Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Daiwa/Hobie BREAM Kayak Series - Round 11, Forster

A late decision was made last week to head up to Forster on the NSW mid north coast to fish round 11 of the 2013 Daiwa/Hobie kayak series on the 4th and 5th of May.

Its been 2 years since i last visited this fantastic fishery so Geoff Alford and myself made our way up on the Friday morning and drove pretty much non stop for most of the day arriving late afternoon.

We spent the afternoon rigging our rods and preparing the kayaks for the morning and after a very restless night the alarm finally went off and it was game on, finally the time had come.

I had a firm plan mapped out with GPS marks from my previous trips and once my number was called i headed straight for mark number one in some pretty nasty looking oyster racks.

I didnt get much action there so i moved on to my second mark which is a series of rock bars located within 10 metres of some more oyster racks, where i found the run out tide pushing up and over the rocks.

I sat at the back of them facing into the current and casting to the rocks and after a couple of casts i got my first fish in the livewell followed shortly after by a slightly bigger fish.

That was all i managed from that spot so i moved on to the next which is a similar set of rock bars but this particular location has given me my best fish on each visit to Forster.

It didnt take long to get a fish follow my Lucky Craft NW pencil out from the rocks, but with no take. So i put the lure back into the rocks and immediately a bow wave appeared behind the lure and this time it took the lure and the hooks connected.

At first i called it for a small fish, but as i applied some pressure it took off back towards the oyster covered rocks, luckily i was using my 1-5kg Duffrod which was specifically designed to fish oyster racks so i was able to put enough power in to get the fish away from the rocks and into clear water away from the nasty oysters.

After what seemed like an eternity i managed to get the net under him and into the kayak and he measured a respectable 37cm to the fork and weighed in at 1.04kg which earned me the Boss Hog big bream cash prize by 10 grams.

Only a couple of minutes later i managed to pull another fish not much smaller from nearby and then decided to leave the area and hope for some more good fish on day 2.

I was really expecting to be placed near the top, knowing what Forster can produce when it comes to big bream, but to my surprise my fished weighed in at 2.78kg and had me in 1st place at the end of day 1.

I decided to stick to the same plan on day 2 and put in some time at the same spot i pulled the 2 biggest bream from since i purposely left the area after only a short period of time on day 1 hoping i left some big bream untouched the the last half of the tournament.

As it turned out, the fishing was very tough on day 2 for a lot of anglers, myself included and i only managed 1 small but legal bream from my spot, and pulled another from another location and it was all i could manage for the entire day.

Knowing i would need another bag similar to the day 1 bag with the quality field of anglers i was up against, my hopes of 2 wins in a row were dashed and i headed in with only half of my possible 4 fish limit and slipped down to 6th place in a 60+ angler field, which i am still very happy with.

I did however, have an amazing weekend which i enjoyed very much and got to catch up with some good friends and catch some quality fish which is always good.

The next round see's me travel to Sydney's George's river in a couple of weeks, stay tuned for the report from that round.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Gamakatsu Hobie fishing series - R3 Clyde River




Perfect weather conditions greeted us for round 3 of the Gamakatsu Hobie kayak fishing series at Batemans Bay on the Beautiful Clyde river.

Being my local river system and with an ideal tide suited for some rack fishing, i had my mind made up where i was going to target big fish for the tournament  weeks in advance which is only a short  1klm pedal from the start line.

The tide was a little lower than i expected but i just made some changes to my lure selections and decided to fish the area as i waited for the tide to come in more rather than head for a new location.

Things started off a little slow, with only a few undersized fish in the first two hours but i was confident my patience would pay off if i kept at it waiting for the change of tide, as the Clyde racks fish better at the start of a run out tide. I pointed the front of the kayak into the current and used the Mirage Drive to hold position rather than use the stake out pole, casting into the current and working the lure back with the flow.

I got my first legal fish at around 9:00am and really struggled to find the decent fish that were so willing to take my lures in the weeks leading up to the event. At around midday, i hit a hot patch and quickly landed two more legals to fill my limit, and then an upgrade shortly after which measured 33cm to the fork that i spotted near an oyster covered rock pile.
I worked the area with my surface lures, a Lucky Craft NW Pencil, and a O.S.P Bent Minnow, fishing them super slow and thirty minutes later secured my second upgrade which was only slightly smaller than my biggest fish.

I dropped quite a few fish throughout the day, and had follows by good fish that decided not to take my offerings, but despite my best effort and hitting all of my favourite spots nearby i couldn’t upgrade my smallest fish.

The quality of fish i had been catching over the past few weeks left me thinking i didn’t have enough to get a win, but i knew it would be enough to be at the very least in the top 5, especially with anglers like Stewart Dunn, Andrew death, Derek Steele, Dave Hedge and Steve Fields who are all very capable of landing big fish amongst the competition.

