South Yunderup, Western Australia, Saturday November 22, 2014 – The 5th Hobie Kayak Bream Series Grand Final presented by Daiwa finally got off to its long awaited start today as qualifying competitors from across Australia commenced the first of two days of hard fought competition.
After preparation of their tackle and setting up kayaks to their liking, anglers wheeled their Hobie Pro Angler 12’s through the Getaway Outdoors Gateway onto the sandy Atomic Launch site to the warm water of the Murray River for the start of what had already been building to be a special occasion.
The weather, which has been consistent over the past few days continued in the same fashion today with moderate conditions and winds gusting up to 25kph in the open areas of the inlet and up the Murray River in the last hour of the day. Most anglers though were comfortable fishing within the confines of the river systems where the wind was broken by the tree line along the banks.
With a 7:00 am start anglers were open to fish the whole arena and were required to be back at the Daiwa Event Site to hand in their “key tags” by 3:00pm. Placing key tags on a board is a safety system devised to allow event organisers the opportunity to monitor the arrival of all anglers back on shore, late arrivals are subject to weight reduction penalties to their bag of live bream.
With the first day of competition over and any of the top twenty anglers can still take out the title with the bottom half of the field needing to improve greatly tomorrow to pull back the leaders. Fishing on day two is predicted by many locals to be different from today. If any of the top performers from today do very well tomorrow, it should set them up for a podium finish late in the afternoon, but if they fail it’s anyone’s game.
No matter what position anglers are in tonight they shared a day on the water which for most of them was a new experience, fishing in unknown waters for the first time in Australia’s largest state on the opposite side of the great southern continent. Future reflections on the day will be mixed, but for the more fortunate competitors, being on the Lowrance Leaderboard in a strong position will improve those memories greatly.
Daniel Brown from Taree in New South Wales leads the competition after day one and was stoked with his performance in what were tough conditions for many anglers today.
“Even though this is my fifth grand final in the Hobie’s I was really nervous going out today. I caught a few small fish early and then it got really tough and the stress really got to me because I only had one in the well by 11 o’clock.
I sat back, took five minutes and had a drink, tied some lighter leaders on and then just went for broke and threw deep into the snags and wharfs and stuff like that with my usual go to, a hidden weight on a ZMan in the bloodworm with mullet scent. Yeah, the time out worked, at first I lost a couple of bigger fish and eventually I came up trumps.
I got the big bream today it was 1.06kg, I got it off a snag on a Z Man bloodworm grub on a 1/28 jighead on a heavy, on 4lb. He hit the lure and I drove it into him, I thought he was going to do me, he swam out towards the yak and then we fought it out under the yak, so I got very lucky. Tomorrow, it’s start all over again”.
Brett Ozanne from Perth Western Australia is sitting in second position at the end of day one. His plan came off and he couldn’t have asked for more on day one of the grand final tournament.
“I’m stoked. What a great day, what I planned for worked for me today. I did a great pre fish and the bank that really fired for me in the pre fish, really fired for me again today. There was a really short bite window and it happened when the clouds came over and it got a bit, sort of, dull out there and the fish really came on the chew. I just rotated between that bank and four or five others that were fairly close by. Each bank had a little, but good session, at different times of the day.
I started really badly. I got on the water and got to where I wanted to be and first cast, I pinged a leader knot and I couldn’t find my lure, it disappeared in the reeds somewhere. Two or three casts later I had a massive braid tangle and I just felt really down. So, I pulled into the bank and retied my knots and just sort of took a few deep breaths and got back into it.
By about 9 o’clock things turned, they really picked up from there, three fish in a row and through the course of the day I got two upgrades and I got a decent bag which was great. Tomorrow I’m going to wait and see what it does in the morning. If it’s overcast I might take a punt and head back and hope that it hasn’t been too flogged today. I know there were a couple of other guys working that bank too. There are a few other options, I might hit a few other banks in the main river I had in mind and fish them deep and slow and see what happens ”.
Chris Burbidge from Ferntree Gully in Victoria had a great day in round one of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series Grand Final today. He had some bad luck at times but was happy with the way his day on the Murray River turned out, finishing day one in third position.
