Chris ‘Slick’ Wright, a 36 year-old abalone diver from Merimbula, became the toast of the BREAMing world when he claimed his first series victory, winning the 2005 Triton Boats BREAM Grand Final.
Compiling a 12/15, 14.09kg, limit for the event, Wright showed a clean pair of heels to outclass the field of talented anglers to secure BREAM’s top prize and the $45,000 Triton boat package on offer.
Finishing second was Wright’s long-time friend, Ian ‘Barra’ Miller of Mollymook (9/15, 11.48kg). For the respected rod builder it was a fantastic result, his highest place ever at a Grand Final and his second time in the final five in the last three years. Third place went to Scott Towner of Bowral (10/15, 10.30kg), with Mark Gercovich (8/15, 9.75kg) and Steve Duff (5/15, 5.88kg), both from Victoria, filling out the remaining places in the final five.
The commanding win belonged to Wright, who showed just how dominant he can be, leading from day one and never loosing his grip on the event until he had claimed victory.
Wright’s first port of call on day one was the Paynesville region of the Gippsland Lakes, and it was here that he focused his attention on the boats and jetties littered through the area.
With his boat positioned close to the structure, Wright would cast his offering into the zone, skipping his lure in under the jetties and tight against the floating features.
“You could actually see the fish feeding and holding in the shade of the structure,” Wright explained.
“In many instances you would sight-cast to a fish, see it grab the lure, and strike,” he added.
Wright’s pattern of attack became evident when his non-boater for the day, Robert Harvey, caught their first fish on a cast that was a little wide of the mark but was still met with an aggressive responsive.
With the pattern now cracked, Wright spent the next few hours bagging out on the fish actively feeding on the food being washed off the structure by the pounding wind chop and passing boat traffic.
With fish taking advantage of the falling food, Wright found the bream holding high in the water column and adjusted his tackle accordingly.
Wright opted for a TT Lures HWS (Hidden Weight System) jighead and a Berkley Gulp 3” Minnow in pumpkinseed colour to match the fast running current. The result for Wright was a 5/5, 5.24kg limit and the lead heading into day two.
Heading straight back to Paynesville, Wright was bemused to find the fish from day had moved on and were no longer there. With a change in tactics now required, Wright moved into the Newland Arm of the Paynesville region and it was here that he found actively feeding fish.
Once again opting for a shallow presentation, Wright used a 70mm Squidgy Flick Bait in Evil Minnow colour, rigging it on the smallest sized resin head in the Squidgy range. Cast into the tightly packed fish, and regularly dropped on their heads, Wright found the fish less than willing to eat a plastic.
“They were there and schooled up just like the day before but they just didn’t want to eat to the plastic,” Wright explained.
“So I made a change, and went to something a bit more aggressive in the form of a hard body,” he added.
The change proved just the ticket, with the burned, twitched, and paused lure drawing much interest.
“The Ecogear SX-40 worked a treat,” Wright said.
“I cast it under the docks and worked it back through the fish with a mixture of movements. The takes in most cases came when the lure was still, and they had a chance to look at, nudge it, then eat it,” he added.
While the fish holding under the docks provided Wright with many of the fish in his day two bag, the seemingly fishless shorelines between the structures also provided a bounty of bream.
“The flooded weed and the random poles scattered throughout the area were real hot spots,” Wright explained.
“You could easily see fish flashing near the weed, and spot bream chewing on the growth on the poles. Then it was just a matter of putting the lure near them, twitching and working it, to get them to eat it”, he concluded.
With a full limit by 11.00am and confident he had a big enough bag to make the Final Five, Wright left the area, idled off to try time some alternate locations and compose his thoughts for the final day.
The final day provided Wright with some initial frustration. On returning to Newland’s docks and bay area, Wright found the fish had moved on again. Persevering for three hours, Wright soon realised that it was time to change, and moved back to his location from day one: the jetties and boats at Paynesville.
