Well the final round for the year was recently held on the tannin stained waters of Lake Macquarie, and with a small field of 13 teams showing up to battle it out for a winner takes all cash prize there was going to be only one outcome, and that was a couple of keen anglers taking home a nice wad of cash and possibly some other goodies as well.
With the weather behaving itself early on in the piece it was evident that the day was going to produce some good conditions for chasing bream on this fantastic system. It was also clear that the guys that turned up were committed bream chasers, with an array of boats from the pimped out tinny to the top of the line bass boats with all the trimmings. And as it went, it turned out that you don’t necessarily need a 60k rig to have a chance at finishing in the top 5.
With a majority of the anglers being new faces to the CCMB it was good to see that people were putting some serious k’s in to come up for the round with guys like Andrew Moore and Craig Brydon of Team Triton coming up from Goulburn, Jack Roberson and Mark Donnelly of Team DTF #2 (Down to Fish) coming from Bathurst, Peter Cooke coming from Sydney, Peter Dent of Team Flats Raiders coming from Woollongong and our eventual winners, Team Cronulla Slipway and Shipwrights – Grant Grounds and Tim Vickers coming from the southern peninsula of Sydney. Having people put in the miles to come and fish these events gives CCMB serious hope for the continuation of the Team Boat format and I would like to thank these guys, and everyone else who showed on the day, for putting in the effort. If I missed someone here who did put in the big drive, my apologies but be assured it was appreciated.
After a quick brief on exclusion zones, and a hopefully optimistic (which turned out to be overly optimistic, gotta get em keen right?) pep talk on the possibility of mega bag weights for everyone it was all systems go and I watched somewhat forlornly as 13 boats went zooming off into the distance. Soon I’m hoping to be able to fish as well as be the operator, volunteers anyone? (For pics of some of the take offs check out the gallery below, boat porn to the max!)
As it turned out the majority of the entrants chose to work the edges, which given the time of year around these parts is always a safe bet. As Dave Packham put it, and I’m paraphrasing here, having a lake this size with such a limited field gives you a big comfort zone with the knowledge that it will be unlikely that there will be carpark situations or a fear that someone will poach your go to spots. And he was spot on with everyone getting their own space, and not having to deal with hulls being flogged to death or flats being covered with up to 20 boats and lures flying everywhere.
As it happens though, the hours ticked by and it was time to return to the weigh in. I’m sure that on the way back there were a few confident teams, and other teams who were a little unsure whether they had the fish they needed who made every minute count and scored some much needed upgrades all the way to the very end.
Once all were returned the weigh in was underway, albeit with a couple of minor hitches, but never-the-less the bags were coming in and it was good to see that every single team was presenting a full bag, with at least one or two decent fish thrashing about in the bump bags. And thanks to our photographer Will Davis and his offsider James Stillone we had a perfect platform for the weigh-in!
For a the first 4 or 5 bags it was becoming evident that it was going to be a very tightly contested event with less than 200 grams separating the bags so far weighed and an average weight of 2.1kg. But after Team DTF 2 weighed their bag of 5/5 for 2.65kg a gap began to open up, and when Team Good Mojo – Mark Gebhard & Darren Brewster presented a 5/5 3.10kg bag things started to look very exciting indeed. The teams continued to come in, and with 2 teams being in equal 2nd at one stage with no change to the lead it was getting even more tense, but once Team Cronulla Slipway and Shipwrights – Tim Vickers and Grant Grounds presented their 5/5 3.45kg bag it was clear that we had a winner. And also the Ecooda/Tonic BIG BREAM winner with a fish of 1kg just pipping the previous leader of .950gm from Will Davis.
Tim and Grant were happy with their win, and took out the 1st place cash prize of $1600, and also the Ecooda/Tonic Eyewear BIG BREAM prizes consisting of a Ecooda Havok HAS2500 spin reel (http://ecooda.com.au/reels/havok-has) and a brand spankin pair of Tonic Youranium Polarised lenses (http://toniceyewear.com.au/youranium-neon) which isn’t too bad for a day on the water doing what we all love to do. Gotta love being paid to catch fish!
