Forster, New South Wales.
Monday 18th February 2019.
Day three, the final day, of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series 10 Australian Championship presented by Daiwa, headed off from the Power-Pole Starting line as the sun broke the horizon around 6:45am yesterday. Anglers headed off into an arena that brings big highs and big lows, and is a huge test of skill even for the best of anglers.
The 45 anglers who had qualified for the event, after competing in tournament around the country, were all in new 2019 Hobie Outback kayaks with forward and reverse MirageDrive 180 pedal systems, a remote controlled Power-Pole Micro Anchor and Lowrance Elite Ti2 7” sounders, with triple shot transducers. The only variation for anglers was the rods, reels, lines and lures they brought with them to the championship.
Anglers were fishing for three bream with a minimum size of 26cm to the tip (of the tail). The fish were brought back to the weigh-in housed in Hobie Livewells, and released to swim away once their weight had been calculated. The final result was determined by the accumulated weight over the three days of the tournament.
Anglers who travelled up to the weed flats each day clocked up over 120km in their Hobie Outbacks. There were 123 fish caught on day one, weighing 61.39 kg, 124 fish on day two, for a weight of 60.12kg and 122 on the final day weighing 56.3kg. In total 369 bream were brought back to the weigh-in with an overall weight of 177.81kg
SOMERTON REACHES THE SUMMIT AGAIN
Richard Somerton – Victoria – Series 10 Australian Champion
At the end of massively close contest the 2013 World Champion, and 2016 Australian Champion, Richard Somerton, from Victoria, won his second Australian Championship with a day one bag of 1.98kg, a 2.41kg bag on day two and 1.94kg on day three, giving him a 9 fish bag weighing in at 6.33kg, the only angler to go above the 6kg mark.
The championship was Somerton’s swansong to Hobie tournaments after career that has earned him the reputation as the all time outstanding performer in the Australian kayak fishing tournament scene and one of the top two in the world.
Somerton reflected on his final Australian Championship experience.
“I tried to move around as much as possible, I checked out a few of my favourite spots but they didn’t work for me because of the tides, so I went to few spots a friend had recommended when I was researching the fishery and they seemed to work. The overcast day on pre-fish gave me a lot of confidence but the skies were clear throughout the comp which made it tough”.
“I spent most of the time in some pretty close paddocks but I had a couple of runs up the Wallamba (River) to hit a spot and back out again. Then I’d come out and go into the paddocks again”.
“I was in Struggle Street late in the final session sitting on about 1.3kg which I knew wasn’t enough. I had been destroyed in one of the big fish spots that I go to. I was onto a very big fish and the braid snapped it was under so much pressure. When I lost that one I started to get a bit worried but I put a 500 gram fish in the well and then, I finally bagged out, but this one was only 26.5cm. I kept him because I wasn’t sure how I’d go after that. Luckily, I upgraded both of them but after that everything went dead”.
“My reels were mainly Daiwa Certate 1000/2000s, I was using a Duff Rods rod and I mainly used an Olive Cranka Crab in light. If I’d have brought my heavies I probably would have smashed the bridge, there are plenty of fish around there but the tide was just raging in. I was mainly throwing the Cranka Crab Fish Fiddler Lure which caught me a few and a couple of different Berkley Gulp products the Camo Crabby and the Shrimp, in the plastic side of things, worked for me at times. I was using J Braid line with 12lb FC Rock leader.
“When I use a Cranka Crab, if it doesn’t get a hit on the drop, I usually leave it on the bottom for a little bit and give it a bit of a shake anywhere from ten seconds to up to a minute sometimes. The fish sit there and watch the crab or they or they may be swimming by and see a bit of movement out of the corner of their eye and then hit it. I mainly throw into structure and not so much out into the flats, I don’t do the flats a great deal at all”.
“I have two Hobie PA 14 kayaks at home and now I have this 2019 Hobie Outback as a prize, I’m lost for words really winning one of these”.