Once time was up, i landed back at the beach to find reports of a lot of empty livewell’s, but after speaking to Stewie, he informed me Andrew Death had a kilo plus fish in the well, but that was the only fish. But knowing Andrew, i thought he would get his last 2 fish to fill his limit.
Andrew came in and to my suprise only had one extra small bream to add to his big bream (which weighed 1.2kg and scored him the big bream cash prize).

As it turned out, i weighed in a total of 1.95kg for my 3 fish earning me 1st place, which put me 400 grams clear of Andrew Death in 2nd place with 1.55kg for his 2 fish.
2nd place was enough to earn Andrew a spot in the 2013 Daiwa/Hobie bream kayak series which is to be held at Marlo, Vic. in November.

I would like to thank my sponsors for their support over the past couple of years

Steve Duff from Duffrods, Steve’s rods are simply awesome and the Tournament Pro Racks rod was really what was needed on the day. I fished oyster racks and oyster covered rocks all day and they gave me the power in the rod to really muscle these fish away from the structure and into the net with complete confidence.
Check out the Duffrods range at www.duffrods.com.au

Dave from Evolution Jigheads, Evo Jigheads have given me the option to put my hooks at the back of the plastics, reducing the number of missed fish to short strikes and leader protection for when the dreaded flathead take a liking to my plastics

Bryan from EJ Todd fishing solutions who supply me with all of my favourite lures, braid, and leader
Check out the Lucky Craft and Maria lures, as well as the Sunline braid and Flurocarbon leaders at your local tackle store.
Thank you all for your support

Thanks to Steve and the team at Hobie for bringing these kayak events to us. Without their hard work and dedication to the sport of kayak fishing tournaments we we not have these events at all

Tackle used:
Rods – Duffrods tournament pro rack 1-5kg, 6’10
             Duffrods tournament pro rack 1-5kg, 7’0
             Duffrods tournament pro bream 1-4kg 7’0
             Duffrods tournament pro flats 1-3kg, 7’6
Reels – Daiwa Exist 2004
              Daiwa Exist Hyper Branzino
              Daiwa Steez 2004
              Daiwa Steez 2506
Lures -  Lucky Craft NW Pencil
              Lucky Craft Bevy minnow
              OSP Bent minnow
Line -  Sunline Rockfish PE braid on all reels
            Sunline FC rock fluorocarbon leader

Monday, April 8, 2013

GAMAKATSU HOBIE FISHING SERIES R2 - ST.GEORGES BASIN

CUSTOM LURE ART pro team member Stewart Dunn has notched up another win for the CLA team.

Stewart fished deep with blades where he found big fish schooled up on his sounder that were willing to take his lures.
Stewart compiled a bag of 3 good fish weighing 2.72kg putting him on top of the field of 43 anglers

For a full report and photo's visit: http://hobiefishing.com.au/content/ghfs-st-georges-basin-report

DAIWA/HOBIE BREAM KAYAK SERIES R3 - BEMM RIVER

CUSTOM LURE ART pro team member Jon Chen held on to his day 1 lead with a combined 2 day bag limit of 5.28 kg to take the win over Steve Fields from Hobie.

Jon fished a custom painted Pontoon 21 CrackJack and a Pontoon 21 Greedy Guts around the drop offs to secure his bigger fish.

Jon's full report can be found here: Bemm river result and story

Sunday, February 3, 2013

DAIWA/HOBIE BASS KAYAK SERIES - 2013

In addition to the Daiwa/Hobie BREAM kayak series, Sponsors and organisers have introduced a BASS series for 2013.

Like the inaugural BREAM series, the 2013 BASS series will consist of 4 qualifying rounds and a Grand final. Steve Fields from Hobie has indicated if competitor numbers are satisfactory the series will continue in 2014 and beyond so i urge anyone that owns a kayak (or can at least borrow one) to get involved and test your skills against like minded anglers.

The setup is fairly simple, it is a catch, photo, release competition so there is no need for a livewell, just a camera with a SD card is all that is needed.
More details can be found on the Hobie fishing website: www.hobiefishing.com.au

Next weekend (Saturday 9th of Feb) is the first round of the series on the NSW south coast just north of Bega.

Keep an eye on the Hobie Fishing website for future events and live stream viewing of the weigh ins for the Bream and Bass events.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

HOT SURFACE BITE IN THE LOCAL



With beautiful weather forecast for today, my friend Steve and i loaded up the Hobie's and headed down to the local lake to see what the surface action would be like after recent warm spring temperatures moved in on the South Coast.

On my first cast this morning with a Lucky Craft NW pencil, i hooked and landed the first fish of the day, a 30cm Whiting. Although it was small, the signs looked good for a good day on the water.

As it turned out, it was one of the better sessions i have had for a while, just about every cast was getting followed and most of those fish were striking at the lure.
I did seem to drop a lot more fish than usual, but we both landed a heap as well, i honestly have no idea exactly how many Whiting came in, well over 20 along with 6 Bream and a few Flathead as well, all but one came on the NW pencil's, the odd one out was the biggest Bream of the session measuring 35cm caught on a Lucky Craft Bevy Minnow.

