MICK COLLINS, a 39-year-old Sydney fishing guide, achieved several personal milestones in his most recent weekend of tournament fishing. He weighed his first and second ever limits of five bream at an ABT BREAM event and, more importantly, he won the MotorGuide sponsored leg of the Quintrex National BREAM series. In doing so, he qualified for the National BREAM Grand Final and pocketed $3000 for his efforts.
With a commanding final lead over second-placed Queenslander Michael Metcalfe (10/10, 6.37kg), who has already qualified for the Grand Final, Collins joins Taree young-gun Kris Hickson (10/10, 5.98kg), previous season-winner Chris Metcalfe (10/10, 5.78kg) and BREAM newbie Clayton Gusmerini (10/10, 5.88kg) on the trail to the season’s ultimate event.
Fishing a mixture of hard- and soft-bodied lures, Collins fished around oyster racks in Porto Bay early in the sessions before changing his location to Moonee Moonee Creek to search for larger fish later in the day.
“Clearwater bream and I have an understanding – I don’t go near them and they come nowhere near my line,” Collins joked as he explained his winning tactic on stage to the weigh-in crowd, “so I fish dirtier water, and to do that, I use rattling lures.”
Mick’s lures of choice included 2” Storm Rattle Grubs in Pumpkinseed colour rigged on Gamakatsu heavy wire jigheads, as well as shallow diving Rebel Crawdads in brown/orange and Predatek Micro-Mins in black/silver and rainbow trout hues.
“When fishing the hardbaits, a dead slow retrieve worked best – just fast enough to get the rattles inside working,” said Collins, who landed 10 legal fish on the Saturday session and eight on Sunday. “When casting the soft plastics, I’d aim to keep the lure up and off the bottom with a series of shakes and jerks – it must have looked pretty weird for any observers, but it really worked.”
Mick Collins’ tournament-winning tackle included a 7’ Shimano Bass Spin rod coupled with an Okuma Inspira 1500 reel, 8lb Fireline and 17lb Maxima leader.
“I’d really like to thank my non-boater on Sunday – Steele Lambert,” Collins said. “Man, he’s the quickest net on the east coast and he got smoked by some real Hawkesbury bruisers. It was a shame his results didn’t reflect his talent.”
Mick commented that he hoped to make the top 10 for this event, and maybe even the top four. “But winning still hasn’t sunk in. It’s beyond all of my expectations,” he said.
A fast-finishing Michael Metcalfe had nothing but praise for this near-Sydney fishery.
“The Hawkesbury bream are big, mean and really have attitude,” Michael said as he collected his first paycheque from his new, ultra-fast breamin’ rig, “and the extra speed in the new boat meant that I had a heap of extra fishing time.”
Michael spent all of his extra time fishing racks at the top of Moonee Moonee Creek.
“Without a word of a lie, I got busted by big bream at least half a dozen times each day,” Metcalfe lamented, “but I landed five fish on the Saturday and six on the Sunday, and that was enough for me.”
Metcalfe’s weapon of choice was a 2” pumpkinseed coloured single-tailed grub rigged on a Squidgie Finesse 1.5g #4 jighead. Every second cast he’d spray it with Yum garlic scent and his retrieve varied markedly from Collins’.
“I’d cast up alongside the racks and virtually drag the lure back to the boat. If anything, maybe a few small hops, but that’d be followed by a pause,” Mike explained.
His delivery was assisted with a 6’7” Millerods Bream Buster Brawler, Shimano Stella 2500 reel, 6lb Fireline and 16lb Stren Magna-Thin leader.
The GoSo Adventure Wear Big Bream was landed by Matthew Kelly. At 1.58kg, it pipped Jay Morgan’s Day One 1.53kg bream and snared the $500 bonus.
Leading amateur Josh Batterson left daylight between himself and the rest of the pack with a 10/10, 5.92kg two-day limit that sends him to the Amateur division of the Grand Final, along with Chris Cleave, David Joss and Mark Collins.
The next event in the BREAM calendar is on the Glenelg River at the end of April. Enquiries to Simon Goldsmith on (07) 3268 3992 b/h.
|Chris CLEAVE||6||4.16||Prize Pack|
|David JOSS||8||3.95||Prize Pack|
|Mark COLLINS||4||3.27||Prize Pack|
|Mark McCREDIE||5||2.93||Prize Pack|
|Michael HAZILIAS||5||2.83||Prize Pack|
|Dave SEAMAN||5||2.69||Prize Pack|
|Daniel BONOCCORSO||5||2.59||Prize Pack|
|Russell BABEKUHL||6||2.58||Prize Pack|
|Grant THOMPSON||5||2.58||Prize Pack|
GoSo Big Bream – Matthew Kelly (1.58kg) $500