Jay Morgan, popular Mossops tackle store manager, weighed in the only 10/10 bag for 4.42kg at the WIN TV Bundaberg BREAM Challenge to take out first place in front of some very talented anglers. Following Morgan in the top five places were Jesse Lomas (6/10, 3.30kg), Kris Hickson (8/10, 3.08kg), Graeme Jebreen (4/10, 2.86kg) and Trent Butler (6/10, 2.76kg).
In an event that had competitors trying to find respite from the constant strong winds, Morgan fished a rocky bank on the southern side of the river to secure his limit. “I travelled upstream about a kilometre and found some fast moving water over a rock wall that looked like it should hold some fish,” he said. And hold fish it did with Morgan and his non-boaters experiencing more action than most on a blustery Burnett River.
Fishing two different plastics in the same manner, Morgan used a G.Loomis IMX S842-2 rod matched to a Daiwa TDS 1500 spin reel that was filled with the ubiquitous 4lb Berkley Fireline and topped off with 6lb Yamamoto Fluorocarbon leader to deliver either a 3” Berkley Drop Shot Minnow or EcoGear Grass Minnow M on a 1/12oz Tackle Tactics jighead.
“I’d cast out and let the plastic drift to the bottom, twitch it a little and then dead stick the lure,” Morgan said after the win. “If the fish didn’t take after the first twitch I would gently lift the rod and the lure before dropping the rod tip and letting the lure free fall again to the bottom.”
And it was during these freefalling periods that Morgan had most success with the fish taking the lure on the drop. “Most of my fish ate the lure on the drop, but I was very surprised by the number of fish that ate the plastic off the bottom as I was dead-sticking it. Sometimes I dead-sticked the lure for up to 30 seconds before lifting it to get these cautious fish to feed.”
For his patience, Morgan took home the $1000 winner’s cheque and earned himself an invite to the National BREAM Grand Final in October.
Second placed Jesse Lomas was ecstatic with his placing and with the fact that he scraped into the Queensland team to fish the National Grand Final. “I’m rapt,” enthused Lomas. “It’s the highest I have finished in a BREAM event and it’s a real buzz.”
Like Morgan, Lomas fished upstream of the Bundaberg Port Marina, concentrating his efforts around pontoons and boats in the town reach of the river. “I found a great set of pontoons that no-one was fishing and it was out of the wind, which made fishing a lot easier,” said Lomas. “All my fish came out of less than three feet of water and the location was really tide dependent. I had to have at least a half full tide to fish the structure properly.”
Lomas’ method was vastly different from Morgan’s with a quicker retrieve producing his six fish. “I’d cast my 1/8oz jighead out and let it sink to the bottom before giving the lure a couple of quick jigs. I’d then wind up the slack and let the lure sink to the bottom under tension so I could feel the subtle bites,” he explained. Continuing the retrieve all the way to the boat allowed area to be covered relatively quickly and allowed Lomas to present the Juro Longtail Minnow soft plastic to more fish.
Lomas’ outfit consisted of a borrowed G.Loomis GLX Hotshot rod matched to a Daiwa Regal-Z 1500 reel spooled with 4lb Berkley Fireline and finished with a rod length of 10lb Berkley Vanish leader. Using only 1/8oz BASSMaster jigheads, Lomas was deliberately fishing larger baits to tempt bigger fish.
“The Juro Longtail is a much bigger soft plastic than most anglers use for bream and it helps slow the decent of the 1/8oz jighead. This means I can fish a bigger bait in shallow water effectively and still achieve a reasonably natural presentation,” said Lomas. And with a well-earned second placing, Lomas heads to the Clyde River with confidence.
Continuing on his recent good tournament form, Peter Morgan took out the $500 Salty’s Big Bream with a 1.08kg fish caught on Saturday.
The WIN TV Bundaberg BREAM Challenge was the last BREAM qualifying event for the season and as such, the Queensland team and Queensland Angler of the Year has been decided. Following on from last year, Chris Metcalfe is again the Queensland Angler of the Year and state captain with his team consisting of Trent Butler, Stephen Millington, Paul O’Sullivan, Darren Borg, Kris Hickson, Jesse Lomas and Jay Morgan. Congratulations to all participants over the season and special thanks to all of our sponsors who make the series possible.
Win TV Bundaberg BREAM Challenge
$500 Salty’s Big BREAMPeter Morgan 1.08kg
Local Area Sponsors:
WIN TV, SeaFM, Salty’s, Bundaberg Port Marina, Bundaberg Port Authority, Donna’s Seafood, Bundaberg Tourism, Burnett Shire Council, Copper’s Home Hardware, Lighthouse Hotel
Quintrex, Mercury, Suncorp, Shimano, Squidgies, PrawnStar, Slider, Fishnet, Mako, Halco
SeaLink Trailers, Compleat Angler, VMC, Berkley, Pacific Composites,
1) Jay Morgan took it slow to accrue his bag limit, and was the only angler to get 10/10 bream.
2) Jesse Lomas fished quickly to boat six Burnett River bream which earned him second place.Reads: 1474