The first WA Triton Boats BREAM qualifier for 2005 was taken out by 43-year-old John-Paul Cronin.
John-Paul was ill enough on the first day to consider not fishing the second, but he’s certainly glad he stuck it out. He stunned a struggling field with a magnificent 4.25kg, five-fish bag to take a come-from-behind win. At the weigh-in, everyone thought local tackle store owner Jim Allan would win with his 2.33kg bag, but then John hauled his huge second-day limit to the weighmaster through a crowd of awe-struck competitors.
John landed all five of his bream using ultra-finesse retrieves under the King River road bridge. Using a single-tailed pumpkinseed 2" Berkley Gulp on a Bassmaster #1 round ball heavy-wire jighead, he positioned his boat upstream of the bridge and held position in the current. He then cast to the leading edge of the structure and let the bait drift down with the current with no angler-imparted action. Very occasionally, he moved the rod tip three or four inches to twitch the bait on the bottom.
It was then that his Millerods 6'9" Classic Bream Buster, coupled with a Shimano Stradic 1000FH, kicked into action. It was spooled with 6lb Squidgy Braid and 8lb Vanish leader.
And although he described the winning feeling as 'pretty good', his beaming smile described his first ABT Qualifier win with much more precision.
Second placed boater Jim Allan caught all of his bream in very shallow water in Oyster Harbour's extensive flats, targeting areas where he knew bream had been recently feeding.
Jim favoured a custom-painted OarGee Lil'Rippa and King Brown coloured Halco LazerPro45s and Scorpion52s. They proved to be good choices, accounting for bream to 1.22kg.
David Beer needed only one cast to see what Albany breamin' is all about, landing the GoSo Big Bream of 1.68kg on the second day.
For more information on the Triton BREAM Series check out www.bream.com.au or call Simon Goldsmith on (07) 3268 3992 (b/h). – ABT