From 12th to 1st for Team Colac Tackle/Major Craft at the Club Marine East Gippsland Bream Classic
The weekend of the 3rd and 4th of May 2014 will be one that will go down in Vic Bream Classic history as one of the worst set of conditions anglers have had to face in the series' 10 year history. The Club Marine East Gippsland Bream Classic had 54 teams brave the conditions to fight it out for the Club Marine title. With the weather forecast all week predicting gale forced winds on the Gippsland Lakes reaching 50 knots its was imperative to put anglers safety first and the decision was made on Thursday before the tournament that rather than cancel the event anglers would have to choose the sheltered waters of either the Tambo, Mitchell or Nicholson Rivers to fish for the 2 days. This made the prefish day more important than ever for teams to pick the best river as once their decision was made they would be locked into that river for the 2 days of competition. While the conditions and changes to the tournament structure were a first for the series so was the way it played as for the first time in Vic Bream Classics history a team miraculously came from outside the top ten on Day 2 to claim victory. For Team Colac Tackle/Major Crafts Steve Parker and Dan Mackrell it was a weekend they wouldn't forget for all the right reasons and this is their story.
"With some very nasty weather forecast for the Vic Bream East Gippsland Classic, tournament organisers had given us warning that the event may be restricted to fishing the 3 rivers Nicholson, Mitchell or the Tambo. With this in mind the majority of our pre fish was spent searching these areas to try and work out where our time would be best spent. We found the Tambo river to be exceptionally clear and with calm weather on prefish we were unable to see or catch any fish from this location, moving over to the Mitchell river we found some really big fish holding tight to structure. Fishing various stretches of bank we would catch a fish and pack up and move a bit higher. With most banks producing and seeing plenty more fish we were confident of being able to put together a good bag from this area. We also found some fish holding deep higher in the Mitchell where a fish a cast was possible but these fish were on the smaller side. We didn't bother going to the Nicholson River as we had ran out of time and were confident enough the Mitchell held fish capable of winning the comp" Daniel said.
Day 1 saw anglers awake to a slight wind, but nothing that would have the tournament organisers concerned and in fact had organisers wondering if the weather report was accurate but as the day progressed the wind built and reached gale forced levels. All the anglers were away and fishing in the Tambo, Nicholson and Mitchell Rivers. For Team Colac Tackle/Major Crafts Steve Parker and Dan Mackrell it was the Mitchell River they would compete in for the two days. Using a combination of G-Loomis GLX SR 842-2 & TSR862-2, Major Craft Crosstage CRKT702 & Major Craft Volkey 3-7lb rods matched to Daiwa Steez and Luvias reels spooled with 10lb Castaway, 10lb Unitika Aorika and 14lb Varivas braids with 6lb Unitika Aiger II and 4 & 5lb Sunline V Hard leader, tied to Smith Jade, Smith Camion in natural colorations, Atomic deep cranks in bluegill, Megabass Live x Smolt and 2 inch Atomic Fat Grubs the boys made their assault.
"On day 1 things started quite slowly for us and with no fish in the well after the first hour we were scratching our heads, a switch from hard bodies to soft plastics quickly put a couple of nice fish in the well and once things got going we soon had 4 fish and were working hard to find the 5th. After losing a battle with a really big fish things had seemingly gone quiet and we decided that we would head up river to the schooling fish to ensure we at least got our 5th fish. After travelling for half an hour at 5 knots only 2 casts were required to find our 5th fish, we stayed here a little longer but with small fish after small fish we decided to head back to the edges to try and find some upgrades. We were able to get 2 upgrades very late in the session and later weighed 3.38kgs leaving us in 12th place some 1.74kgs off the leaders" Daniel said. From the results of day 1 it was clear that the Mitchell River was the pick of the three rivers and with only a few teams fishing the Tambo or Nicholson in the top ten it was apparent that Team Colac Tackle/Major Craft had at least picked the right river to have any chance to make a charge for the top ten on Day 2, but with the majority of the top ten also in the Mitchell River making up the 1.74kg deficit that Team Chemically Sharp was going to be a huge ask.
Day 2 Started the way Day 1 finished with howling winds that were set to strength even further making fishing the rivers extremely uncomfortable and fishing the mouths of the rivers impossible with huge swells being reported. Although uncomfortable the howling wind gave the boys from Colac Tackle/ Major craft hope that the huge bream they'd seen over the previous 2 days would fire up and that's what would happen. "The bank we were fishing had the strong winds pushing right onto it and some dirtier water had moved down the river also. Battling the electric motor in the high winds Steve kicked things off for us with a solid 38 fork length fish, this really fired us up and gave us the confidence that we were capable of big things. The fishing wasn't red hot but with quality over quantity we were able to put together a cracking bag of fish. We only had 7 bites, but luckily every fish stuck and made it to the net. The smallest fish landed was just under 36cms and that was later upgraded. It was a massive effort to land each fish in the conditions, as the area the fish were holding was littered with rocks and snags. By 11am things had seemingly shut down, with the smallest fish in the well being just under 37cms fork length we knew we would be hard pressed to find anymore upgrades, we made our way back up river and called it a day. Watching the scales settle on 6.02kgs we were both stoked with the result. Giving us 10 fish for 9.4kgs we had done enough to climb to the top and take the win. Just goes to show that anything can happen during a tournament" Daniel said.
It was a monumental effort by the boys to charge from 12th to 1st and take out the Club Marine East Gippsland Bream Classic, but to do it and win by over 1kg was ridiculous and along the way take out the Maria Lures Best Bag with their day 2 huge haul of 5/5 bream 6.02kgs was just icing on the cake. Holding onto the Eco-Gear Big Bream Prize was Team Bream By Stealth with a cracking 1.63kg they landed on day 1. All in all a terrible weekend of weather produced an amazing weekend or fishing and a new record in the Vic Bream Classics history books. For more information on the Vic Bream Classics Series visit www.vicbreamclassics.com.au