The weekend of the 9th and 10th of August saw the Glenelg River play host to the Eco-Gear Glenelg Shire Bream Classic. As the last qualifying round for the 2008 Humminbird Vic Bream Classic Series anglers were desperate to get that last chance to qualify for the big one in October at Mallacoota. A number of firsts for the Vic Bream Classic Series were achieved over the weekend, starting with 70 teams taking to the water being the largest field to enter a Vic Bream Classic tournament. Those 70 teams where then confronted with the worst weather ever experienced in a Vic Bream Classic Tournament as 50 plus knot winds, hail, sleet and sub 10 degree temperatures for the majority of the weekend really separated the keen anglers from the clinically insane bream anglers. The other notable first that occurred in this tournament was the victory by Team Berkley’s Shane Dyason and Andrew Axon using the 2 inch Berkley Gulp Shrimp in the new Banana Prawn color not before seen in a Victorian bream tournament.
The massive field awoke on Saturday to what would turn into the calm before the storm as although cold, clear skies and calm conditions made the check in and start rather comfortable for anglers in comparison to what was to come. A large portion of the field headed straight towards the mouth of the river we good numbers of bream were reported on the pre-fish day. Drifting the shallow flats and casting Berkley Gulp variety soft plastics along with shallow running hard body lures were proving successful for a number of teams with in the first 30 minutes of the tournament. On the other extreme a number of teams battled the 2 hour snails pace track up to the Sappling Creek area where some of the larger breeding bream had been reported. This was the tactic that Team Berkley’s Shane Dyason and Andrew Axon utilized. “After pre-fishing a few locations on Friday we were happy with the numbers and quality of fish we found and decided for the next 2 days to travel for approx 2hrs each way to get to our spot. We only had a window of only approx 3hrs fishing time but were fairly confident we could put a bag together each day” Shane said. Using a combination of 6’, 6’6” and 7’ Nitro Vapor Rods matched to ABU 801 and 802 Cardinal spinning reels, with 3 & 4lb Microfuse braid and 4lb Berkley Trilene flurocarbon leader, Team Berkley set about getting their day 1 bag. Upstream from Sappling Creek the boys focussed on casting 2inch Berkley Gulp Shrimps in the new banana prawn colour rigged on 1/40th 1/50th Berkley Nitro Bream Finesse Torpedo jigheads into undercut banks and snags. This approach proved very effective and gave the boys a bag of 5 bream for 3.42kg on day 1 taking out the Saturday Berkley Best Bag prize. Hot on their heels and in equal 2nd place were Team TT Lures Nick Glenn and Barry Johnson along with Team Nelson Boat Hires Chris Carson and Brett Carson who both weighed in 5 bream for 3.28kg
On Day 2 of the competition the fun really began as the wind went wild, the hail moved in and the anglers must have been thinking why are we here? For those that braved the conditions there were some great bream on offer. Picking up where they left off Team Berkley started working on emulating their success on Saturday. “Our approach again on day 2 was to fish very light and to keep the lure in the zone for as long as possible, the bite for the weekend was a fairly tentative one so it was essential to give the fish plenty of time to take the Banana Prawn in before attempting to set the hook” Shane said. The boys had 3 bream in the well early and with confidence high they set about getting the only 10/10 bream bag of the tournament and with a weight of 6.18kg they easily accounted for the rest of the massive field and claimed the Eco-Gear Glenelg Shire Bream Classic victory. Scoring 2nd place and taking out the Eco-Gear Big Bream prize was Team TT’s Nick Glenn and Barry Johnson who weighed in a cracking 1.26kg bream on Saturday. One of the great come backs from the weekend was Sundays Berkley Best Bag winners in Team SOC’s Graeme Taylor and Chris Burbidge who after catching only 1 fish on Saturday they bounced back and weighed in 5/5 bream for 3.10kg on Sunday pushing them right up the leader board and securing them the Club Marine Team Of The Year Trophy.
With all the qualifying rounds completed it now all turns serious as the top 50 teams will now set their sights to the 2008 Humminbird Vic Bream Classic Invitational at Mallacoota Inlet on the 18th & 19th of October to see who truly is the best bream team for 2008.