Poor Weather doesn't deter Young Guns from Firing at Hopkins Bream Classic
The weekend of the 15th and 16th of October saw 45 teams head to Warrnambool and the Hopkins River for the 2011 Hooked On Rod 'N' Reels Bream Classic. Being the last qualifying round of the 2011 Humminbird Bream Classic Series and the final chance for teams to earn points towards the Club Marine Team of the Year Award anglers were keen to put in a solid performance before hopefully heading to the 2011 Humminbird Bream Classic Invitational at Mallacoota Inlet in November. The one thing standing in the way of anglers was Warrnambool's unpredictable weather along with the Hopkins Rivers big black breams ability to get lock jaw at times. For Team Smith Sea Bullets Jesse Rotin and Ryan Warren they had the successful formula that produced them with their first Vic Bream Classic Victory.
After beautiful weather for Friday's pre-fish angler awoke on Saturday morning to strong wind, cold conditions and persistent rain a total contrast from the day before. For Team Smith-Sea Bullets aftering having a very successful prefish where they landed a 40cm bream on their second cast along with drop other quality fish they had their plan for day 1. "On Day 1 we both decided to fish areas chosen from the pre fish close to the start line and spots which most people would ignore or miss, the two areas we concentrated around was the rock wall adjacent to the ski zone and hard up in the sand flats at the mouth" Jesse said. Using a combination of Smith Bayliner BL66M/CF, Smith Dancing Bream DB-SH72 and angler mate GAS-68M rods matched to Shimano Stradic 1000, Diawa 2506 Aegis and Diawa Mega Bass ito 2506 reels the boys used Smith Shirasu Minnow 48 colour #09, Smith Cherry Bloods md75 in colour #05, and Smith camions DR in colour #23, and jackall chubby deeps in brown suji shrimp and cast them within inches of the shore and then did a constant retrieve with plenty of short flicks of the rod on every pause. This method paid dividends for the boys as by the end of day 1 they were sitting in second position with a quality bag in tough conditions which went 5/5 bream for 3.29kg. The challenge would be weather the fish would still be in the lowers reaches on Day 2 and if they could reel in Day 1 comp leaders and locals Team Diawa's Mark Gercovich and Nick Murrell.
Day 2 provided still poor weather conditions for the field along with an even tougher bite than Day 1. Many teams were out of the running within the first 2 hours of Day 2. For Team Smith Sea Bullets it was all about consistency and getting that five bream in the well. "Day two we woke too see the conditions from day one were a lot different with strong wind and heavy rainfall. But this did not deter us as the bream at the Hopkins River are used to the altering weather from day to day. We continued our same techniques from day one, with the fishing being a little quieter we stuck to it, keeping our lures in the water and pin pointing our cast's harder into the snags and channels then working them more thoroughly maximises our chances of finding active fish. By about 10 am we still had no fish in the well, so it was time do something a little different, we started picking rock walls in the river which were deep with plenty of shade and where the wind wasn't a nuisance allowing accurate casts and more a subtle retrieve. The technique proved successful as Ryan landed a good fish on his Smith Shirasu minnow 48 and with myself landing 2 more on the Smith Cherry Blood 75 in the space of an hour" Jesse said. The boys were very happy to have three fish in the well, but knew that it wouldn't be enough to take victory so at 1pm in the last roll of the dice the decision was made to brave the elements and head to mouth in that hope some fish had moved in on the tide. "When we arrived at the mouth the wind was howling through and at times made it very difficult to hold ground with the electric motor. We picked a sand bank where the water dropped sharply from 2ft to 10ft. We stationed the boat on anchor 20ft above this edge, and started making casts up into the shallows and working the lures back into the deep water. On my second cast I hooked up solid to a good bream on the Cherry blood 75, and with the way the fish pulled we knew it was a quality fish so I backed off the drag which paid dividends because as it hit the net we both realised that only one treble was left in the fish" Jesse said. With time running out the boys had to be satisfied with 4 bream and make the trip back to the weigh in to see if they had done enough.
The weigh in on day 2 proved a nail bitter with a number of teams making huge charges for the lead such as Team Minn-Kota who took out the Atomic Bassday Best Bag with their day 2 5/5 bream for 3.70kg taking them from 6th to 2nd and Team Doma that charged from 16th to 4th with their 5/5 bream for 3.62kg on day 2. The Eco-Gear Big Bream secured on Saturday by Team Club Marine which went 1.26kg wasn't headed on Day 2 which gave the Club Marine boys a truck load of lures for their 1 fish for the weekend, but it was Team Smith - Sea Bullets Jesse Rotin and Ryan Warren that snatched the Hooked On Rods 'N' Reels Bream Classic victory with 4/5 bream for 2.76kg giving them a consistent 9/10 bream for 6.05kg for the weekend.
With the 2011 Humminbird Bream Classic Series almost over, its time to start looking out for the launch of the 2012 Humminbird Bream Classic Series. Keep your eyes peeled for tournament dates in VFM and also visit the website at www.vicbreamclassics.com.au for entry forms and tournament details.