The weekend of the 11th and 12th of October saw 50 teams head to Warrnambool on the Hopkins River for the BCF Bream Classic and the last qualifying round of the 2014 Vic Bream Classic Series. All anglers were super keen to put on a good performance at this event as it was their last chance to earn Club Marine Team Of The Year points which is used for them to qualify for the 2014 Vic Bream Classics Grand Final. In the lead up to the event the word on the grape vine was that the Hopkins River was fishing very slow and it would be interesting to see what techniques would work the best. For Team Loft's Paul Holmes and Greg Rooke a decision to try a Cranka Crab on the Friday's prefish proved genius and they went into Day 1 with a confident plan.
Anglers awoke on Day 1 to stable conditions with a slight breeze and overcast conditions. For Team Loft it was off to see if the bite they found for 10 minutes in the prefish was still on. "We decided to head straight back and start hitting rock walls with the Cranka Crabs and also fished any areas that looked like they may hold fish all the way up to Hen and Chickens" Paul said. Using a combination of Samurai 201 and G-Loomis drop shot rods matched to Shimano Stella 2500 and Diawa Luvias 2000 sized reels spooled with 8lb SAS and 4lb Microfuse braids with 3lb and 4lb FC Rock fluorocarbon leaders the boys put the Cranka Crabs into action. It wasn't long before the cranka crabs found their prey and the reels were screaming with quality bream coming to the boat in quick succession. "We had a great session on Saturday and managed to land 12 legal sized fish with a number of quality upgrades" Paul said. Quality upgrades was an understatement as when Team Loft approached the scales it looked like they had more like 10 bream in their bag not 5. As the bag hit the scales the crowd erupted as their bag went past 5kg and stopped at 5.26kg giving them a healthy lead of over 1kg on 2nd and setting an unbeatable bench mark for the Maria Lures Best Bag prize. Another highlight on Day1 of competition was the Eco-Gear Big Bream was secured by Team Bream By Stealth's Romeo Prezioso and Carl Di Toro who weighed in an absolute cracking bream weighing 1.56kg.
The challenge had well and truly been set by Team Loft and it was going to be a hard slug for the quality teams below them to reel them in especially if their Day 1 bite continued on Day 2. The final Day started in promising fashion for Team Loft as they hit the rock walls early like the previous day and had 3 fish in the well early however the bite slowed down and the boys felt that the fishing pressure on the rock walls was starting to take its toll and if they were to win they would need to find some new water to fish and complete their bag. Luck was definitely on the boys side as moving onto some muddy banks armed with the trusty Cranka Crab again proved a winning move as fish could been seen and it was as simple as offering them a Cranka Crab and they were hooked. "Once we found the muddy banks its was amazing fishing as we were sight casting to feeding fish and at one point we landed 8 legals in 15 casts" Paul said. With quality fishing like that it was going to be almost impossible for the rest of the field to catch Team Loft and after they weighed in 5/5 bream for 3.23kg the 3rd heaviest bag of Day 2 they had secured victory with 10/10 8.49kg smashing the competition by over 1.2kg and claiming the BCF Bream Classic victory.
Another team that completed an exceptional year was Team Lowrance HDS's Paul Malov and Alex Franchuk who with their 6th place finish at The BCF Bream Classic took out the 2014 Club Marine Team Of Year trophy for the most consistent team in 2014 with 2 4th's 1 2nd and a 5th in the other rnds for the year. Along with the accolades and the Club Marine Team of the Year Trophy Team Lowrance HDS will receive free entry into all the qualifying rnds of the 2015 Atomic Bream Classic Series and will head off in 1st place on the Saturday. If you'd like to take on Team Lowrance HDS and the large list of other quality teams that enter the series in 2015 log onto www.vicbreamclassics.com.au download the entries forms and it could be you Im writing about this time next year.