29-year-old Tim Morgan finished strongly in the Top Five Shootout to emphatically claim his first BREAM Grand Final title at Forster by over 2kg. With Forster’s racks distilling 40 of the nation’s best bream anglers down to a final five, Tim Morgan – who had finished second in the 2002 and 2003 grand finals – finally triumphed. His 15/15 bream, 10.2kg bag was taken from Forster without a single shredding.
His efforts earned him a top-shelf boat package, including a Quintrex 475 Hornet Eclipse, 75hp Mercury outboard, 82lb MotorGuide electric and Sea-Link trailer, valued around $30,000.
Refining a pattern based on washboards on the outside of oyster leases, Tim outdistanced local young-gun Kris Hickson (12/15, 7.93kg), Queensland’s Jay Morgan (11/15, 7.93kg), Ballina’s Trent Short (12/15, 7.10kg) and first-year BREAMer, Clayton Gusmerini (11/15, 7.00kg).
Tim’s confidence bait was an Atomic 2” Fat Grub in Brown Crawdad colour dipped in Mega Strike that he fished on a Tackle Tactics 1/12oz, size 1 jighead.
“On the practice day I got busted up twice in one lease, but nearly every line of washboards I fished had bream willing to eat the Fat Grub,” Tim said. “I also landed a limit of bream off the bridge, but the tides during the event weren’t suitable for bridge fishing.”
He fished the Atomic on a Millerods 7’ Finesse Bream Buster rod, Shimano Sustain 1000 reel, 4lb pink Fireline and 10lb Berkley Vanish leader.
“So,” he continued, “on day one we went to the racks from the practice day and landed a reasonable limit there in around three hours. We them moved to fish washboards for the rest of the day and upgraded most of the early fish.
“The washboard pattern was reasonably simple: I drifted with the tide and cast as close as possible to the boards. Half of the bream landed hit the lure on the drop, so I watched for any irregularities on the sink first. Because I was using 1/12oz heads and a small profile lure, I think that I got deeper than other competitors fishing the same areas, because the other half of the bream came from the first couple of hops up off the bottom.
“The run-out tide was definitely the trigger. That’s when the bream moved from the racks to the holes at the bottom of the washboard poles.”
Tim also found that that when he hooked bigger bream he could fight them out into open water, and during the tournament he kept his bust-offs to zero.
Day two saw Tim sticking to the same game plan, but the racks yielded only two bream by 10.30am.
“When that tide changed, though, the washboards fired again. Off one line of boards we landed six legal bream and finished up with five lines of boards that all produced. We upgraded both of the early fish,” Tim said.
Day three, though, was the day Tim broke away from the rest of the field.
“I landed one legal bream off the bridge early on,” he explained, “but then I went straight to the washboards and rotated between the productive five. I had my limit plus an upgrade by 10.45, but then all went quiet for the last two hours of the run-in tide.
“The last hour, though, was awesome – I upgraded three times and landed my biggest bream of the day at 1.45pm!”
Tim’s attributed his success on the final day to his experience in previous grand finals.
“I knew that I had a good game plan and that I had to stick to it. I relaxed as much as possible when fishing and just had fun. I had two great non boaters – Ben Roberts and Bill Karayannis – and it’s just awesome to finally win a Grand Final!” he said.
The Champion Amateur, Ben Roberts from Batemans Bay, took home a Quintrex Explorer 385 Trophy with a Sea-Link trailer and MotorGuide bow-mount electric motor for his 10/10, 7.46kg bag. Second-placed Daniel Brown (10/10, 6.31kg) became the proud owner of a new Evinrude E-Tec 40hp outboard.
With the ‘shared weight’ concept, the Pro and the Amateur drawn together recorded the weight of their best five bream collectively. This encouraged Pros and Amateurs to work together as a team and proved a great success at the event.
The state honours was won by the Queensland team, whose top four boaters amassed 25.66kg on the second day, narrowly beating NSW (24.68kg). WA landed 16.59kg while ACT landed 5.25kg and Vic 3.56kg. – ABT
• Local Area Sponsors: Graham Barclay Marine, Forster Beach Caravan Park.
TOP TEN PRO RESULTS
|1.||Tim Morgan||15/15||10.20kg||Quintrex/Mercury boat package|
TOP TEN AMATEUR RESULTS
|1.||Ben Roberts||10/10||7.46kg||Quintrex/MotorGuide package|
|2.||Daniel Brown||10/10||6.31kg||Evinrude E-TEC 40HP|