In the Swan River BREAM event, 41-year-old Walpole resident Mark Halse delivered a 5/8, 2.06kg, two-day tournament limit to capture victory.
Finishing a close second was Andrew Herden, who found things a little tougher on the second day.
It was Halse’s experience and proficiency fishing the shallows and flats that gave him the edge in the tournament. Using his shallow water skills, Halse spent his time targeting fish holding on the flats and shallows in the Maylands reach of the Swan.
Positioning himself out from the shoreline, Halse made repeated fanned casts, presenting his lure tight up against the bank before beginning a super-slow rolling retrieve.
The most important thing Halse found in choosing a spot were the telltale signs of bream activity, namely the dig holes they make when they feed on cockles (pipis).
“Wherever I found dig holes, I found bream,” Halse explained. “Finding the dig holes was definitely a must.
“I also never fished water any deeper than 2m.”
The money lure for Halse was a locally produced and incredibly popular Halco Laser Pro (gold/black back), with the middle treble removed to make the lure suspend.
Halse’s equipment included a Black Diamond Flats Ranger, 7’, 2-5kg rod, matched with a Shimano Stella 1000 reel spooled with 2lb Platypus Braid, and finished off with 4lb Rio leader.
Victory not only provided Halse with a $500 bonus to his bank account, but also a berth in the Triton BREAM Series Grand Final in October.
The surprise packet of the event was 16-year-old high school student Brody Laroux, who captured the non-boater title with an impressive 6/8, 2.60kg tournament bag. Laroux would easily have claimed the boater title had he chosen to fish that division.
The hotly-contested Go-So Big Bream title ended up in the hands of Robert Harvey, whose 800g specimen won him $500. Falling to an all-too-regular 3” Berkley Bass Minnow, the fish came from the run-down remains of an old bridge in the Canning River.