging. Fishing in up to 30ft of water, he would hop the lure down the rock wall until it hit the bottom, where the lure was paused before hopping it back to the boat. Bites were subtle with the bream picking up the bait and swimming away slowly. Using a 1-3kg Berkley Pro tactic rod teamed with a Abu Garcia 802 Cardinal reel spooled with Berkley 3lb Trilene Fluorocarbon, Fahey would let the rod load up before setting the hook.
Michael Clutterbuck, a 41-year-old Maintenance Planner, claimed the Go-So Big Bream prize with a PB 1.17kg bream. Teamed with Mick Torley on day one, Clutterbuck caught the bream on a 2” Berkley Gulp Shrimp in new penny colour. Rigged on a 1/16oz Nitro bullet jighead with size 1 hook, the lure was hopped down a Terranora Creek rock face in 3-4m of water. The bite came as the lure had just cleared the rocks, and to the delight of Clutterbuck the bream was eventually boated.
The Bassday sponsored event generated local and media interest throughout the weekend with good crowd numbers present at the weigh in venue each day. Anglers were rewarded with a Bassday lure and numerous sponsor prize packs throughout the tournament. Giveaways throughout the weekend assured that the Tweed River and surrounding waterways would be facing a barrage of Bassday and Atomic product in the very near future.
The next round on the Ford Ranger BREAM Series sees the tour head north for the Ford Ranger Gold Coast BREAM Super Series, 23/24 August. For more information or entry forms visit www.bream.com.au or phone ABT (07) 3387 0888 – ABT
Bassday Tweed River Qualifier Boater Results
Bassday Tweed River Qualifier Non-Boater Results