In Grant and Tim’s words – “We started our day heading to the shallow flats near Swansea firstly throwing topwater with little success. We changed it up and started throwing shallow chubbies in brown suji in which not long after produced a 1kg fish (big bream) and a couple to follow in the high 20s and low 30s to have a half decent bag by 9am. We then moved around the top of the lake trying different techniques on edges but unable to upgrade which saw us heading back to the flats where we started and over the next couple of drifts managed to pick up another couple of upgrades. We would like to thank Mick and all the sponsors for their efforts towards these tournaments.”
In 2nd place was Team Good Mojo – Mark Gebhard and Darren Brewster with 5/5 3.10kg. These guys presented a great bag with some really good looking fish, a mixed bag of bronze flanked weed dwellers and some silver backed fish that looked like they came straight off the sand flats. Mark and Darren scored a bag of Samaki, Atomic, Ecogear and Berkley lollies from CCMB and indicated they would be back to have another crack the win at the next round.
In equal 3rd we had two new teams to CCMB, Team DTF#2 with 5/5 2.65kg – Mark Donnelly & Jack Roberson and Team Phoenix 5/5 2.65kg – Ryan Vucinic and John Chrisostomos. What was good about this situation was that we had two Central Coast locals (Team Phoenix), and two blokes from an area where bream do not exist (Team DTF), finding full bags and getting a result that put them on the podium in their very first rounds. These fellas scored a bag of Berkley, Samaki, Keitech and Ecogear bream lollies. Great work guys, CCMB thanks you for coming along and we hope to see you at a round in the future.
In equal 4th we had Team Flats Raiders – Peter Dent and Nathan Settree returning for back to back rounds, and a new pair of players Team Bent Visuals – James Stillone and William Davis presenting 5/5 2.45kg. Peter and Nathan cranked the southern end, hitting hulls and flats and getting into the surface fish at one stage, but couldn’t find those kegs that Nathan knows lurks in the spots they hit. For Will and James it was a case of fishing ground neither of them knew, cranking and jigging their way across some serious distances going from the north end to the south end over the course of the day. These guys scored a goody bag with some Berkley, Samaki and Keitech lollies from CCMB.
For the rest of the field it was very tight indeed, only 200gm separated 3rd and equal 4th, and 400gms between 4th and 10th which gives you an indication of how close it was. There were plenty of equal scoring bags, and plenty of just legal fish which indicated that the fish from the day before were still in plague proportions, and you needed to pick through the small fish to find the bigger units.
Congratulations to all that scored gear and cash, and CCMB thanks all that came along.
Special thanks go to Will Davis of Bent Visuals for his photo work, Neil Roberts for his behind the scenes work, Peter Dent for the use of his Nitro as the registration area and my lovely lady Hilda for her stellar data entry efforts.
CCMB also would like thank everyone who turned up, and we hope to see you at a round in the future.
Of course we cannot forget our supporting businesses and sponsors. These companies and small business owners make it possible for CCMB to continually provide quality gear as prizes, and we cannot thank them enough for their support. Do them a favour and check out their products, services and social media pages. If you are a coast local give the stores the benefit of your custom, as they rely on locals to help them provide their services for locals.
CCMB would like to thank these people for their support in this round:
Mark and Shay from Bream and Bass Tackle Morisset – http://bass-n-breamtackle.com/
Chris at Berkley Australia – http://www.berkleyfishing.com.au
Darren and the team at Diztek – http://www.diztek.com.au
Frank and the team at Tonic Eyewear – http://www.toniceyewear.com.au
Ray and the team at Uncle Rays Boating Warehouse Belmont – http://www.unclerays.com.au
Stay tuned for further updates on the 2016 events, like and follow our blog and check out our sponsors!