Team Rod-Tip Hit the Honey Hole at Hopkins Bream Classic
The weekend of the 19th and 20th of June saw 45 teams converge on the Hopkins River in Warrnambool for the Hooked On Rods 'N' Reels Bream Classics the 4th Qualifying round of the 2010 Humminbird Bream Classics Series. In previous years the Hopkins River has produced varying results for teams and this year was to be no different with challenging conditions confronting all anglers. It was Team Rod-Tip's Rod Stephens and Paul Tippett who would find the honey hole on day one that would give them the victory in grand style.
With the water level extremely high and with the word from the pre-fish that no one had really landed any fish meant that all plans were out the window for most teams, so relying on old spots and lady luck would be the different between winning or losing. For Team Rod-Tip their day 1 started in less than favourable style. Starting all the way down the bottom of the system in the ski lane they worked their way up the river stopping at all the likely spots, but with only small fish and perch coming to the net things weren't looking very promising. Then in a massive change of fortune the boys hit the area known as the pass and on their second cast they landed a bream measuring 42cm to the fork giving a new found confidence. For the rest of day 1 the fishing turned into a purple pack for Team Rod-Tip. Using a combination of Rantall Custom Rods, matched to Diawa Luvius Reels, spooled with 4lb braid and 4lb fluorocarbon leader the boys focused on just a 50metre stretch of bank along the pass throwing Eco-Gear SX43's in colour 303, Lucky Craft 65mm Pointers in the Ayu colour and Berkley 3 inch Gulp Minnows in the Pearl Watermelon colour Rod and Paul had a cracking session in the last half of day 1 which had them produce a 5 bream bag that pulled the scales down to a whopping 5.24kg. Considering the challenging conditions experienced by the majority of the field, Team Rod-Tip's effort on day one was truly remarkable and with a 2.52kg lead going into Day 2 along with setting the current Eco-Gear Big Bream for the weekend at 1.38kg it was going to be tough for any team to catch them.
Day 2 started in a slightly different fashion than day 1 as with most teams getting the word that Rod Tip landed their fish at the pass the race was on to get there first. Heading off from first position Team Rod-Tip were able to get to their 50 metre stretch of golden bank which again would prove dividends. "As the water was very high, the sections of the bank that were usually 1.5 metres deep were now 2.5 metres deep which required us to rip the lures down deep and then retrieve the lures with a gentle twitch followed by a long pause. The bream would smash the lure on the pause" Paul said. Getting to their spot early on Day 2 proved critical as the boys managed to get their bag by 8.45am and after they landed one more upgrade at 9.15am they didn't land another fish for the entire day. Heading to the weigh in on Day 2 the boys knew that they had done enough to take out the victory and when the scales pulled their 5 bag of bream down to 3.42kg and with a 2 day total of 10/10 bream for 8.66kg, they were officially the 2010 Hooked On Rods 'N' Reels bream classics champions winning by a staggering 3.56kg.
What a huge weekend for Team Rod-Tip's Rod Stephens and Paul Tippett as not only did they win the tournament, but with their Day 1 bag of 5.24kg they also took out the Berkley Best Bag prize . The only blemish on their near perfect weekend was when Team Fishin Impossible's Josh Van Heek weighed in a cracking 1.62kg bream on Day 2 to steal the Eco-Gear Big Bream prize. With the 5th Qualifying round at Metung also completed all eyes will now turn to the big one, the 2010 Humminbird Bream Classic Invitational on the 16th & 17th of October at the Glenelg River in Nelson. For all the details on the grand final or if you would like to see all the action from the Humminbird Bream Classic Series along with some great sport fishing action then log onto www.vicbreamclassics.com.au where you can purchase the 3 DVD set of Series 1 of Fishing Life.