The weekend of the 7th and 8th of August 2010 saw 61 teams head to Metung for the Club Marine East Gippsland Bream Classic. Being the last qualifying round of the 2010 Humminbird Bream Classic Series all teams were eager to make that last charge to qualify for the grand final but to also earn those last minute points that could give the Club Marine Team of the Year Honours. For Paul Malov and Alex Franchuk fishing for the first time as Team Damiki Pontoon 21 this would be a huge weekend for the pair as they not only successfully used a different technique to the majority of vibing teams to take out the victory but they also managed to make a last minute charge for the Club Marin Team of the Year forcing an unbelievable result.
Day 1 anglers awoke to still and settled weather making for the perfect run across Lake King. For Team Damiki Pontoon 21 it was a run straight to Tambo to try there luck not too fair from the Johnsonville boat ramp. With so much rain in the weeks leading up to the tournament the water was still dirty and finding feeding fish was going to prove challenging. "We decided to focus our attention on fishing the edges of the Tambo where we could find good current flow after the recent heavy rains. We basically cast Damiki 2.5 inch Monster Miki and Damiki 2 inch M Grubs soft plastics in motor oil and light cinnamon colours on 1 and 2 gram Squidgy ball jig-heads up current in close to the rock edges and snags. As the plastics drifted back down river along the rocks a few sharp flicks of the rod tip usually got the breams attention and solid hook ups followed" Paul said. Using this technique managed to snag the boys 5/5 for 5.56kg having them sitting in 2nd place going into Day 2 almost a kilogram behind Day 1 leaders Peter Stephens and Bradley Baade from Team Pro-Strike.
Day 2 presented calm conditions which was a stark contrast to the battles that were unfolding amongst the field. Team Damiki Pontoon 21 had two real challenges on their hands as they needed to make up 1kg to get back in the lead and with current Club Marine TOY leaders Team Colac Tackle having a poor Day 1, they had left the door open for Team Damiki Pontoon 21 to come from behind to take the honours. Heading back to the Tambo River the boys picked up from where they had left off the day before. Using a combination of Millerods and G-Loomis Rods, matched to Daiwa 2000 sized Airity, Sol and 2506 Steez reels spooled with 6lb & 8lb Basshard and Sunline Super PE Braid with 5lb Nitlon fluorocarbon leaders they set about putting the Damiki Monster Miki's to good use in extracting some quality bream from the rocks. "With such dirty water we felt that the shrimp impregnated shrimp scent on the Damiki plastics was a big factor in firstly attracting the bream and then getting them bite" Paul said. To change things up a little the boys used a similar technique to day 1 but decided to throw the Damiki Vault vibes in the light mud colour with similar success. With 5/5 in the bin which pulled the scales down at 4.40kg giving them a total of 10/10 for 9.96kg it was going to be waiting game to see if Team Pro-Strike could back up their Day 1 cracking bag. As Team Pro-Strike's bag hit the scales for 3/5 for 2.24kg it was official that Paul Malov and Alex Franchuk of Team Damiki Pontoon 21 were the 2010 Club Marine East Gippsland Bream Classic Champions. With a great first day bag of 5/5 for 6.50kg Team Prostrike took out the Berkley Best Bag Prize and with a thumping bream of 1.84kg Team Donut Kings Mark Hayes and Ryan Cohn took out the Eco-Gear Big Bream Prize.
As the full leader board was displayed a sea of activity and commotion could be seen amongst the anglers as something unexpected was unfolding. With Team Colac Tackle only managing to finish in 26th position and with Team Damiki Pontoon 21 taking out the victory it meant they had both amassed a total of 295 points in the Club Marine Team of the Year competition meaning in the first time in Vic Bream Classic history a draw had unfolded. As both teams had conducted themselves brilliantly all year and had shared in such a great battle it was only fitting to award both teams the 2010 Club Marine Team of the Year honours. With all the qualifying rounds completed all attention is now to Nelson and the Glenelg River for the big one the 2010 Humminbird Vic Bream Classic Invitational which will be held on a new date being the 27th & 28th of November 2010. In a first for the Vic Bream Classic Series the championship team from the 2010 Woman's Barra Classic have been given a wild card entry into the Grand Final and will make the trip down to Victoria to take on the boys on their own turf fishing for black bream not barramundi. Personally I can't wait to see what the girls can do after they receive a crash course in bream fishing in the lead up to the event and then take to the water against the boys.