Sunday January 11 saw 31 keen kayak anglers gather on the Pelican Beach foreshore at Southport on the Gold Coast to compete in the first round of the KFT TT Lures/Ocean Kayak Gold Coast Bream Tournament Series.
Anglers registered, yaks were set up, gear rigged, starting horn blown at 6.30am and the flotilla hit the water. It was great to see such a variety of kayaks together on the water, from basic kayaks through to yaks that were comprehensively fitted out with all the latest gadgets.
The weather forecast kept the numbers down a little, but after a bit of a breezy start it turned out to be a good day on the water. Most of the paddlers used the tidal flow from one of the biggest tides of the year and moved up the Nerang fishing the canals, rock walls and bridges that the bream call home. Anglers each had an official KFT measure and their aim was to catch 5 bream casting lure or fly, with a minimum fork length of 23cm, photograph these fish on the measure, record the length on their catch card, return the fish to the water and return their catch card, measure and camera to the measure station by the 12.30pm cut off.
Fishing for the day turned out to be pretty tough with some nice bream spotted holding near structure but they proved hard to tempt. Plenty of small bream were landed that didn’t make the 23cm fork length required to be eligible for measure in and there were also a wide variety of other species caught that had the anglers cheering on the hook up until they realised that the hooked fish wasn’t the target species. Even without the bream, anglers still caught plenty of other species with Brad Turner landing a 30cm mangrove jack along with flathead, Moses perch, whiting and trevally and Steven Riding also landed a trevally, tailor and an estuary cod, but big bream proved more difficult to find.
Kayaks lined the beach as anglers returned to the measure in and gathered for the announcement of the winners. Each round of the KFT series has plenty of prizes including prize packs for the top 10 finishers, a $200 BCF voucher for the BCF Big Bream, 20 random draw prizes for those that finish outside the top 10 and an Ocean Kayak Pacific Angler Kayak valued at over $1000 dollars up for grabs as a random draw for those who fish on the day. KFT aim to hold events that are fun and professionally run, where kayak anglers of all skill levels can gather to meet other yak fishos, learn from each other and compete for a swag of prizes. These comps are all about rewarding participation and with 33 prizes up for grabs at this round everyone walked away with a prize.
Robbie Wells took out the day with a bag of 3 bream, collecting a prize pack valued at about $650 that included 6 PX45 and 6 SX40 lures from Ecogear, 60 Nitro jigheads, Berkley tackle management system, Gulp! lures, Platypus sinking braid and stealth leader, Columbia fishing shirt and pants plus stacks of other bits and pieces. Robbie broke from the pack and paddled against the tide down toward the Seaway and fished his way back to the measure in. He found the bite to be pretty tough and pulled his 3 weighers on 3 different lures. First fish came on an Ecogear SX40, second fish on a Storm Twitching Nipper and the third on a Gulp! 2” Banana Prawn Shrimp rigged on a TT jighead.
The other anglers who made up the top 5 landed their fish on a mixed bag of soft plastics, hard bodied lures, metal vibes and surface lures, with Ecogear’s PX45 being a popular choice among anglers on the day. Robbie also took out the BCF Big Bream with a 25.5cm to the fork fish, an indication of the average size of fish landed on the day.
The anticipation built as Lindsay from BLA/Ocean Kayak pulled out the winning ticket for Ocean Kayak Pacific Angler kayak and announced Ivan Rush as the winner. He was stoked to spend a morning on the water and walk away with a new kayak and it’s awesome to see a quality kayak brand like Ocean Kayak getting behind events like the KFT.
Although the fishing was tough on the day it was great to have a keen bunch of kayak anglers together, fishing in a tournament environment. To hear the stories of big fish spotted, the ones that got away like David’s 30+ at the side of the yak and to see kayak anglers helping each other load and unload, plan future trips and swap tips on kayak set ups was awesome and made me proud to be a member of the kayak fishing community. A massive thankyou to the event sponsors for supporting kayak fishing and also to those that fished the event for making it such a good day.
Round 2 will be held on Sunday February 22 and full details of the event are available at www.kft.net.au . - KFT
|1. Robbie Wells||Ecogear/Berkley/Nitro/Columbia Pack|
|2. James Duke||Atomic/Berkley/Nitro/Columbia Pack|
|3. Sam Hitzke||TT Lures/Berkley/Nitro/Columbia Pack|
|4. Mick Wassman||Mako/Berkley/Nitro Pack|
|5. Richard Creighton||Gary Howard Rod/Berkley/Nitro Pack|
BCF Big Bream
Robbie Wells$200 BCF Voucher
Ocean Kayak Winner
Ivan RushOcean Kayak Pacific Angler Kayak ($1059)