The inaugural Hobie ABT Kayak series kicked off at Bayview Park, Sydney on January 17. An encouraging 43 competitors braved the overcast, windy conditions to contest the first round of what promises to be an extremely competitive addition to the tournament fishing calendar.
With the expanse of the Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour at their disposal, competitors were spoiled for choice in terms of locations. With the BREAM Australian Open having been completed a day earlier, the competitors were keen to demonstrate the versatility and effectiveness of kayaks under tournament conditions. The results demonstrated how effective, in the hands of tournament anglers, the kayak is at stealthily pursuing and catching bream equal to their motor driven brethren.
Fishing for two bream, the anglers presented 27 fish to the weighmaster for an average of 0.61kg. With cash, sponsors prizes and Grand Final positions up for grabs the competition was fierce. With bragging rights on the line no inch was given in the pursuit of the series opening victory.
History will show Wayne Robinson, 2/2, 2.12kg took out the tournament as well as securing the tournaments big bream of 1.32kg. The 46 year old Ermington truck driver targeted moored boats in and around the mouth of Hen and Chicken Bay. Using the Berkley Gulp 2” shrimp in banana prawn rigged on a Cultiva 1/16oz size 1 jighead, Robinson would present his offering tight to the hulls of moored boats. The bream, if inquisitive, would take the lure on the drop either first or second cast.
Fishing from his new Hobie Sport kayak, Robinson had his first fish in the well by 7.20am. This was followed by his second 40 minutes later at the bottom of the tide. “With the wind being so strong the bites were hard to detect. Getting the first fish in the well settled the nerves and when the second followed I knew I was in with a chance”, said a relieved Robinson.
Robinson used a Strudwick 5’6” rod teamed with a Shimano Sedona reel spooled with Sunline 10lb braid and 10lb Sunline FC Rock fluorocarbon leader. Soaking up the moment Robinson looked forward to future events and the opportunity to compete in the first kayak Grand Final in Forster later this year.
Gary Cooke, a 47 year old sales representative, clinched second with a 2/2, 1.87kg tournament bag. Targeting the Cabarita Marina area, Cooke fished both sides during the tide changes in order to secure his limit. Catching his first fish at 9am, Cooke had to persist until 20 minutes before the session ended to secure his second keeper.
Fishing from a Hobie Revolution 2008 kayak, Cooke used the Berkley Gulp 2” shrimp in banana prawn colour rigged on a Berkley 1/8oz jighead to catch both his fish. Cooke would let his lure sink to the bottom before slowly hopping it back to the kayak.
The outfit used to present Cooke’s offering was a Berkley Dropshot series II 6’6” spin rod teamed with a Daiwa Revros 2004 reel spooled with 4lb Berkley Crystal braid and 8lb Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon leader.
With the wind playing a major role and conditions proving tough many anglers targeted a smaller number of locations as time spent paddling was less time spent fishing. This was evident furthermore through the very thorough approach used to fish their locations.
Time management was crucial as the further the anglers travelled from the start the more time, and energy, they would need to return to the finish line. Those anglers that participated returned knowing that they had taken part in a growing sport that continues to gain popularity and public interest within the angling community.
Anglers now look forward to the next event on the Sunshine Coast, 22 February 2009 (Mooloolah River). Contact ABT (07)3387 0888 b/h or log on to www.bream.com.au for more details. – ABT
|1||Wayne Robinson||2||2.12||400 + $100 BB (1.32kg)|
|3||Stewart Dunn||2||1.34||$150 + Berkley Diablo rod|
|4||Scott Lovig||2||1.27||$100 + Berkley Diablo rod|
|5||David Tindale||2||1.21||$100 + Berkley Diablo rod|
|6||Greg Lewis||2||1.15||Okuma X Factor rod|
|7||Chris Byrne||2||1.13||Okuma X Factor rod|
|8||Kieran Smith||2||1.1||Hobie Fish Grip + Berkley pack|
|9||Carl Dubois||2||0.79||Hobie Fish Grip + Berkley pack|
|10||Ken Raley||1||0.64||Hobie Fish Grip + Berkley pack|