The Australian Fishing Championships (AFC) on Channel 10 over the Summer gave anglers and the general public a real insight into the world of tournament fishing at the top level.
Eight of the best bream and bass tournament anglers from the hugely popular ABT circuit were chosen to represent four teams. Each team consisted of two anglers, a bass pro and a bream pro and the teams were pitted against each other across eight venues to discover just who would be the top bass tournament angler, who would be the top bream angler and most importantly which team would win the overall series championship.
The four teams battling it out on the water were Team Shimano, Team Netspace, Team Mercury and Team Savage.
Shimano’s representatives consisted of the consistent and Series 1 AFC champion angler Chris Wright on the bream side of things while veteran BASS Pro and big tournament performer Harry Watson covered the bass side of things.
Netspace’s team members depended on Victorian Adam Royter for their bream expert and 2003 BASS Pro grand final winner Jason Ehrlich who was keen to impress on the bass throughout the series.
Team Mercury was highly favoured with Tim ‘the Bream’ Morgan, winner of the 2004 BREAM championship, teaming up with the BASS Pro circuit’s highest money earner John Schofield in a race to the top.
Savage’s team had some of the public’s favourite anglers with Ian ‘Barra’ Miller teaming up with the young gun of the BASS Pro circuit Carl Jocumsen to put the wood up a few of the bigger names in the fishing industry.
With the series expanding to eight rounds and with the inclusion of bass, everything looked set for some of the best tournament fishing ever seen on Australian television. And that is what panned out with almost every round producing some exceptional fishing and some close finishes. But it wasn’t only the competition that kept viewers glued to the set every Sunday afternoon.
Every show included vital information on tackle selection for various situations and the way these anglers went about choosing lures and locations is worth noting. Each angler worked their hardest to catch their limits and with only one session to catch their fish in the boys really did pick the eyes out of the waterways to zone in on the hottest fishing.
The venues fished throughout the series for the bass side of the competition included the fish rich waters of Lake Boondooma and the picturesque Lenthalls Dam in Queensland, and the home of big bass Glenbawn Dam and its smaller sister lake with equally big bass Lake StClair in NSW’s Hunter Valley region.
The bream venues included the holiday Mecca of the Gold Coast, NSW’s popular and expansive Hawkesbury system, Australia’s capital city’s waterway Sydney Harbour and the final round was held in the much despised and under-rated Yarra River in the heart of Melbourne.
Each venue provided different challenges for the anglers and it was interesting to see how each managed their tackle and tactics to accrue their bags.
This was one of the most hotly contested tournament series ever conducted with the result being in doubt right up to the last round. Scoring was simple with the winning team securing 10 series points per round, second place receiving 8, third 6 and fourth scratching the bottom of the barrel with 3 points. To these point was added an extra two bonus points for the Nitro Rods big bass or bream.
It’s history now that Team Shimano picked off the rest in Melbourne, but for those who missed one or two of the episodes, the results table hereabouts will give you a full run down of what each team did at each venue as well as revealing how each of the individual anglers performed in their respective divisions. While there was no prize for individual performances, I can tell you that the guys kept very close tabs on who was on top of who in each division.
Series 2 was a huge success and the introduction of bass into the series was welcomed by many anglers and viewers. The series takes viewers on a journey of some of our best bass and bream fisheries with anglers who really know how to lure fish. Their tips, tackle and tactics are all out there to be seen and used and with the release of the DVD in a few months time there is no reason why every angler can’t get something positive out of the series to improve their fishing.
For more information on the series check out the ABT 2005 Tournament Angler Guide available at newsagent and selected tackle stores or call Simon Goldsmith on (07) 3268 3992 during office hours.
Overall Team Results
|Harry Watson (Shimano)||8/8||36|
|Jason Ehrlich (Netspace)||8/8||36|
|Carl Jocumsen (Savage)||8/8||27|
|John Schofield (Mercury)||6/8||17|
|Tim Morgan (Mercury)||15/20||36|
|Chris Wright (Shimano)||18/20||34|
|Ian Miller (Savage)||17/20||26|
|Adam Royter (Netspace)||14/20||20|