A Record Field Tackles The Berkley Mallacoota Bream Classic
The weekend of the 1st and 2nd of May 2010 saw the largest field in Humminbird Bream Classic Series history take to the water at Mallacoota Inlet to battle it out for the Berkley East Gippsland Bream Classic. A massive field of seventy-three teams had amassed for round 3 of the 2010 Humminbird Bream Classic Series and with all reports predicting a hot bream bite, the weekend didn't disappoint with one of the most hotly contested bream tournaments playing out in recent history.. For one of the most consistent teams in the series, Steve Parker and Dan Mackrell of Team Colac Tackle this weekend would be one tournament they would never forget as they would come from behind to take out their first Vic Bream Classic victory.
Anglers awoke to a beautiful Mallacoota morning with clear skies and light winds, the perfect conditions for a field of 73 teams to take off from the start line at full speed. If the Mallacoota locals weren't awake at 7am then by 7:05am they would be, with the sound of 100km/h plus bass boats blasting their way across Mallacoota Inlet to reach their spots and get stuck in the healthy population of huge Yellow Fin and Southern Black Bream that were on offer. With the bream bite hot right through out the system it enabled teams to really spread out and target their own honey hole. Heading off 9th on Day one Team Colac Tackle headed straight to the areas that had produced for them on the pre-fish day. Coming into the tournament with fantastic form after a 3rd place finish in the ABT qualifier a month earlier Steve knew exactly what plan of attack they would implement for the weekend. " There were half a dozen banks that had produced for me at the ABT comp and also on pre-fish day that I knew would produce at some point during the day, so Dan and I just keep working through the 6 different banks until we found the quality fish we were after" Steve said. Team Colac Tackle used a combination of G-Loomis SR842 and Smith Bayliner rods matched to Daiwa Steez and Luvias reels, spooled with 2lb Berkley Crystal fireline and 4lb Varivas fluorocarbon leader. Using this rig the boys threw hard bodies for the entire weekend in the form of Smith Camions, Smith Panishs and Jackall Chubbies. "There was no special retrieve that we used as we basically continually worked the banks and most of the fish were hooked when the lure landed and we gave it the first few twitches" Steve said. As they approached the scales on Day 1 Team Colac Tackle produced a great bag of 5/5 bream for 5.20kg, but this wasn't good enough to lead as Team Barfly's had one of those days anglers only dream about. Stephen Emerson and Mark Hayes from Team Barfly's managed to weigh in 5/5 bream for 5.44kg giving them the day 1 lead, but it was the way their bag unfolded that was remarkable. Not only did the boys have the leading bag after day 1, but in their bag they also secured the Eco-Gear Big Bream with a thumping yellow fin bream weighing 1.8kg and the very next cast after hooking it they landed a quality mulloway which didn't count in the tournament, but was a fish most anglers only dream about landing.
At the end of Day 1 the score board was truly staggering as Mallacoota had produced 297 bream, 45 teams with five bags, the top 20 teams weighing in over 4kg and the Eco-Gear Big Bream being set at 1.8kg. Day 1 scores were going to be hard to beat on Day 2, but unbelievably Mallacoota Inlet did just that. With so many teams still in contention on Day 2 Team Colac Tackle knew they had to hold their nerve and continue the same strategy from Day 1. These approach again proved dividends as working those same 6 banks the boys managed to better their day 1 bag and weighed in 5/5 for 5.44kg giving them a total of 10/10 bream for 10.64kg and the Berkley East Gippsland Bream Classic Championship in comfortable fashion. The big story on Day 2 was the winners of the Berkley Best Bag prize as not only did they weigh in the heaviest bag for the weekend, but also set a new Vic Bream Classics record for the biggest come from behind top ten finish in Vic Bream Classics history. Team Bluey's Bait & Tackle's Matt Leach and Robert Harvey went into Day 2 in 38th position and thought they had no chance of troubling the top ten, but in a short stretch of quality Mallacoota bank that all changed. Putting together a dream bag in quick succession the boys produced 5/5 bream for 6.16kg giving them the Berkley Best Bag prize and rocketing them up the leader board to finish an unbelievable 2nd place, a feet that had never be accomplished by any other Vic Bream Classics team.
While the overall victory went to Team Colac Tackle's Steve Parker and Dan Mackrell the real winner for the weekend had to go to Mallacoota Inlet and it's truly remarkable fishing. Day 2 produced even better results with 301 bream landed, the top 51 teams weighing in 5 bream, the top 20 teams producing 4kg bags and the Berkley Best Bag being smashed with 6.16kg. With this level of quality fishing I personally can not wait to see what Australia's best bream anglers can produce when the ABT Grand Final hits the water at Mallacoota Inlet in November 2010. The Final round of the 2010 Humminbird Bream Classic Series will take place at Metung on the 7th & 8th of August.