Perfect autumn weather greeted 105 anglers for the E-Tec Tweed River BREAM Challenge.
Digital printer Michael Horn from the Gold Coast showed a clean pair of heels with a 10/10, 5.93kg tournament winning bag.
One of only six anglers to ‘bag out’ over two days, Horn beat a talented field of experienced breamers to take the title.
Horn fished one location for all bar one hour of the tournament: the rock laden ‘Gravel Patch’ region located downriver of the Boyds Bay Bridge.
He targeted fish holding on structure by presenting jighead-rigged Berkley Gulps. Positioning his boat over the underwater feature, Horn cast his offering at a 45 angle to the boat, working it over the bottom with the passing current before ending the retrieve as it reached the back of the boat.
“Most of the time I was holding the boat in about 3m of water,” Horn explained. “The fish were spread out over the feature so I just kept moving around and working over the area.”
Horn’s presentation and technique was textbook for the type of location he was fishing. He just let the plastic drift to the bottom, made a couple of small twitches, then let it bump and drift across the bottom with the current. The hits from the bream were in keeping with the pattern, and when Horn felt the initial touch he dropped back his lure to the interested fish.
While Saturday provided Horn with a bounty of fish and the biggest bag of the tournament (5/5, 3.65kg), Sunday was more challenging. With the fish retreating to the sanctuary of the sea grass scattered throughout the ‘Gravel Patch’ area, Horn’s resolve strengthened, with a consolidating (5/5, 2.25kg) second day bag securing his first BREAM victory.
The dominant plastic in Horn’s arsenal was a 3” Berkley Gulp Minnow (pumpkinseed colour), which he rigged on a TT jigheads in sizes from 1/8oz down to 1/12oz, depending on the conditions.
Horn’s choice of tackle included 7’2” and 7’6” Shimano Raider spin rods matched to Shimano Stradic 1000 reels, and finished off with 4lb Fireline and 6lb and 4lb Nitlon leader.
Event runner-up Darren Borg presented a 10/10, 4.9kg tournament limit to the weighmaster. Plying the waters of the lower Tweed, Borg targeted the rocky and hard structured areas towards the mouth of the systems.
Predominantly focusing on water ranging from 4-5m, Borg opted for a soft plastic approach to tempt his fish. His choice was the Berkley Gulp range, varying between the 3” Minnow (pumpkinseed), 4” Turtleback Worm (watermelon), and the 6” Finesse Worm, coated in the newly-released Atomic Extreme Garlic Scent.
Modifying his presentation to match his choice of plastic, Borg opted for a standard hop ‘n’ drop retrieve with the 3” Minnow and a slower, more finesse-styled presentation when using the Turtleback and Finesse Worms. At times he rigged the longer of the two weedless and fished it tight into the fish-holding cover littered across the rocky bottom.
Borg’s choice of tackle centred around his 3-6kg, 7’, Quantum Tour Edition spin rod, matched to a Quantum Energy PTI reel, spooled with 4lb Fireline, and finished off with 6lb and 8lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon. His jigheads included those from the TT stable and ranged in size from 1/12oz to 1/6oz.
Claiming the title of Champion Non-Boater was ABT regular Daniel ‘Digit’ Brown. Delivering a 9/10, 4.46kg bag to the weighmaster for the weekend, Brown easily outclassed the rest of the field. ABT debutant David Fletcher claimed second place with his first sojourn into the tournament BREAM arena.
Fishing with Peter Morgan on day one and Kerry Symes on day two, Brown spent the majority of his tournament fishing the rock walls and reefy structures found throughout the lower reaches of the Tweed.
Event winner Michael Horn further added to his $2500 winnings with the addition of the $500 Go-So Big Bream for his outstanding 1.18kg specimen captured on day two of the event.
The next event on the BREAM calendar is the Stessco Manning River BREAM Challenge at Taree, on June 11-12. For more information visit www.bream.com.au or phone Simon Goldsmith (07) 3268 3992 (b/h), 0427 32 64 64 (b/h).