36-year-old Victorian tiler and charter boat skipper, Warren Carter, travelled from the Patterson Lakes in his home state to take the major cash prize at the final east coast BREAM Qualifier for the 2006 Triton BREAM series – the Lowrance Clarence River BREAM Challenge.
Amongst a talented field and in what locals described as incredibly poor fishing for the area, Carter consistently weighed limits to finish with a 10/10, 4.86kg bag – narrowly pushing Chris Britton (10/10, 4.81kg) into second and local gun Darren 'Dizzy' Borg (10/10, 4.70kg) into third.
Sydney's Jack Olmos weighed a spectacular second-day limit of 5/5 for 4.54kg to blast up to fourth from last position on day one. Ross Lamotte's 10/10, 4.35kg bag secured fifth place.
Carter formulated a plan based on practice fishing trips that he made en-route to the Gold Coast BREAM event earlier in the year and stuck to it like glue.
“I fished one stretch of the middle wall for the entire event and at times on the Saturday, it was so rough that I had to anchor there to keep position,” Warren said.
Carter fished deep (6-12m of water) with jighead-rigged Berkley Gulp Minnows and Grubs in pumpkinseed colour. He caught his larger fish on the 3” Grubs and found that lifting the grubs off the bottom and dropping them back resulted in the most bites.
Carter used a 7-foot Duffmaster 2-3kg custom-built spin rod loaded with 4lb Fireline and Nitlon leader.
Second placed Chris Britton also fished deep to get his limit, targeting a specific rock ledge in 6-9m of water for nearly the entire event.
“I moved around a bit on the Sunday when I was struggling for my final fish. But for the rest of the event, I basically stayed put on a little rocky ledge just upstream of Browns Rocks,” Chris explained.
“I fished it like I used to for bream when I was a keen bait fisherman – casting upstream and letting the soft plastic drift downstream with the current, and when I felt the bream bite, I'd just lean back and wind,” he said.
His go-to bait was a Berkley Gulp 3” Minnow in pumpkinseed colour that he fished on Nitro 1/8oz or 1/6oz jigheads with #1 and #2 hooks. He fished them on a Daiwa Procaster Z 6’6” rod, Shimano Sustain 1000 reel, 4lb Berkley Fireline and a 6lb Yamatoyo fluorocarbon leader.
“For me the fish bit pretty well on the Saturday; I think that those gusty northwesters brought the fish on a little. I probably landed a dozen legal bream then, but I really struggled in the perfect weather on the Sunday and landed my fifth and last bream at about 1pm,” Chris said.
The fast-finishing Jack Olmos landed the tournament's GoSo Big Bream – an enormous 1.78kg specimen that bit along the river's southern seawall. In addition to GoSo's $500, Jack's bream will be taxidermied by local artist Rod Gardener.
A lone qualifier remains for the 2005 Triton National BREAM series, with only four boater and four non-boater berths in the Grand Final remaining. These spots will be decided in Adelaide's Port River on the 10-11 September. – ABT