October 26, 2015.
Lake Macquarrie, New South Wales, Australia was the location of this years biggest event on the Australian Kayak Fishing Calendar, the 2015 Hobie® Kayak Bream Series Australian Championship.
After two challenging sessions, the 2015 Hobie Kayak Bream Series came to a close on Sunday as 49 of Australia’s best kayak anglers battled it out for the prized title of the Hobie Kayak Bream Australian Champion.
At the close of session one, Joel Crosbie from Victoria was sitting in the top position holding a four bream bag weighing 2.46kg. He was followed closely by fellow victorian, Mitch King, with 4 for 2.38kg, Mitch also picked up the day’s Hog’s Breath Cafe, Boss Hog Big Bream Award with his 1.05 kegger. New South Welshman, Mark Young was sitting in third with 4 for 2.29kg.
It was a neck and neck battle to the end but it was Stewart Dunn from New South Wales who would ultimately be crowned the new Australian champion! Dunn climed 4 places to take the Australian Championship title with 6 bream over two days weighing 3.42. Mark Crompton also from New South Wales picked up second place with 7 bream for 3.39kgs and Victorian, Richard Somerton, landed 3rd with 8 bream for 3.38kg.
As the sun rose on the second session of the competition, anglers took position on the Power-Pole starting line for a shotgun start at 7:00am. The tournament director called Power-Poles up and the competitors were away.
TT Lures Leader of the day, Joel Crosbie from Victoria sat on the starting line with high hopes but no real expectations for the day. Crosbie started the day with an 80gram lead over his nearest rival on the Lowrance Leaderboard. Eventual Winner Stewart Dunn from NSW was tied in 5th with Mark Crompton from NSW on 1.98kg.
After a difficult day one, the field of anglers hit the water ready to give it their all for the last chance at the 2015 title. As with the previous day’s session, the bream were hard won, refusing to eat, for many. Limited cloud cover, crystal clear water and very little breeze meant competitors had their work cut out for them. A breeze did come through at around 11:00 am over Swansea flats and a number of anglers picked up their bags over a 45 minute period.
For many however, including the day one contenders, the fish refused to strike and as testiment to the challenge on the waterway, day two resulted in only 62 bream being brought to the scales for a 49 angler field.
After placing equal 5th with Mark Crompton on day one with a full bag of 4 bream weighing 1.98kg, Stewart Dunn rose to the challenge during the second session and managed to bring back 2 good bream for the day with a weight of 1.44kg.
Mark Crompton also stepped up to the challenge in what was going to be an epic fight to the finish. When Crompton came to the scales he needed a bag weight of 1.45kg to take the title. Walking up the stairs to the weigh master, his heart must have been in his mouth. Dunn already sitting in the Hot Seat had 2 fish for the session taking his total weight to 3.42kg. It was looking promising from Crompton, however his three bream came just 40 grams short for the victory and it was Dunn who was crowned the 2015 Hobie Kayak Bream Series Australian Championship.
After the presentation of the championship trophy in front of a large crowd of onlookers Dunn offered his thoughts on his performance.
“I wasn’t confident at all coming in to today. I thought it was really hard. When I got my two fish, I was confident I could finish because I had good fish and I thought if the wind came up maybe I’d finish my bag… But that didn’t happen. I can’t believe it, I’m wrapped.”
- Rod: Lox ambassador 7’2″
- Reel: Daiwa Luvius 1003.
- Line: 6lb Sunline Braid
- Leader: 3lb Sunlie Leader
- Lure: Pro Lure Grubs in motor oil and OSP Live Crawlers on 1/20th jig heads.
“I didn’t travel too far, I was fishing a weed bed that came up from 3.5 metres up to 2.5. I just stuck on that contour as it raised up, long casting with the wind and letting them get down, just slow rolling with a twitch every now and then.”
After a hard slog, 1st runner up Mark Crompton was pleased with his result. “To be honest, I was up in the air about today. Yesterday was the better day for me. I fished all over today. Swansea Flat, then to Wangi Wangi, then to the Northern point from Wangi Wangi, then fished all the way down the western side of that and then back to the flat. It was Swansea that produced for me though today. I found plenty of fish, I found better fish today than yesterday but I just couldn’t get them in the boat”.
- Rod: Gekkabijin AGS 7’3″
- Reel: 2004 Daiwa Certate
- Line: 6lb Daiwa J Braid
- Leader: 4lb FC Rock
- Lure: Cranka Crabs and Juro Long Tail Minnows in Black and Red on a 1/40th hidden weight
Third place went to 2013 Hobie Fishing World Champion and consistent series contender Richard Somerton from Victoria. Richard landed 2 full bags with a total of 8 bream for 3.38kg, just 10 grams short of Crompton.
Glen Allen and Mitch King took out the two $250 Hog’s Breath Cafe, Boss Hog Big Bream Awards with 1.07kg and 1.05kg respectively.
At the end of the tournament, 49 Anglers, from 6 states and territories came together on Lake Macquarie. A total of 149 Bream were caught with a combined weight of 69.95.
Challenging fishing aside, after a sensational year we have finished on a high note with another national showcase event. Our top ten Anglers for the 2015 Hobie Kayak Bream Australian Championship are:
Bring on the 2016 Hobie Kayak Bream Series, we can’t wait.
The Hobie Kayak Bream Series Australian Championship 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, Mortgage Corp, Hog’s Breath Cafe and ABT . Thanks also to James and the crew from Hunter Water Sport for providing Hobie dealer support.