“I’ve made the Hobie grand final since 2010, so that’s all of them I guess. In this one I had a great first day, I got a lot of small fish, but I got my bag a 1.67kg which I’m more than happy with because I didn’t think it was that big. Yeah, it was great day I didn’t get busted off, but I came close a couple of times, they’re feisty little fish these blacks over here. I was using vibes and hardbodies like I always do, and again “blacks” love hardbodies and vibes.
The arena is great, there is structure everywhere and it’s a bit hard to decide where you’re going to fish. You go over to some structure and you look back where you came from and you think, whoo! I should be over there. It’s a fantastic arena.
Tomorrow I’ll probably stick with the same plan. It’s worked today. I might even go higher up, so I’ll probably travel about 10km up river tomorrow. I did about seven today”.
Western Australian champion Shane Owens from Perth finished day one in fourth position and was upbeat about competing in the first grand final in his home state but disappointed that the Murray River didn’t perform to his expectations.
“The day was pretty frustrating early, I didn’t get off to the best start losing a couple of good fish early on. Things were getting quite tough early on, more mentally than the fishing. I had to keep it together. But I managed to put my head down and kept doing what I was doing and pulled the best bag I could for the conditions I was presented with. It was a good day, all up, in the end.
The arena didn’t meet my expectations of how it could fish. I guess if I caught the fish I’d hooked, yes it would have, but on an overall scale as to how the whole field went, Mandurah should be fishing a lot better than it did today, at this time of year.
Tomorrow I’ll do a couple of things different, mainly because I think the conditions will be different. But generally that’s how I fish, I just fish to the conditions and let the fish do their thing and the story will unravel from there”.
Sitting in fifth position in the grand final after the first round, Clark Wilson from Berwick in Victoria enjoyed his first day on the waters of the Murray and Serpentine River system in Western Australia.
“It was a good feeling to get three fish today. I had two and just kept peppering away and finally I got my third, but not until about 1:30pm. I was a pretty good day, I actually only got the three legals but I caught about 15 to 20 bream. There were lots of smaller ones up there, so that’s the thing tomorrow, I’ll go straight back up there and keep doing the same thing. Hopefully, I can get three tomorrow as well.
As far as the arena goes, loved it, loved it, a fantastic river lots of snags, lots of drop offs, shallow bits, weedy bits, just perfect, perfect for a grand final. This was my third grand final and the first time I’ve caught three fish in a one so this makes me a happy man, it was a good day and it’s good to be up there on the leaderboard”.
The following anglers are sitting in the top ten positions on the Lowrance Leaderboard after day one of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series Grand Final.
- Daniel Brown NSW 2.34kg
- Brett Ozanne WA 1.87kg
- Chris Burbidge VIC 1.67kg
- Shane Owens WA 1.63kg
- Clark Wilson VIC 1.40 kg
- Jim Barrie NSW 1.38kg
- Michael Maas QLD 1.34 kg
- Jason Child NSW 1.33kg
- Nick Mace VIC 1.32kg
- Stewart Dunn NSW 1.30
The day finished with the grand final dinner where anglers took a short break from the competition and socialized for a short time. Then it’s a night of tossing and turning, and in those rare moments of sleep, dreams of full bags of 45cm, 2kg plus Black Bream will swim around some anxious minds.
Most anglers in the field can still become the Hobie Kayak Bream Series national champion angler for 2014 with a solid performance and a little luck thrown in tomorrow. With day one’s Lowrance Leader Board now posted, there is going to be a change of plans for many anglers, but for those at the top of the board, possibly a repeat of the same successful tactics employed today will be their recipe for success.
Tomorrow we will have a new national champion. Who’s your money on?
Thanks to the team from Getaway Outdoors for providing dealer support and the Breakfasts, Day packs and BBQ’s at this year’s grand final. Like all of the events in the Hobie Kayak Fishing Series, the Grand Final could not have gone ahead without the great support of our generous sponsors Daiwa, Berkley, Atomic. Lowrance, Rhino-Rack, Strike Pro, Austackle, TT Lures, Yamatoyo, Ecogear, Power-Pole and Hog’s Breath Cafe .