ON A sparkling weekend with fine weather, light winds and abundant bream, Tim ‘The Bream’ Morgan topped the leader board at the 65-boat Quintrex Gold Coast BREAM Qualifier. After weighing in a first-day bag of 4.47kg, which included a pair of 1.28kg fish, Morgan was far ahead of the rest of the field.
A fast finishing Mark Ward (10/10, 5.28kg) weighed consistent limits to finish second, while Sydney’s Bill Maguire (10/10, 5.25kg) and Mossops’ Jay Morgan (10/10, 5.17kg) took home the other BREAM Grand Final positions. Adam O’Connor won the Amateur division with a 10-fish bag for 4.46kg. All up, 691 live bream were released from the Reef Science tank on the Sunday afternoon.
Tim’s pattern involved fishing open water 6ft-20ft deep (1.8m-6.5m) in front of the Southport School in the Nerang River with a new release Berkley Gulp Minnow – 3” long in a chartreuse/white colour combination. He fished it on a Millerods Bream Buster Finesse rod, Shimano Sustain 1000 reel, 4lb Fireline and a 6lb Vanish leader with a TT 1/8oz 1/0 Heavy Wire jighead.
“I fished the lure on the bottom as much as I could,” Tim explained, “and I did this by casting to a 45-degree angle in front of the boat. I held position with the electric motor while the lure sank and then, as it hit the bottom, I eased up on the electric power and drifted with the lure beside the boat. I hopped and shook the lure in that zone for as long as I could.”
Tim’s prime spots were areas where the depth changed.
“You could see the drop-off areas by observing the ripples on top of the water. Where the water boiled, you knew there was a drop-off just upcurrent and I targeted these areas.
“There was a one-hour period where I upgraded all of the smaller bream for bigger ones – between 9.30am and 10.30am,” he said. “That was an awesome session.
“I caught around 15 legal bream on the first day for that big bag, including a limit of 23-25cm fish in the first hour, so I went straight back there on the second day to see if the pattern was still working,” Morgan said. “In the first 10 minutes I had a 1.1kg bream in the well, but then didn’t catch another fish until 10.30am. I scratched up another couple from moored boats, but if Saturday was one of my best days on the water, Sunday was definitely one of my less memorable.”
Second-placed Mark Ward, a 35-year-old fishing guide from Helensvale, fished a totally different pattern.
“I fished moored boats and pontoons in and around the Runaway Bay Marina for all but one of my weighers,” Mark said. “I work on the cockroach technique – I cast to the deepest, darkest shadows and corners I can find!”
Mark cast his lure conventionally or with a bow and arrow cast into the shadows of the boats and pontoons. He let the lure sink to the bottom and would lifted the tip slightly and gave the lure a shake. After working the lure out of the shade, he quickly reeled in and made another cast into the shadows.
Mark’s killer plastic was the Berkley 3” Drop Shot Minnow in Pearl Watermelon fished on homemade #6 hook jigheads. He paired a Shimano Stella 6’6” rod with a Daiwa Laguna 1500 reel, 4lb Fireline and 6lb fluorocarbon leader.
“The best thing about the BREAM events is the quality of anglers you fish with,” Mark said, “and it was a dream of mine to make it to the Grand Final and fish against the best. I’m really looking forward to it.”
The Amateur title was taken out by New South Welshman Adam O’Connor, who won a swag of prizes for his performance, including a 100L EvaKool esky.
“I’ve fished the Coast for only three days – the practice day and the two tournament days – so I’m really happy,” he said on stage.
Michael Horn, Colin Peak and Phenn Vann join Adam as qualifiers in the Amateur division of the national BREAM Grand Final to be held in October.
To cap off a profitable weekend, Tim added the $500 GoSo Big Bream bonus to his payout for the two 1.28kg fish that were caught at the Southport School on the Berkley Gulp stickbaits.
All competitors enjoyed the facilities and hospitality at the tournament base, the Gold Coast City Marina at Coomera, for the duration of the event.
The next chance to qualify for the Quintrex National BREAM Grand Final is on the Clarence River, on the weekend of June 19-20. See www.bream.com for entry details or phone Simon Goldsmith on (07) 3268 3992 b/h.
PRO TOP TEN
* Grand Final qualification
AMATEUR TOP TEN
* Grand Final qualification
GoSo Big Bream – Tim Morgan, 1.28kg
1) The four Pro BREAM Grand Final qualifiers from left to right: Tim Morgan, Mark Ward, Bill Maguire and Jay Morgan.
2) The starts were busy with Sunday’s start being headed up by Tim Morgan and John Schofield in their Quintrex/Mercury packages from Caloundra City Power Boats.
3) The Reef Science tank provided the storage for a record breaking 691 bream weighed in by the 129 competitors at the Gold Coast BREAM Qualifier. Gold Coast City Marina was the perfect location to house the tank and the huge number of competitors.