The final Super Series in the Ford Ranger BREAM Series for 2008, and the last chance to qualify for the Grand Final, meant that the Gold Coast round was going to be cutthroat.
The largest venue on the tournament calendar, the Gold Coast qualifier was based at Meridien Horizon Shores Marina. The fantastic venue was assisted by courteous staff and a beautiful backdrop, and the new start line opened up Moreton Bay and the Jumpinpin to all anglers.
Not surprisingly the final day’s Top 10 was heavily packed with eight locals. Maintaining his lead throughout the tournament was Chris Britton, who claimed his first individual win and the oversized Ford Ranger cheque for $10,000, which comes with a Super Series victory. Having claimed several large payouts in the QLD Open team’s event with Anthony Wishey, Britton used his knowledge of the arena to claim a comprehensive win.
Fishing the Northern Bay Islands, Britton targeted shallow edges, hard banks and drop-offs, and found the bream biting better later in the day as the tide rose. Britton, a Berkley Pro Staffer, used the Pro Tactic 2-4kg and 2-5kg rods matched to Abu Cardinal 802 reels. Looking for the finesse approach he spooled his gear with 3lb Stren Microfuse and 4lb Trilene Fluorocarbon. The lure choice for the weekend was the 3” Berkley Gulp minnow in lime tiger and nuclear chicken colours rigged on 1/20 Nitro Finesse jigheads.
Over the three days of competition the high tide was getting later and later. Finding the bream feeding in the shallows was the key. Long casts and a gentle hop attracted the bream and Britton made sure he converted these into the livewell.
“On the final day I only had 3 fish at 11.30am,” said Britton.
“I moved to Macleay Island to fill my limit, but never managed an upgrade”.
Going into the tournament, Britton knew that fishing was tough and his goal was to qualify for the Ford Ranger BREAM Grand Final held on the same waters in late October, early November.
“My game plan was to score 2.6kg each day and make it through to the Sunday Shootout,” he said.
Working as the Suncorp National Mobile Lending Manager, Britton laughed as he said he would now be exploring suitable financial strategies for the oversized ABT cheque.
Good mates with Chris is Robert Kwiatkowski, who managed second place and a $5000 cheque. Coupled with his fourth place at the Tweed BREAM event, Robert’s placing successfully secured him the Lowrance QLD AOY title.
Rob K as he is more affectionately known used an Egrell 2-5kg Bear rod matched to a Shimano Stradic with 2lb Stren and 6lb Yamatoyo leader. Following in the footsteps of Britton he too used the Berkley 3” Gulp minnows rigged on a 1/20 Nitro jighead, but opted for the watermelon colour.
Casting 4-5m off the bank and hopping it back to the boat, Rob K found the bream either grabbing the lure on the drop or whilst paused on the bottom. Although like most anglers he is cursing lost fish, Rob K now has his sights set for that Top 4 shootout at the Grand Final filmed for the televised Australian Fishing Championships.
Champion non boater for the weekend was Jason Seaton following up on his fifth at the Tweed, he added a Millerod, Shimano reel, Berkley scales, Tackle Warehouse voucher and a swag of other goodies to his booty.
Fishing with Gold Coast local Mick Horn on day one and Berkley Pro Staffer Mark Mangold on day two Seaton accumulated 9/10, 3.86kg, over 500g in front of his next non boating competitor.
Seaton used a G.Loomis DS820 and Shimano Stradic 1000 spooled with 2lb Berkley Crystal and 2lb FC Rock leader. His lure of choice was the popular Berkley 2” shrimp in pepper prawn and banana prawn colours. He rigged these on 1/16 or 1/20 jigheads and fished the rocky bottom of the Nerang River on day one followed by bridges and pylons in the Nerang on day two. Working the lure quickly in the TSS area on day one he anchored his bag with a 940g Big Bream.
This was the mark to beat and come day two it was Michael Maas that scored the only kilo plus bream for the weekend and subsequently took home the $500 Go-So Big Bream cheque with his 1.07kg fish. Working a mangrove lined bank near Short Island in approximately 6ft of water, the bream snaffled the 2” Berkley Gulp shrimp in pepper prawn rigged on a 1/12 TT jighead.
Over $30,000 in cash and prizes was distributed to the winners of the Gold Coast Super Series. With five of the top 10 boaters already qualified for the Grand Final, anglers were relieved to be able to fish the final day knowing they had their position cemented. None more so than Wayne Friebe who had driven from Victoria to qualify and subsequently took home the Mercury Bonus cheque for $250, as he was the only Mercury owner in the Sunday Shootout.
With only the Port River BREAM Qualifier remaining, the season is quickly drawing to a close. Come Oct 31-Nov 2, 112 anglers who have qualified throughout Australia will converge on the Gold Coast to find out who is the number one angler for 2008. Until then, it means plenty of time on the water and tactics being sharpened.
If you would like any further information about the Ford Ranger BREAM Grand Final go to www.bream.com.au or phone ABT on 07 3387 0888.
|8||Michael MAAS||15/15||6.04||$800 + $500 BB|