The 2008 Ford Ranger BREAM Grand Final brought the cream of the crop from all around the country. A total of 54 boaters and 54 non boaters gathered at Meridien Horizon Shores Marina in a shared weight battle that would see one angler crowned the 2008 Champion and drive away in a new Ford Ranger.
Darren ‘Dizzy’ Borg had a fantastic 2007 season with QLD and NSW AOY Titles. He then lifted his Mercury team mates in the Australian Fishing Championships to victory, however, there was one title that had eluded him in his hard fought career and that was an ABT BREAM Grand Final win.
On Sunday, November 2, in front of a massive crowd, Dizzy’s dream came to fruition, holding aloft the BREAM Grand Final trophy with a convincing 15/15, 10.9kg limit.
“This was an important milestone for me,” said Borg. “I consider this one of the toughest times of the year to fish for bream and to claim a victory over the calibre of anglers out there, it means a lot,” he continued.
The Ford Ranger BREAM Grand Final is a little different to the qualifying events held throughout the year, as it is a shared weight event. This means that the randomly drawn boater and non boater for day one and two must work as a team to collate their five fish bag.
Fishing with Jordan Trusty from Victoria on day one and Byron Gardiner from Singapore on day two, Dizzy owes a lot to these guys.
“I would never have been able to achieve a 4.69kg bag on the first day without Jordy,” he said. “This young guy can really fish and his 41cm PB bream definitely was the kicker fish in our bag,” Borg said.
Fishing from the Mercury Nitro craft used for AFC, Borg headed to Bird, Goat and Peel islands early in the morning targeting shallow rocky reef in the lower end of Moreton Bay.
Using both a Blue Acres Lamiglass 7’6” Flats Elite and a 7’ Rack Elite rod matched to a Daiwa Certate spooled with 4lb Berkley Fireline, Borg chose to tie 4lb and 6lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon leaders.
They filled their limit early on day one, thanks to the shallow running Zipbaits Khamsin Jr SR and Berkley 2” shrimp in various colours on TT hidden weight jigheads. The duo of Borg and Trusty headed to the northern boundary to upgrade at St Helena and Mud Island.
On arrival, several competitors were already fishing the mangrove edges and outer walls. A decision was made to work the inside walls, a choice that saw several upgrades from both anglers enter the live well.
With the tide now high and wind pushing wash over the rocky structure, Borg found the bream holding in tight to the wall and feeding on the loose debris. While Trusty chose to tie on a Zipbaits B-Switcher 1.0 Rattler from Borg’s tacklebox, Dizzy twitched the Berkley plastics closely behind the slowly worked lure.
Working together with long parallel casts to the structure, the duo were on fire landing upgrades in the shallow water on perilously light tackle. Ecstatic at what they were able to achieve together, showing the real essence of what tournament fishing was all about.
With a kilo plus lead Borg headed back out to his spots on day two and once again boated five bream early on the Khamsin hardbodies.
“I would get the boat right up into the shallow water and with the rising tide punch out long casts,” he explained. “The retrieve was to lift the rod tip and let the lure bang into the rocks, then wind down the rod and perform the same again ensuring there was no slack line,” Borg continued.
Much to the despair of all anglers, the weather then turned nasty around 11am, with winds hitting 30 knots and making the journey back to the weigh in extremely dangerous, especially in such open water.
Borg and Gardiner had their limit and chose to leave early, knowing that Borg’s upgrade spots were simply out of reach in such conditions.
A modest 2.09kg bag had relegated Borg to second and we had a new leader on the final day in Tristan Taylor, to challenge the Sunday Top 4 Shootout.
Taylor had worked the eastern side of St Helena Island for the previous two days with Callum Dowell and Noel Latimer, finding some good size bream lurking along the mangrove edges.
Taylor, armed with a Shimano 7’2” Raider rod and 2500 Daiwa SOL spooled with 6lb Unitika and 4lb Unitika fluoro, threw the new Atomic Hardz to fill his bag. The Crank 38 mid depth model in ghost wakasagi and mat green colours proved to be his favourite, with the added smear of Megastrike scent.
Taylor, fishing 1ft of water covered in broken weed and coral, stuck to a 400m stretch for the tournament. With long parallel casts to the fringes of the mangroves, the slowly rolled retrieve of the Atomic lure had the bream venturing out to investigate.
“With the fish readily taking these lures, I gave some to my non boaters to use and both guys were able to put fish in the well,” Tristan explained.
After a drama packed Saturday afternoon with vicious weather conditions causing widespread damage to both boats and anglers alike, the tournament rolled on and the final four was decided.
