The 2008 season opened with the Bing Lee Australian Open on the waters of Sydney Harbour. 18 teams battled it out over three days of competition for the prestigious title and $10,000 cheque that goes with the win.
The tournament weigh in was ran from the Drummoyne Sailing Club and with 6 of the top 10 breamers in the country representing their sponsors it was always going to be a good show.
With a tough bite being experienced, there were no eye catching bags that we have come to expect from these waters. On completion of day 1 three teams had managed to break the 3kg mark and heading out in first place on day 2 was the Shimano/Squidgy team consisting of Chris Wright and Brett Wilson.
Day 2 saw the largest bag of the competition nudging 4kg, a full limit of bream for 3.86kg belonging to team Windsor Bait & Tackle. Once again only 3 teams managed to break the 3kg mark and it was Team Tackle Power in John Balcomb and Ben Godfrey making a charge for the podium.
On the morning of the final day of competition, the win was anyone’s. Four teams at the top had over 6kg of fish and were separated by a mere 500grams.
Come weigh in time, the consistency of team Tackle Power proved to be the difference. For three days in the row they had managed to weigh 3kg plus bags and were crowned with the first win of the 2008 ABT season with a 15/15, 9.86kg limit.
Ben Godfrey the 2007 BREAM champ used a 7ft, 4-10lb Lamiglass rod matched to a Daiwa SOL 2000 spooled with 2lb Fireline Crystal and 4lb Yamatoyo leader.
John Balcomb his partner used a Berkley 6’10” 2-4kg Pro Tactic rod with an 802 Abu Cardinal reel. Similar to Godfrey he spooled this with 2lb Berkley Crystal Fireline and 4lb Vanish fluorocarbon leader.
These boys had met each other at the Lake Macquarie Grand Final and discussed the opportunity of fishing the Australian Open together. For Ben it was a chance to see another waterway for the first time and with John being a local, they had a good combination.
Day one saw them fishing the outside of the Birkenhead Marina with 1/16 and 1/20 Tackle Tactics and Nitro jigheads. John choosing to work a 2” Gulp worm, while Ben threw an Ecogear Bug Ant that he had cut down into a crab shape.
“The trick was to make a slap noise on the outer wall as you pitched the plastic in close,” Ben said.
“The bream would look up and see the worm etc falling down. The pattern was to then let the plastic sink for 5 seconds followed by a twitch and then strike on the bite,” he continued.
Day 2 saw much of the same, however, the pair traveled upriver later to find a kicker fish off a marina on a new Ecogear VX35 vibe.
Day 3 presented a challenge to the duo, with a broken electric motor. They tackled this with one steering the boat while the other fished. The tide rising over the coffee rocks, they decided to crankbait with SX40’s and 48’s.
“We removed the front treble to give the lures a bit more action,” John explained.
“And the bib of the lure had to be hitting the rock edges to attract the bream,” said Ben.
A note worth mentioning is that the pair continued to spray their lures with either Gulp Alive spray or Ecogear Egimax scent throughout the day to ensure the hardbodies remained attractive.
Finishing in second place was team Windsor Bait and Tackle consisting of Ben Turbott and Aaron Horne. This pair have become regulars to the Bing Lee Aus Open and continue to improve with previous 9th and 5th finishes.
Ben used a Strudwick Softbodz rod matched to a Daiwa Steez 2000 reel spooled with 4lb Power Strike braid and Sunline V-Hard leader.
Aaron chose a Daiwa Procastor V rod and a Shimano Stella 1000 with 6lb Berkley Fireline and the same Sunline fluorocarbon.
Moving between Ballshead Bay, Berry Bay and Pier 1 the duo concentrated on fishing floating structure such as pontoons and moorings.
“We chose the areas with mussels on the pontoons, they are slowing coming back after a bit of a drought,” explained Ben.
“We targeted calm water in about 4 metres and when the tide turned headed to Silverwater up the Parramatter River to upgrade,” said Aaron.
Using TT jigheads from 1/8th to 1/16th in weight they threw Berkley 2” worms in motoroil, 6” camo worms and 4” Sand Eels to tempt the Sydney bream. Getting their limit early was the key, then switching to the Bassday Kangoku vibes looking for upgrades later.
The sponsorship from Bing Lee saw many of the remaining anglers taking home Tom Tom Navigation Units, Dyson Vacuums and even Saeco Coffee machines, much to their delight. A total of 172 fish were caught over the three days of competition for a total weight of 95.12k and an average of 553 grams per bream.
Another successful Australian Open has been run and won and in the words of Ben Godfrey, ‘who isn’t happy taking home $10K, again, haha.’
The 2008 Tournament Angler magazine is now being delivered to all ABT members, those who want further copies can check out their local newsagency. Entries for the 2008 season have now opened and ABT look forward to another action packed year.
For further information check out www.bream.com.au
|1||TACKLE POWER: John Balcomb & Ben Godfrey||5||3.06||5||3.5||5||3.3||15||9.86||10000|
|2||WINDSOR BAIT & TACKLE: Ben Turbott & Aaron Horne||4||2.395||5||3.86||5||3.185||14||9.44||2500|
|3||SKEETER/EVINRUDE: Josh Batterson & Dino Taglieri||5||3.65||4||2.89||5||2.545||14||9.085||2000|
|4||SHIMANO/SQUIDGY: Brett Wilson & Chris Wright||5||3.685||5||2.44||5||2.46||15||8.585||2 x Saeco Coffee Machines|
|5||TT LURES: Darren Borg & Kristoffer Hickson||5||2.31||5||3.005||5||3.16||15||8.475||2 x Dyson Vacuums|
|6||BERKLEY: Scott Towner & Mark Mangold||5||2.875||2||0.755||5||2.78||12||6.41|
|7||FISHING MONTHLY INTERNATIONAL: Steve Morgan & Takayoshi Orimoto||4||1.935||5||2.275||3||1.25||12||5.46|
|8||BIG COLOUR IMAGING: Greg Seeto & Ian Seeto||5||2.5||5||2.495||1||0.415||11||5.41|
|9||NITRO SCAFFOLDING: Wayne Reed & Ron Ashman||5||2.915||4||1.64||9||4.555||Random Draw Nav Unit|
|10||COMPLEAT ANGLER/ANGER’S WORLD: Richard Potter & Peter McWatters||1||0.645||4||1.75||4||1.99||9||4.385|
|11||BING LEE ELECTRICAL A: Greg Lee & Patrick Debattista||1||0.785||5||2.185||3||1.395||9||4.365||Random Draw Nav Unit|
|12||BING LEE ELECTRICAL B: Jorg Vanhusen & David Tosland||2||1.235||1||0.465||5||2.235||8||3.935|
|13||ECOGEAR: Wayne Friebe & Gavin Dunne||2||0.95||3||1.575||3||1.125||8||3.65|
|14||DUTCH HARBOUR: Bic Fox & Thuan Huynh||1||0.53||1||0.39||3||2.255||5||3.175|
|15||NISSAN: Jack Olmos & Dean Nash||4||2.23||1||0.34||1||0.45||6||3.02|
|16||QCC/DAVE BUTFIELD’S TACKLE WORLD: Rod Hardiman & Elise Hardiman||4||1.905||1||0.415||1||0.57||6||2.89|
|17||STILL JERKIN: Mark Riddell & Nicholas Reay||2||0.77||1||1.075||3||1.845|
|18||GONE AGAIN: Jonathon Fitzgibbon & Bradley Writer||1||0.575||1||0.575|