It was a great day, only lasting a few hours but things are looking good for a great summer of topwater fishing, if im lucky i may even get a mid week session or 2 in.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

SQUIDGIES SOUTHERN BREAM SERIES 2012 WRAP UP

For this years SSBS series i agreed to fish the season with Geoff in his power boat, something i have never done before. I have fished various events in boats but never an entire season so i put the kayak aside and ventured into a new arena.

Throughout the year there were some ups and downs, like in round 1 at Sydney's Georges river i foolishly left my bare feet unprotected on a hot clear day and ended up with the most severe sunburn i have experienced making it almost impossible to walk for a few days after.
And the Mallacoota round which was a 2 day event, day 1 was cancelled due to gale force winds, and then on the Saturday night i got hit with a nasty case of food poisoning which ruled me out for day 2.

The only round i did not fish in the boat was round 2 in Febuary at St.Georges Basin, which was a ABT Daiwa/Hobie Bream kayak series qualifier.
I chose to fish that round in the kayak, as St.Georges Basin is always my best chance at qualifying for the Daiwa/Hobie grand final.
This decision paid off, even though i only weighed 2 fish on day 1, they were 2 good fish and it left me well within range of getting a grand final spot if i fished well on day 2.
Sitting in about 15th position, i went into day 2 without getting my hopes too high, but i knew there were 5 grand final spots up for grabs so i only needed to jump enough to get one of them.
I had my bag limit within the first couple of hours and slowly upgraded fish during the day and after what turned out to be a great day on the water, i scraped into 5th place earning me a spot in the grand final which is coming up in mid November.

Back in the boat, Geoff and i struggled to find our feet, for me personally i found it a bit tricky to be going back and forth between the boat and kayak so often and we failed to weigh a full bag throughout the regular season, but we did weigh fish in every single event we competed in, its that consistency through the year that earned us a spot in the 2012 Grand final.
Qualifying for the Grand Final was a bit touch and go in the final qualifying round, as Geoff had to be interstate on business and if we did not fish the final round we would not have made it in.
Geoff kindly supplied the boat and i teamed up with my good friend of 30 years, Alf.
Alf had never fished a Bream tournament before, nor has he done all that much Bream fishing but he was keen to give it a go and hopefully contribute a fish or 2.
This round turned out to be the best result the team had during the regular season, we only weighed 3 fish, but the combined weight went well over 2kg and we finished in 11th place, i landed a 43cm Bream, and Alf out fished me with a 39cm and a 35cm, so although me again missed out on a full bag the quality of fish were good.
That was easily enough to secure our spot in the Grand final and with Geoff back on board and the time for the grand final finally upon us the top 50 teams and top 25 kayakers headed for day 1 at St.Georges Basin.

It was not to be for the TFA team again though, bad luck struck again and on the way to the start line, the outboard started to struggle for power, and just as we neared the shores of Palm Beach, the alarm went off on the icommand guages with a Injector malfunction warning.
The Etec went into limp mode and we couldnt get anymore than 4knots out of it, we tried to fish on the electric motor but our options were too limited so we decided to cut our losses and accept Wes Murphy's (Basin lure and fly committee) offer to borrow his boat for the remainder of the event.
This was a very kind and thoughtful offer from Wes and we both appreciated it very much and will definately not be forgotten.

By the time we did the swap over and got back on the water we had not much more than an hour to go but if you find some fish it sometimes doesnt take long to fill a bag so it was still worth a shot.
Geoff managed a small but legal Bream on a topwater lure, and we dropped a few more decent fish during our hour of fishing but as it turned out we went in and weighed just the 1 fish which is better than nothing at all.

Day 2 we fished the Shoalhaven river, and for the week leading up to the event i had a gut feeling a certain set of flats would be firing with surface lures and despite a last minute temptation to change the plan we decided to head for the flats i had initially planned on hitting and sure enough it fired well, we hit it with Lucky Craft NW pencils and had our bag by 9am, it was a hot session for a few hours before we had spooked just about everything on the flats so we moved on looking for bigger fish.

Well, we never found them, but our bag full of 30cm bream was enough to place us with the 3rd heaviest bag for the second day, with only a few grams deviding the top 3 and it jumped us from 44th to 23rd overall for the grand final.
I am quite pleased with the result considering the unfortunate  circumstances from day 1, but these things happen and there is not much we can do about it when it does.

Thanks to the BLF committee  for running the series, all of the sponsors and the competitors who make the effort to fish such an enjoyable tournament.

With only the Daiwa/Hobie kayak grand final left on my calendar of events, im looking forward to fishing that and then resting up and getting some local fishing done of my own until the next series begins.

Keep an eye on the site for the results and write up the the Daiwa/Hobie evnt in mid November, it should be a big one.