Both leading anglers, Borg and Taylor, had made the cut and after plenty of movement in the Ford Ranger hot seats, were joined by Ian Sewell from WA and Nigel Webster from QLD.
Now that the storm had passed, conditions on the final day were much calmer. Anglers were placed in the AFC wrapped sponsored boats and assigned a cameraman for the day. An extra four camera boats were also out on the water to capture all the action, including on the water interviews from Adam Royter, Carl Jocumsen and Darryl Beattie.
“Having been on AFC before, I think I had an advantage over the other guys,” said the champ Borg. “I knew how the cameras and boats worked and was able to keep the show running smoothly,” he added.
Taylor meanwhile had an anxious few hours before he was able to start catching fish.
“I was feeling a little nervous with the cameras in my face, and it took me some time to simply relax and concentrate on catching bream,” he said.
With no fish until 10.30am, the flurry soon started to happen for Taylor on his Atomic Hardz. Moving to nearby Green Island he was able to find a fifth fish and an upgrade. Leaving at 12pm he knew he had at least 2kg and a shot at the title.
Borg continued to work his spots at St Helena and fishing aggressively was enjoying his time on the water.
“Starting in second position suited me,” said Borg. “I was able to go out and hunt for those big fish,” he continued.
“Coming back into Horizon Shores I got excited seeing the biggest crowd ever gathered for a Grand Final, and couldn’t wait to get up there and weigh my bag,” said Borg.
Unfortunately for Sewell and Webster the final day had served them a dreaded doughnut. With an Engel fridge to their name, they also waited with much anticipation to see if Dizzy’s bag had the goods.
Cameras rolling, Borg needed 2.78kg to overtake Taylor and be handed the keys to the new Ford Ranger. Royter hit the button and the scales ticked over to 4.07kg, a convincing win from one of the best tournament anglers Australia has seen.
Holding the trophy aloft, Borg had completed the dream becoming the 2008 Ford Ranger BREAM Grand Final Champion. As he sat in his new car, arm out the window and a grin from ear to ear, his win had now moved him to become the No 1 ranked BREAM angler on the tournament scene overtaking Scott Towner.
“Dizzy is a confident angler,” described Taylor gallant in defeat. “I congratulate him on two 4kg plus bags, a deserving win and a fantastic prize,” he continued.
Taylor can now hope that his second place behind Borg is enough to grasp him a spot on the televised Australian Fishing Championships much like lasts years champion Ben ‘Diesel’ Godfrey.
Dizzy, however, with his mind never straying too far from fishing claims, “I am looking forward to this weekend’s Skeeter Classic Championship on the Clarence!”
Not to be forgotten are the non boaters who took home a swag of prizes, including Mercury and Evinrude outboard motors and Engel fridges. WA angler Tancredi Rubinich was the eventual non boater champ with 10/10, 5.37kg.
Fishing with the Clarence Super Series champ Andrew Homann on day one and Top Four Finalist Nigel Webster on day two, Rubinich could not have been happier with the random draw.
Fishing a creek system around Russell Island with Homann, the pair chose to use a top water and shallow diving hardbody approach. With several fish in the well, a move was made to the mangrove shoreline on North Stradbroke near Dunich, where 2” Berkley banana prawns rigged on 1/20oz Nitro jigheads thrown tight into the structure filled their limit.
On the return back, Tancredi upgraded from under a catamaran at Russell Island on the same plastic proving his worth.
Heading out with Webster on day two, the pair fished the southern end of Peel Island, Rubich throwing Berkley 2” shrimp in peppered prawn and Webster the 3” minnow in the same colour targeting feeding bream as the tide rose over the rocks. As the wind stirred up the shallow water the bream quickly turned on and with a 3kg+ bag, the duo headed back.
“I had never caught a yellowfin bream until a few weeks ago whilst pre fishing at the Clarence,” said Rubinch. “This is a great feeling”.
So the final day of the Ford Ranger BREAM Grand Final went off without a hitch. A fantastic day was had by all, including the huge gathering that had come to the Meridien Horizon Shores Marina Family Fun Day.
With a jumping castle, face painting, sponsor tents, food and prizes galore, it proved to be a successful event and with all the action caught by the AFC cameras, it is sure to make great viewing this summer.
ABT would like to thank all involved including the sponsors and tournament anglers who participated this year and made it all possible. We look forward to the Skeeter Classic Championship and the upcoming Daiwa BARRA Tour.
For further information visit www.bream.com.au or phone 07 3387 0888. – ABT
Final Day Shoot Out
Top Ten Boaters
Top Ten Non-Boaters
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