Bream Classic Port River Adelaide
  |  First Published: July 2005

Seventeen competitors fronted for the briefing session at the Angus Inlet Boat Club situated on Garden Island, adjacent to the Port River. For the very first time, Adelaide was holding its own Bream Classic. The classic differed from the trial event held eight months earlier where people were able to pick their own teams. Instead, it used the boater/non-boater format.

Although this is the accepted format for competition Australia wide, the majority of South Australians are very uncomfortable with this style of fishing, as it places strangers aboard their boats. Due to lack of interest in the format, the prize boat from the Stessl Boating Group could not be provided. However, for the experienced core group of ABT Tournament anglers who reside in or around the state, the format was expected, as most of the group had already fished this way in Victorian events.

A wildcard free entry was issued to two boats belonging to local sponsors so that the extra non-boater was able to compete for the weekend. A big thanks is extended from the organisers to these very unselfish sponsors. Mr Kym Sykes of Salisbury Tackle and Dive supplied his Whittley Cruiser for the first day, even though the boat isn’t really classed as a ‘Bream Tourney Boat’. Kym and his non-boater for day one, Andy Gray, caught plenty of undersize fish, with Andy getting smoked by a large bream just as the fat lady started to sing.

Quin Marine from Port Adelaide supplied a new MAC boat so the organiser could be ferried around the river for marshalling and photo duties. Then, on day two, the company supplied a different model MAC boat so that the non-boater switch around could be completed.

Plenty of bream were caught on day one, although many fish were undersize. Fork length for South Australian black bream is 28cm, which compared to other regions in Australia makes for hard fishing. This did not deter the competitors though, as some great bags were presented at the end of day one.

In the boater section, twenty bream were presented to the weigh master on day one. Two boaters who both work in the Got One tackle store, Joe Gorham and Shaun Ossit, presented a full bag of five fish each. Joe Gorham finished day one 500g ahead of Shaun Ossit and also caught the biggest fish of the day, which weighed exactly 1kg.

The non-boater section was fiercely fought out as well, with twelve fish being presented for weighing at day’s end. Only one angler in this section caught a full bag of five fish for the day, though complications arose by the end of the session for this skilful angler as his heaviest fish of 900g died about 15 minutes before weigh-in.

Graham Goldfinch, known as ‘Goldie’ to his mates, related how he had his full bag by 8.30am. “I had my full bag and was getting ready to upgrade when the big fish decided to give up on life,” Goldie said. “I nursed that fish all day. Sometimes this even involved swimming the fish in my Environet beside the boat for extended periods of time,” he remarked. Despite the fish dying, Goldie still weighed four fish for a total of 2.25kg.

Steven Evangelou presented the second heaviest bag by a non-boater. He caught three fish for a day one total of 1.24kg. Steve fished a soft plastic that he designed himself. “I cut and joined a Berkley Bass Minnow Smelt body to a bloodworm Squidgy Wriggler Tail and all of my fish hit on the drop,” explained Steve.

Day two provided harder fishing. The clouded grey skies of the day before were replaced by a clearing blue sky. Cloud cover in Adelaide encourages the bigger bream in the Port River system to get on the chew but blue skies can cause these same fish to shut down. With the top end of the Port River still closed to fishing due to an exotic aquarium weed (Caluerpa taxiofolia) infesting itself up high in the river system, the competitors were still unable to access an area known for its monster bream.

On day two in the boater section, Joe Gorham continued on his winning way by presenting a three fish bag for 1.85kg. “I caught all of my fish this weekend using Snapback soft plastics rigged on TT jigheads off a Shimano rod and Tica reel combination,” Joe said. Meanwhile Shaun Ossitt only caught one 850g fish.

The non-boaters were the stars of the day though, with three fish over 1kg and five fish over 500g.

The biggest bream presented for the day, and the whole tournament, was a 1.45kg fish caught by non-boater Chris Anagnostou on a Berkley 3-inch Drop Shot Minnow in watermelon pearl colour. The 42cm fork-measured fish topped a bag of three fish with a total weight of 2.6kg. Chris won a Navman colour sounder (donated by Quin Marine), Halco gift pack and assorted lure pack for pulling in this big fella. Steven Evangelou also brought in a large bream over 1kg, landed on a self-designed soft plastic.

Fact Box 1

Boater Results

1Joe Gorham4.675kg$500
2Shaun Ossitt3.2kg $200
3 Steve Wood2.7kg $100
4Adam Todd
5Scott Seedsman
6Lorenzo Mammone
7George Apat
8Craig Stowers

Fact Box 2

Non-Boater Results

1Chris Anagostou3.8kgAssorted lure pack
2Steve Evangelou3.04kgAssorted lure pack
3Graham Goldfinch2.7kgAssorted lure pack
4Damen Brown1.28kgAssorted lure pack
5Graham Whibley1.0kg
6Andrew Douglas0.875kg
7Andy Gray0.75kg
8Mathew Smith0.65kg
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