A big field, tough bites and stinking hot days were the talk at the pub during Friday night’s briefing for Round One of the 2017 Atomic Vic Bream Classic Series. Round One, the Bayford Volkwagon East Gippsland Bream Classic, saw 60 teams ready to battle it out to get the season off to a flying start.
For Team We Flick Fishing’s Tom McIntosh and Charlie Saykao it would be the perfect start to the season for them leading from start to finish to claim their first Vic Bream Classic victory.
On Day One they took off in 17th position, which unfortunately meant they didn’t quite get their desired starting location. They quickly adapted and moved to another super shallow flat, pulling two fish in quick succession. As the wind died, they headed up and fished a few isolated bays with less boat traffic to look for a few big bites.
A 29cm tip black bream hit the deck after a few quick casts followed by the big clunk of a kicker fish for Day One, a 1.16kg yellowfin coming out of a foot of water.
“We felt the tension of having camera man Jacob ‘Banana’ Villani slide off our shoulders knowing we had put ourselves in a solid position to start the day,” McIntosh said. “Thirty minutes passed and having a solid 800g spit the hooks metres from the net was very heart breaking. We slogged it out fishing our confidence techniques, which paid off with two almost identical fish going 990g and 980g.”
They upgraded their bag and were over 4kg by 10am. After fishing all afternoon with minimal success, they moved back to the top lake to fish Palmers, where they hoped to find enough wind to get the fish back on the chew.
“Pulling hooks on another fish just saw frustration levels going through the roof. We needed to stay calm and composed. Still with a 29 tipper in the well, we knew we needed to upgrade that fish and dropping a Cranka Crab down to some shut down fish got a handy upgrade in the last half hour of the day, putting us around 4.5kg.”
Heading back to weigh in, the boys were confident they had enough in the well to keep them at the pointy end of the field. Little did they know it was enough to bump them to first position at the completion of Day One.
“Re-rigging that night was a laugh for the other guys staying with me,” McIntosh said. “I was a trembling wreck, taking 10 minutes just to tie a single knot.”
Day Two was a mix of emotions. Team We Flick Fishing were off the blocks in first position and got to their zone first. They slogged it out for a bag of solid flathead with no bream. Transitioning in and out of waypoints trying to locate patches of feeding fish saw a few small fish in the well. With the number of boats in the area, they kept moving to find less pressured fish, which finally earned them a double hook-up and a full bag by 9:30 for about 2.8kg.
“Slogging it out all day saw us drop more fish than we ever have before in a day’s fishing. In the back of our minds we thought we had let our chances slip through our fingers. A few key bites coming in quick succession saw solid upgrades, boosting us to around 3.2kg.”
With the wind scheduled to get up about midday, they moved up into the shallows. They caught two big yellowfin to upgrade their bag. Knowing the fish were sitting in super shallow water, they pushed in closer, following their tracks on the Lowrance HDS they had previously used for several drifts during the weekend.
With the water draining off the flats, the guys were unable to get through the gutter and started bottoming out. This put them in a bad position, where they couldn’t go back due to wind and couldn’t pull out with another boat just off their side. The wind pushed them up further, leaving them high and dry.
They managed a few small upgrades to finish the day and returned to the ramp thinking they would be lucky to have 3.5kg. The nerves kicked in as they pulled the fish out of the live well and got them into the weigh bag ready for the moment of truth.
“The bag felt light as we jumped off the boat and walked up to the bump tubs. When Bill took the bag of fish I felt like we had left the door wide open for other teams. Weighing in 3.73kg was a relief, but with a field full of such talented anglers, it would be a nervous wait.”
Fortunately, it was enough to hold onto top position and take out the 2017 Bayford Volkswagon East Gippsland Bream Classic Championship. It was Saykao and McIntosh’s first event win as a team and McIntosh’s first podium finish.
With such a talented field, the boys from Team We Flick Fishing couldn’t take a clean sweep of all the prizes. The Maria Lures Best Bag along with the Hurricane Monster Movers prize went to Team Colac Tackle Samurai Rods’ Steve Parker and Dan Mackrell with a second day bay weighing 4.68kg. This bag rocketed them 19 places up the leader boards to finish in fourth position. The JML Anglers Alliance Big Bream went to debutants, Team Finding Nemo’s Rylee Barling and Cameron Cleal who weighed in a cracking 1.38kg bream.
All eyes are now looking towards the end of the month and the Maria Lures Sunline Bream Classic at Marlo on 29-30 April. If you are interested in fishing the event, log onto www.vicbreamclassics.com.au for entry forms or contact Tournament Director Bill Hartshorne on 0409 823 070. – Vic Bream Classics
PlaceTeam NameAnglersTotal Weight (kg)Total Fish
|1||We Flick Fishing||Charlie Saykao, Tom McIntosh||8.19||10|
|2||Keeping It Reel||Isaac Primmer, Morgan Flook||7.87||10|
|3||Minn Kota||Cam Whittam, Warren Carter||7.75||10|
|4||Colac Tackle – Samurai Rods||Steve Parker, Dan Mackrell||7.73||10|
|5||Finding Nemo||Rylee Barling, Cameron Cleal||7.71||10|
|6||Chemically Sharp||Damien McGlynn, Adam Arbuthnot||7.57||10|
|7||MPW||Peter Marshall, Darren White||7.55||10|
|8||Bream By Stealth||Romeo Prezioso, Carl Di Toro||7.32||10|
|9||EGM||Marlo Vukic, Paul Conn||7.27||10|
|10||Scales||Simon Krause, Patrick Krause||7.03||10|