The 2008 Skeeter BREAM Classic Championship is a culmination of BREAM Classic tournament winners from across Australia. The event was held at the Clarence River in NSW on November 8-9 and the 71 teams contested the often trying conditions in an effort to secure the title and the Skeeter/Evinrude package on offer for the top placed team.
Andrew Homann and Neil Foley, fishing together for Team Pflueger/Evinrude, secured the win with 9/10, 5.35kg. Facing a deficit of 570g after day one, Homann and Foley stuck to their game plan and came away with the victory by a margin of only 400g. Also securing the event’s Bassday Big Bream with a 940g fish, the pair’s decision to return to the area where Homann had secured his Super Series win earlier in the year, was a substantiated success.
Homann and Foley targeted the cane grass and snag laden edges between the Lawrence and Ulmarra ferries. Fishing the same 500m stretch of bank over both days, the area yielded 5/5, 2.27kg on day one to allow Team Pflueger/Evinrude to secure 11th position.
Banking on the area holding fish, Homann and Foley returned on day two where they caught 4/5, 3.08kg. Losing a fish at the net late in the session created uncertainty as the team returned to the weigh master unsure of how the other competitors had performed. History will show their decision paid off with Homann and Foley securing victory and the Skeeter SX 170 with 115hp Evinrude and two X135 Lowrance sounders.
Using the same presentation in both sessions Homann and Foley would cast a banana prawn coloured 2" Berkley Gulp Shrimp, rigged on 1/16oz or 1/12oz, size 1/0 Nitro Bream Finesse jigheads, tight to structure. By allowing the line to belly as the lure drifted across cane edges drew strikes from the elusive larger bream. The team’s tournament bags were compiled slowly throughout the session.
“It was just a matter of grinding it out over both days”, said Homann of the methodical process used to secure victory.
The gear used to compile the tournament winning bag was comprised of a 7' Pflueger Supreme, 2-4kg rod, Pflueger Supreme 8030 reel, spooled with 3lb Stren Microfuse line, and 4lb Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon.
Neil Foley typified the spirit of the event by saying, “having the opportunity to fish with a mate is enjoyable. Being able to do it in competition, on a waterway I personally have never fished before, is a special experience”.
Foley put the win down to faith in the lures and techniques used by the team over the two days of competition. After good placing’s in previous teams events, the ability of both competitors to work together came to the fore and secured them the title of best BREAM team in Australia.
Runners up were Michael Torley and Grant Lazzaro of Team Couran Cove/SEQ Pest. Targeting a weedy bommie in the area around St Elizabeth Island, the team secured second position with a 9/10, 4.95kg tournament bag. With a 40 minute trip each way to their fishing area, Torley and Lazzaro banked on their area holding fish over the course of the tournament. Unfortunately the team was unable to find the elusive larger size fish to secure the Skeeter prize package.
The team’s spot came under little pressure, allowing Torley and Lazzaro to secure a 4/5, 2.2kg day one tournament bag. Returning to their spot on day two the team added a session limit 5/5, 2.75kg to their overall total.
Their impressive tournament bag placed both competitors in the hot seat before finally succumbing to the largest bag of the tournament. Courteous in defeat the team displayed the camaraderie that makes teams events so popular on the event calendar.
Using the popular banana prawn and new penny coloured 2" Berkley Gulp Shrimp rigged on 1/16oz and 1/8oz jigheads, and the Shake and Bake metal vibration lures, Torley and Lazzaro steadily compiled their day one tournament bag. Day two saw the team initially using top water lures, including River 2 Sea Bubble Pops and Lucky Craft Bevy Pencils, by 10am the team had compiled their tournament limit and was focused on upgrades. With the bite slowing the challenge to secure the winning fish was ultimately too great.
The team was circumspect about their narrow defeat and looked forward with anticipation to the 2009 team’s event schedule. The two Engel MT60 fridges received as prizes were worthy consolation for the angler’s performance in this elite field.
Torley used a Loomis IMX MT SR8 42/2 rod teamed with a Daiwa 2000 Sol reel spooled with Berkley 2lb Fireline and 4lb Sunline Rockfish leader. Lazzaro used a 7” Sic Stick Pro teamed with a Daiwa 2000 Sol reel spooled with Sunline 2lb fluorocarbon straight through.
The presentation and sponsors tents drew large crowds to the weigh in over the two days of the tournament. Free giveaways and the promise of quality fish made for a tense final weigh in. The excitement of the crowd and competitors alike made the event memorable. The opportunity for the local community to participate in the culmination of a competitive Classic season was accepted, and the large family turnout bears well for the future of competitive fishing in the future.
Free Giveaways kindly donated by Paul Kneller of local tackle store Big River Bait and Tackle were eagerly snapped up, as was his local knowledge and advice that was given to all inquisitive anglers competing over the weekend.
ABT would like to acknowledge the work and contribution of all of ABT’s BREAM Classic organisers and sponsors in 2008, and would like to thank Skeeter Boats and Evinrude motors for their support and sponsorship of the Skeeter BREAM Classic Championship.
For more information visit www.bream.com.au . – ABT
|1||PFLUEGER/EVINRUDE: Andrew Homann and Neil Foley||5||2.27||4||3.08||9||5.35|
|2||COURAN COVE/SEQ PEST: Michael Torley and Grant Lazzaro||4||2.20||5||2.75||9||4.95|
|3||ON A BUDGET: Scott Lane and Anthony Zappia||5||2.51||5||2.30||10||4.81|
|4||COMPLEAT ANGLER TORONTO: Peter Macor and Rod Riley||5||2.17||5||2.57||10||4.74|
|5||MCCALLUM'S BAIT & TACKLE: Steve Gill and Wal Balzan||5||2.42||5||2.31||10||4.73|
|6||WHY DO WE BOTHER: David Tosland and Jorg Vanhusen||5||2.56||5||2.05||10||4.61|
|7||DISCO MARINE: Darren Borg and Jason Disson||5||2.04||5||2.47||10||4.51|
|8||ATOMIC: Aaron Sharp and Robert March||5||2.35||5||2.13||10||4.48|
|9||SQUIDGY: Chris Cleaver and Bill Karayannis||5||2.43||5||1.94||10||4.37|
|10||CULLBURRA BAIT & TACKLE: Grant Kime and Scott Brown||5||2.19||5||2.17||10||4.36|