The weekend of the 6th and 7th of February saw 55 teams head to the BIA Summer Boat Show to compete in the Fishing Getaways BIA Bream Classic. Being round 1 of the 2010 Humminbird Bream Classic Series all teams were eager to get some runs on the board early and set up a good start towards winning the Club Marine Team of the Year. The weather for the weekend was perfect for bream fishing unlike last year sweltering heat, but the Melbourne bream obviously didn't agree as many teams struggled to catch their limit on both days competition. For Team Hot Rod's Steve Emerson and Mark Hayes their local knowledge proved unbeatable leading from start to finish to take out their first Humminbird Bream Classic Series qualifying round victory.
After the boys finished their pre-fish on Friday focusing on fishing new areas and leaving the ones they had planned to fish during the comp they were confident that they had a plan that would catch them fish. Not wanting to make the same mistake they made in the 2009 competition where they wasted too much time travelling on Day 1 they travelled a huge 3 minutes to the mouth of the Yarra and started their charge to victory. "I started off casting a bright coloured SX40(304) while it was still dark and Hazy was casting a Norries Laydown Minnow in a green/silver colour. Once the sun started coming up the fish started taking our lures, Mark landed a couple of fish with one being legal on his Norries lure matched with a Hotrods swizzlestik 701lxf and a Daiwa Exist reel). In the mean time I was onto my 3rd lure choice and decided to go with a Jackall Chubby Minnow in Brown Suju shrimp match to a Hotrods SwizzleStik Elite 701lxf and a Daiwa Sol 2000 reel. This lure quickly followed up Hazy's fish with a decent 31 fork length Bream, and when I hooked our 3rd bream at 37cm fork and Hazy landed another 2 legals on the very next drift giving us our bag by 8am we knew our strategy was spot on" Steve said. With 2 bream in the well so early the boys decided that this was their plan and they were going to stick to it and keep working the flats of the Yarra and Marybynong Rivers throwing the same lures for the entire tournament.
After the first days competition Team Hot Rod's had weighed in a very respectable 5/5 bream for 3.18kg giving them the lead and making them one of only two teams to weigh in 5 fish for the day. The other highlight for Day 1 came with Barry Thomas from Team Helimatic landing the Eco-Gear Big Bream which came in at just over the kilo mark.
With the rest of the field hot on their heels on Day 2 Team Hot Rod's knew that they needed to stay totally committed to sticking to the plan that gave them the lead after Day 1. "We were working the lures as close to the rock walls as possible with the fish seeming to be sitting in the small amount of shadow cast by the high rock wall, Mark was twitching his lure violently and retrieving at a steady speed while I was using a more subtle rolling retrieve with some twitches thrown in. We fished the exact same way as day 1 but it was notably quieter, we didn't land a legal fish until about 8 am when Mark landed a 28.5cm bream" Steve said. With only one bream in the well, a camera man on board and a bite that seemed to be shutting down it was imperative that Team Hot Rod's stayed focused and remained committed to their original strategy. "When we landed a couple of fish that went just under size and dropped a couple of solid fish it felt like our luck had changed and it wasn't to be our day, so the decision was agreed upon to re do the drift, but this time start further down toward the mouth where there had been very little fishing pressure from other boats. This decision paid immediate dividends when I landed a legal bream and Mark followed suit with another at around 11 o'clock. After this the bite shut down. We were still not sure we had done enough to take out the win though" Steve said.
As the boys approached the weigh in with only 3 fish giving them a total of 8/10 bream for 5.06kg for the weekend they had a nervous wait to see if another team could snatch victory, but with their closest rival only managing 6/10 for 3.92kg it was official Team Hot Rod's had taken out the Berkley Best Bag Prize and were crowned the 2010 Fishing Getaways BIA Bream Classic Champions.
The tournament was a great opportunity to promote our sport to the crowds at the BIA Summer Boat Show and a I would like to extend a huge thank you to all competing teams in this tournament as they complied with the long list of rules and regulations required to fish this tournament and conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism. The next tournament on the Humminbird Bream Series calendar is the Berkley East Gippsland Bream Classic at Mallacoota on the 1st and 2nd of May. For all the details log onto www.vicbreamclassics.com.au or call Bill Hartshorne on mobile: 0409 823 070