Mallacoota Bream Classic Turns on a Vibathon for Anglers
Having run the Vic Bream Classic Series since 2005 I really thought I had seen it all, but the Mallacoota Makocraft East Gippsland Bream Classic on the 13th and 14th of June totally blew me away with the quality and numbers of fish that were brought to the weigh in. Mallacoota Inlet out did itself with 552 bream weighed in for the 2 day tournament for a total weight of 430.12kg. A field of 65 teams took to the water for the 4th qualifying round of the 2009 Humminbird Vic Bream Classic Series and were privileged to some the most outstanding weather and fishing we had ever seen in any Vic Bream Classic Tournament. For Lakes Entrance locals Peter Stephens and Brad Baade in their first tournament as Team Prostrike this would be a weekend they would never forget.
Anglers awoke on Day 1 to almost picture perfect conditions other than the icy air temperature you'd come to expect at this time of year. The word from the pre-fish day was that there were large schools of bream holding in deep water and catching a limit of bream wouldn't be difficult but extracting the larger specimens would be the challenge. While the majority of the field worked the deep schools using a combination of Eco-Gear VX 35's and various soft plastics, others took a huge gamble and tried to land some large bream by fishing the edge. This tactic mostly proved unsuccessful, but for a few teams some huge bream were taken on the edge and this was no exception for Darren Evans and Jim Xyga of Team EVX who managed to land the tied Eco-Gear Big Bream along with Team Mitchell Fishing and Outdoors Aaron Dyer and Graeme Dear who both weighed in huge 1.7kg bream on Day 1 of competition. For the boys from Team Prostrike their tactic was to focus on fishing the top lake and concentrate on fishing only a 100 metre stretch all day. "The decision to fish the area on Saturday was made due to the huge amount of bait in the area with an average showing of individual fish in and around these schools of bait" Peter said. Team Prostrike used a combination of Shimano Raider Rods, Shimano Sahara Reels filled with Berkley 4lb Fireline and 2 to 4lb Sunline Fluorocarbon leaders. While the boys used a few different vibration lures the standout for them was the Eco-Gear VX 35 with a little customisation from Peter. "Raid the wife's nail polish collection and find the hot pink one then paint your VX 35 hot pink that's the secret" Peter said. This lure worked an absolute treat for the boys and with its help they managed to weigh in 5/5 bream for a massive 6.3kg on day 1.
The score board after day 1 was simply unbelievable with 5 bags being weighed in all the way down to 46th position just proving how amazing the fishing at Mallacoota can be. For Team Prostrike Day 2 was sure to be a huge day with the Vic Bream TV camera crew on board to capture their run to victory. By 9am on Day 2 it was evident that the fishing wouldn't be as easy as Day 1 with the quality of bream dropping and the aggressive bite slowing. "We had to vary our retrieve at times from a gentle double hop when the breeze was up to a more aggressive rip when the conditions clamed off" Peter said. With only 20 minutes to go on Day 2 and with only 4 fish in the well the boys felt they would be overtaken for the lead, but just when all hope was lost they hooked and landed their 5th fish a 31cm fork length bream giving them their perfect bag. It was still a nervous wait for Team Prostrike as although they had a full bag of 5 bream they only managed to weigh in a modest 3.7kg on Day 2 and with 25 other teams weighing in heavier bags on Day 2 a come from behind victory could have potentially ruined their weekend. Luckily for the boys their Day 1 6.3kg Berkley Best Bag was enough to hold off the charge from the rest of the field and they managed to get over the line by 680grams to be crowned the 2009 Makocraft East Gippsland Bream Classic Champions.
Next stop sees the 2009 Humminbird Vic Bream Classic Series head to the Hopkins River Warrnambool for the 5th and final qualifying round before the Grand Final at Metung in October. If you have always wondered what the action was like at a Vic Bream Classic Tournament then make sure you check out Vic Bream TV which will be covering all the action of the 2009 Humminbird Vic Bream Classic Series and will air in December 2009 on Channel 31 or get yourself a copy on DVD early 2010.