Stoked as, to pull another first is simply awesome - especially up there where the field was made up of many gun angler's who really know their stuff when it comes to fishing rivers - something I rarely get the opportunity to do.
As you'll read in the official reports on the Hobiefishing site, and the BREAM site, I bagged out in no time using a little top water stick bait amongst the mangroves. It was all a bit new to me as I generally hate using top water lures during comps (love them during social's though
) as the hook ups can sometimes be frustratingly difficult to get right - especially when you're dealing with lots of really small bream who don't know how to play the game!
This time it was pretty different and somewhat unorthodox - basically, it was pouring with heavy rain and I couldn't even see the lure most of the time, I just kept the retrieve pattern fairly simple and literally waited for the rod to load up. I obviously threw some cranks as well, but there just wasn't the same amount of interest in them, so I stuck with the top water bite and hoped for the best.
Then I headed up to the area where I knew fish had been caught during the prefish - (oh, my prefish sucked eggs - I caught 6 bream and no legals, and on Saturday night, was happy to poorly rate the Tweed as a good kayak venue, basically because the current in the Terranora arm and around the lower reaches of the river was way to hard to fish in anger. After having travelled upstream though on comp day, I realised that I was completely wrong as the current was no where near as strong - go the Tweed, it rocks - can't wait to go back one day
) - and soon found a handful of guys floating around in the calm water around the ebb.
I continued with the top water and pulled lots more squeakers, and then switched to the crankbaits, which straight away started producing too.
Once I'd been through four or five different patterns, I settled on the Daiwa crank which seemed to suit the depth nicely and started plugging away.
There was one spot, that I'm sure every single bloke who passed it would have concentrated their efforts on for at least a few casts (and apparently quite a few did!), that looked too good. I fired a cast into it and pulled a fish straight away. 'Thought so!' I said, I knew there'd be a fish or two there. I left it for a few minutes and then fired in another one. The bite was so gay - just the tiniest 'tap', and then the rod started to bend, and bend, and bend.....and BEND!
Mmm, it just had the solid weight of a big flattie (I'd been catching heaps of flatties too), and it cruised out into the open water where it started to kite in the current.
OK, so its a trev. Then it started playing up a bit and and I got a flash of a big silver flank - my next thoughts were classic - 'Yep, its a trev for sure - check out how big it is!'. Word on the street in the lead up to the comp was that anything over 30 was XOS for the Tweed.
I tightened up the drag a wee bit to put some hurt on the fish and hopefully get the fight over and done with asap, and I soon got him up near the surface where he did a cool fly by of the yak with his dorsal just out of the water, and I saw that he was a thumper bream - with the lure just pinned with the back hook in his top lip!
BACK OFF THE DRAG YOU IDIOT!!!!!
I think I nearly lost the spool over the side of the yak/boat (
), but took it all nice and easy and slipped the net under a true specimen fish.
What a ripper!!
That upgraded my smallest fish, which - and this goes out as a warning - which was just on legal when I caught it, but had shrunk over a centimetre during its time in the Holiday Tank! I've never seen a fish do that before.
I then hooked up with Bob and Nick, and the heart started really pumping when Bob showed me his thumper he'd got around the same time as I got mine. His kicker was just a wee bit smaller than mine (mine was around 35 to the fork), but his other two looked a bit fatter than my other two. It was soooo close, and even when we were back in and beached next to eachother, we really couldn't tell who would take it out - it was pretty exciting.
All in all though, it was yet another great event. Massive thanks to Ben from Bunyips for coming down and cooking us a sizzle during the presentations. I'm keeping a note of all the sizzles this year, and so far, his snags have been the tastiest, although he did loose a point for not having BBQ sauce
Anyway guys.....you know whats coming next..........BEMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!
Oh, man, froth on - if you only do one round all season, or ever, BEMM is the one to do. Big fish, and heaps of them, and they love eating undigestable hardbodies and soft plastics.
Catch you there....