“The first fish came in the first ten minutes after I moved,” Wright explained.
“It was such a relief, I was beginning to think I was going to be known as the biggest choker ever if I came back with no fish,” he said.
The fish continued to be added to Wright’s livewell, with his approach for the remainder of the session involving a continual rotation of the structures, allowing him to intercept the roaming fish.
Wright’s lure on the final day was a bloodworm coloured Squidgy Wriggler rigged on a Squidgy Resin Head. His outfit remained the same throughout the event, and was comprised of six Millerod Bream Busters, 6’9” and matched to an assortment of 1000 sized Shimano Stella and Stradic reels. Spooling the reels was 4lb Fireline in fluoro green colour, with an 6 and 8lb Yamatoyo flurocarbon used as his leader material.
Second to Wright was great mate Ian Miller. Fishing the lower section of the Tambo River on day one and two, and the mouth of the Tambo on day three, Miller opted for a hard bodied lure approach for the entire of the event.
Miller cracked the pattern early on day one when he and non-boater Wayne Friebe spotted bream feeding on baitfish in the shallows. The decision to fish the area was soon rewarded with Friebe landing a fish on his first cast. The two events paid dividends and it was here that Miller stayed for the majority of the tournament.
Miller used a diminutive Ecogear SX-40 to swim lures past the flooded snags and over the submerged drop-offs.
“The key was to get the lure tight to the overhangs and snags then retrieve it back to the boat with the right mix of twitches and pauses,” Miller explained.
“You really had to give the fish a chance to eat the lure, hanging it in their face and giving them the stimulus they needed to eat it was crucial,” he added.
The other important measure that Miller took was to continually upgrade the trebles as they became old and less sticky. Replacing them with the same size and brands as those that are fitted to the lure, size 12 Owners.
Miller’s tackle for the event included his Millerods Bream Buster Classic XF models 6’9”, matched with Shimano Stella 1000 spin reels, loaded with 4kg Squidgy Braid, and finished off with 6lb Nitlon fluorocarbon leader material.
The non-boater division was hotly contested with Victorian local and town favourite Robert Harvey claiming the title and driving away with a Stessco 4.2 Catcher, 40hp E-Tec, Specials Trailer, MotorGuide, Lowrance boat package.
Fishing with Champion Boater Chris Wright on day one and Queenslander Steve Wilson on day two, Harvey compiled the fish needed to secure his first tournament win.
With a two day limit of 5/10, 6.49kg, Harvey claimed victory with a 490g leading margin over Michael Geary of Queensland (4/10, 6.00kg).
On the victory dais Harvey expressed how excited he was with the result.
“I’m over the moon. I can’t believe that I’ve won,” Harvey exclaimed.
“Fishing with Slick on day one was out of this world, although a little terrifying with the speed that he drives his boat, and on day two, Steve did everything that he could to help me get a shot at winning. I just can’t believe I’ve won and the boat’s mine,” he said.
The event brought the curtain down on the 2005 Triton Boats BREAM Series. ABT and its competitors would like to thank all the sponsors of the series for all the support they have provided throughout the year.
The series will kick off again in early 2006, and ABT looks forward to make next year’s series bigger and better than ever.
Information and entry forms for next year’s series will be available in January 2006, in both the new 2006 Tournament Angler Guide and at www.bream.com.au.
|Place||Angler||State||Fish 1||Weight 1||Fish 2||Weight 2||Fish 3||Weight 3||Total Fish||Total Weight (kg)|
|24||Jorg VAN HUSEN||NSW||0||0||1||0.51||1/15||0.51|
|26||Martin RICHARDSON NSW||0||0||0||0||0/15||0|
|Place||Angler||State||Fish 1||Weight 1||Fish 2||Weight 2||Total Fish||Total Weight (kg)|
|31||Damien FARRUGIA-GAY SA||0||0||0||0||0||0|