“This really is an amazing event, what Hobie put on is incredible. All we anglers have to do is show up, go out and fish a comp, bring the kayak back and give it back to the crew. It’s amazing and every year, in these Hobie tournaments, the competitors are getting better and better, the level just keeps going, up and up and up”
GAMMIE GRABS SECOND BY TEN GRAMS
Jack Gammie – New South Wales – Second Place
Day One – 2.44kg, Day Two – 1.37kg, Day Three 1.93kg, which gave Gammie a nine fish bag over the three championship days of 5.74kg.
Gammie was leading the championship on the first day and dropped down to third place on the second, and in the end, that is probably what cost him the title. He pulled in the largest fish of the tournament on day one and just couldn’t get the repeat that he was hoping for after that.
Gammie summed up how things went for him at Forster.
“On Daiwa Pre-Fish Day I went to a few different areas. When I went up the Wallamba River on the Tuncurry side I found some good fish so I thought I’d leave them alone and went to other areas to look for more fish”.
“One comp day one I went back up the Wallamba and saw big birds cruising up between the racks so I though I’d give that a bit of a go. I had a bit of a cast and that is where I got my big fish (1.4kg) on day one. It was a big clunker and I was very lucky to have landed him from where I had to pull him out. I moved on to another area of abandoned racks and managed to land another 40cm fish”.
“I didn’t get that kicker fish, in fact I didn’t get a kicker fish bite on day two which was pretty disappointing for me. I was fishing up the Wallamba River in a stretch from about the channel markers along a bank that has, maybe one kilometre, of racks just covered in oysters. I was mainly throwing a Hurricane Fat 37 Shallow in Camo Crab colour and it produced every single one of the fish that I bagged in the three days of the championship”.
“On day three I went up the Wallamba again and got my bag, then I came back down to the paddocks to try and up grade, but that didn’t quite work”.
“The majority of the weekend I was fishing 8lb with 8lb braid using a 1-3kg rod with a locked drag. But today (final day) I dropped down to 6lb just in case it (the system) was shut down”.
“The weather was good, the tides were perfect and the fishing was great and I was just so pleased to bring back that big cracker on day one”.
GREISDORF GOES TWO TIME TOP THREE
Alex Greisdorf – Western Australia – Third Place
Day One -1.68kg, Day Two – 2.35kg, Day Three – 1.70kg, giving Greisdorf a 9 fish accumulative bag of 5.73kg which put him in third place in the Australian Championship.
Greisdorf had finished a close second place in the last championship to fellow Western Australian Paul Burton (4th this year) on his home waterway. But to perform so well in a completely new arena he’d never fished before proved that this WA angler is a true gun.
Greisdorf had the following to say about his championship experience.
“I tried a heap of different stuff but the only thing that was consistently catching fish was the Jackall Chubby in a Brown Suji Shrimp, running it on a 7ft 1-5kg Duff rod with a 2500 size reel on 5lb leader and 10lb braid”.
“I’m a little bit different than most other guys when I fish for yellows, (Yellow Fin Bream) a lot like light line and light drag, and let them run, but I was trying my best to keep them up high and wind them in to keep them away from the weed, and it worked a treat”.
“I found a spot where there were a lot of big ones cruising around but they just didn’t want to play the game. One my last upgrade today I had two high 30s (centimetres) or 40s chase a smaller one that took the lure. It doesn’t matter I’m still happy with what happened, so it’s all, good. I didn’t really lose any fish and I had a great time”.
Only one angler missed out on catching fish on day one, but Peter Cook from NSW still bagged himself $100 in Donut Dough. On day two there was no Cranka Donut Dough as all anglers caught fish, but on day three the Cranka Donut Dough went to Adam Costa.
Jack Gammie caught the Atomic Big Bream, the largest fish of the session, on day one weighing in at 1.40Kg and picking himself up $250 from Atomic. The $250 on day two went to Richard Somerton with a 1.12kg fish, and finally on day three Jon Clisby from Victoria took home the prize from Atomic with a 960g bream.
A lucky local won themselves a Hobie Lanai kayak, after entering a competition sponsored by Hobie Asia Pacific, and was presented with the kayak and an amazing package of Hobie products worth around $1500 at the event site, before the main presentation.
For a review of what was happening on the water during the event, and event at the event site weigh-in each day go to Facebook.com/HobieFishingAsiaPacific.