TIM “The Bream” Morgan enjoyed his second qualifying event win of the 2004 season to take out the tough Mercury Taree BREAM Challenge – the last northern NSW qualifying event for the National BREAM Grand Final.
The only angler to complete limits both days, Tim’s 10/10, 5.54kg bag added $3,000 to his all-time winnings list, but wasn’t enough to take a third consecutive NSW Angler of the Year title from fellow Queenslander Michael Metcalfe.
Morgan easily outdistanced Kaj ‘Bushy’ Busch (9/10, 4.14kg) while Trent Short (7/10, 3.89kg), Mick Collins (6/10, 3.83kg) and Chris Metcalfe (6/10, 3.61kg) shared the bulk of the prize money and the top five placings.
Moving between spots in the Lansdowne River, the seawalls defining the mouth of the Manning River and shallow, weedy banks, Morgan used the popular 3” Berkley Bass Minnows on a variety of jig head sizes to cater for the different depths and current conditions. His favourite colours were watermelon/pearl and olive/pearl.
His first three bream came from the Lansdowne River, where he used a 1/22oz TT jig head, 6lb Berkley Vanish leader, 4lb Fireline, a 7’ Millerods Bream Buster Finesse rod and a Shimano Sustain 1000 reel to fish the ‘second drop off’, where the water dropped from four feet down to around 10 feet deep. Positioning the boat in 15 feet of water, Tim cast into the shallows and felt the lure as it hopped into the deeper water. That’s when the bream hit.
Moving from the Lansdowne on the change of the tide, Morgan then fished the rock wall areas at the mouth of the Manning.
“With the boat in deeper water, I’d cast diagonally up and along the wall and fish the bait between 15 and 20 feet down. To do that I’d change up to a bigger jighead – 1/8oz when the current was slow and up to 1/6oz when it really started to run,” Tim said.
“I think that it was pretty important to keep the lure down near the bottom. In that fast water the fish seemed not to rise too far to eat, so I’d keep it right in front of their face,” he continued.
The pattern added another three fish on the Saturday and the first three fish of his Sunday limit.
“I was lucky enough to add another two fish to complete my Sunday bag on a shallow, weedy bank that I did well on a couple of years ago. I fished 1/16oz heads there and I think that’s the most satisfying part of my two days on the water – being able to actually put a limit together on each day. This is a tough river. I finished second from the bottom last time I came here,” he concluded.
Bushy’s pattern varied markedly from Morgan’s. He spent the entire tournament amidst a 50 metre square patch of oyster racks in Pelican Bay near Manning Point.
“I didn’t catch a single legal bream on the practice day, so I decided that I would just keep my lure in the water as long as I could during the tournament and staying in that one spot helped me to do that,” Bushy explained as his second day bag jumped him from 4th to 2nd place.
Bushy’s own Bloodworm coloured #2 Squidgy Wriggler on a 1g Finesse jig head fooled his fish and he delivered it on his Millerods Bream Buster rod, 4lb Squidgy braid a 10lb Stren Magna-Thin leader and a Shimano Stella 1000 reel.
Bushy described his retrieve as an ‘unknowable, unrepeatable retrieve’ which, when questioned further turned into a reasonably fast wind coupled with occasional twitches.
“You don’t let the lure hit the bottom and you don’t give the little buggars any time to work out that they actually don’t want to eat it, “ Kaj explained. “Just cast, let it sink for a second or two and start winding. It’s more like a hard body retrieve than a soft plastic one, but it works for me.”
“At 5 in the morning when the alarm goes off, I hate BREAM events, but when you’ve got a limit in the well as you head to the weigh-in, I must admit it’s pretty special,” Kaj admitted.
Amateur Champion Mark Pedersen, a 35 year old kite surfing instructor from the Central Coast, felt pretty special on the way to his weigh-in on the Sunday. Not only did he have a limit big enough to take the non-boater title, but his limit was anchored by a 1.28kg bream that added the $500 Go-So Big Bream cheque to his mountain of prizes.
The snodger scoffed a 2” Atomic Fat Grub in the Brown Crawdad colours rigged on a 1/16oz home made jig head.
“I cast up under this tree and the fish grabbed the lure as soon as it hit the surface,” Mark explained, “I was disappointed when it didn’t come up tight but after two more turns of the handle, it’d grabbed it again.”
It was Mark’s third BREAM event.
With only one BREAM Qualifier to go for the season, anglers in the upcoming Bundaberg BREAM event will vie for the remaining Grand Final positions. Call Simon Goldsmith on (07) 3268 3992 b/h for more information or visit www.bream.com.au.
Local Area Sponsors: Taree Aquatic Club, Greater Taree Council, Dawson River Caravan Park, Manning River Marine.
|1||Mark PEDERSEN||NSW||4||3.26||Prize Pack + Eva Kool + $500 Big Bream|
|2||Adam HODGES||NSW||5||2.85||Prize Pack + Angler Rod|
|3||Jeff MOULDS||ACT||4||1.97||Prize Pack + Compleat Angler Pack|
|4||Daniel BROWN||NSW||3||1.96||Prize Pack + Mako|
|5||Chris CLEAVER||NSW||4||1.82||Prize Pack + Strudwick Rod|
|6||Mark MCCREDIE||NSW||4||1.81||Prize Pack + Shimano Rod|
|7||Alan MCNAMARA||NSW||4||1.67||Prize Pack + Gladiator Rod|
|8||Matthew YOUNG||NSW||3||1.43||Prize Pack + Gladiator Rod|
|9||Peter MCWATTERS||NSW||3||1.4||Prize Pack|
|10||Russell BABEKUHL||NSW||3||1.38||Prize Pack|
|Go-So Big Bream||Mark Pedersen||1.28kg|