A St Georges Basin round record of 64 anglers competed in the Pro Lure Round 7 of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series 9 over the May 20-21 weekend.
Anglers travelled from all over Australia to the Shoalhaven region of the NSW South Coast, despite predictions of horrendous weather over the weekend. While the pre-fish was thwarted by inclement weather conditions, there was a dramatic improvement from the moment anglers left the Power-Pole Starting Line on day one with the clearing skies developing into a perfect weekend, with an excellent bite to match.
It was a fantastic weekend of camaraderie and just plain fun, being out in a magnificent environment doing what anglers love to do most – fishing! Competitors were chasing Angler of the Year Points (AOY), excellent cash payouts, superb sponsor prize packs and looking to build up points to qualify to represent Australia at Hobie Fishing Worlds 7.
At registration on day one all anglers were hugely impressed to receive an unexpected gift from Pro Lure, an S36 Pro Lure Crank in matt black. In the end, for one angler, it turned out to be the lure that caught the largest fish of the tournament.
Three teams were competing in Hobie Pro Angler 17Ts, which made their first appearance in a Hobie Kayak Bream Series event. Three first timers joined the ranks of the seasoned competitors and the Women’s, Youth and Masters Divisions were once again extremely competitive.
Congratulations to all competitors on a superb tournament and to those who topped their divisions, but the major accolades go to the top three in the Open Division: Richard Somerton in first place, Byron Hill second and Scott Marcinkowski in third place.
After holding the lead at the close of day one, Richard Somerton from Mount Martha in Victoria continued his stellar form and took out the tournament with a convincing win, 1.26kg ahead of his nearest rival. Somerton bagged four fish for 3.21kg on day one and another four for 3.39kg on the final day of competition, with a total two day accumulated eight fish bag of 6.6kg. His victory won him a hefty sponsor prize pack and $1750 for his effort, and rocketed him to an almost certain place on the team for the next Hobie Fishing World Championship.
Somerton gave a brief rundown of his weekend.
“After pre-fish I found a couple of banks that had fish on them, so on day one I headed up to Kangaroo Point and fished some structure all along there. I was honing in on the trees that had a lot of shags in them, which seemed to be a bit of a key this weekend.
“I also found fish in general structure as well throwing a Cranka Crab, first in cockle and then I changed to an olive that I customised with a black marker pen and that seemed to be a bit better this weekend. From there I moved around to a couple of other banks throughout the day, just rotating between them. I came in early on the day because I had a pretty good bag, but I went back out just for a bit of a look around for day two.”
“On the second day of the event I headed straight back to ‘Kangaroo’, I stopped briefly on a bit of a hummock, then I left Jack Gammie there and headed back inshore. I had my bag by about 8am and my first upgrade came about 10-15 minutes later. Once I finished there I started to roam around picking up a few legals here and there.”
“Then late in the day, just around from One Tree, I got a nice kilo upgrade and that really pulled my bag along. That was my day in a nutshell. I was using the same techniques as day one, although I did throw a Gulp Shrimp which got me that 1kg fish late this afternoon.”
Somerton’s winning tackle was a 7ft 1-4kg Duffrods Hystix matched with a Daiwa Freams 2000 reel, Daiwa TD Sensor 8lb line and FC Rock 8lb leader. His go-to lures was a Cranka Crab in olive with a customised black touch up.
The second placed finisher was Byron Hill, from Newcastle in New South Wales. After a solid day one sitting in 14th position, the RAAF pilot jumped 12 places to make it onto the podium and his best-ever tournament result. Hill bagged a day one total of four fish for 2.4kg and followed it up with four for 2.94kg on day two. His eight fish came in at 5.34kg and won him a prize purse of $910 and an excellent sponsor prize pack and substantial AOY points.
Hill had the following to say about his tournament.
“I had no prior benefit from the pre-fish, so I spent the first part of the morning observing a number of other anglers hitting a shallow bank. I then hit it myself, but there weren’t any fish there and I decided it wasn’t going to work for me on the weekend, so I made the decision quite quickly to move into the deep. I went there and I had my bag by 8am, just vibing somewhere between 4-6m.
“I upgraded the bag a couple of times getting up to the 2.40kg that I ended up weighing in. I wanted to save the spot I had been working for day two, so I ventured out and started working other places looking for fish. I didn’t really find many other spots – maybe another two that ended up not producing anything for me on day two. But to be quite honest, day one was really fun for me with back to basics fishing.
“On day two I went to the spot that produced the fish for me the day before. It’s on the western side of those two islands in St Georges Basin. Again, it was the same depth of water, I was vibing again and that produced 12 or so odd fish that ended up giving me a 2.5kg bag. I really had to push hard for those extra few hundred grams. After 11 o’clock I didn’t really get much. I started to move around and the spot I had been working had become quite busy, so I had to leave it to relieve some pressure and I did so a few times during the day.
“Finally, I really couldn’t do any of this without the endless support of my beautiful wife Maddie.”
Hill used a Daiwa TD Commander 1-3kg rod paired with a Daiwa Silver Wolf 2506 reel, Daiwa TD Sensor 4lb line and FC Rock 4lb leader. His lure of choice was the Samaki Vibelicious in chartreuse pink head.
In third place, Scott Marcinkowski from Cordeaux Heights in NSW bagged out on day one with 2.23kg. On day two he had a 2.98kg bag giving him a total of eight bream weighing in at 5.21kg. Scott picked up a major sponsor prize pack, a $590 cash payout and 98 AOY points.
The Atomic Big Bream was won by the 8th place-getter in the Open Division, Tony Pettie from Traralgon in Victoria. Pettie landed a massive 1.41kg bream aboard his Hobie kayak. The impressive fish was the largest caught in a tournament with plenty of bream caught over 1kg. Pettie caught the monster on the Pro Lure S36 Crank in matt black that he received at registration.
Pettie used a Hurricane 69R Light Series rod, a Daiwa Freams 2500 reel, Sunline 8lb line and FC Rock 5lb leader. His lure of choice was the Pro Lure S36 Crank in Matt Black.
For the Youth Division, Steven Pryke from Lakes Entrance in Victoria had a day one bag of four for 2.64kg and on day two he brought back four fish for 2.21kg, totalling 4.85kg over the two days. Steven finished in 6th place in the Open Division.
The winner of the Women’s Division was Tameika Purnell from Sanctuary Point in New South Wales, with a day one bag of four fish for 2.46kg and day two bag of four for 2.15kg, totalling 4.61kg. Tameika had her best tournament performance finishing in 12th position overall.
In the Masters Division, Lex Court from Davistown, New South Wales, was the best performing Master with a day one bag of four for 2.24kg and a day two bag of four for 1.75kg, totalling 4.85kg.
Darryl Head and Kobin Rasker from Basin View, New South Wales, took out the Pro Angler 17T Division. They had eight fish over the weekend for 4.33kg to bring back to the weigh-in the largest team bag for the 17T tandem kayaks.
Connor Barratt from New South Wales took out the First Timers Division on the weekend with three bream for 1.68kg. The First Timers Division is an initiative by Hobie where by an angler can attend and fish in a Hobie Kayak Bream Series tournament for free to get a feel for the tournament scene without the pressure of full-blown competition.
Warren Forbes from NSW took home the Mortgage Corp power pack, jumping up from no fish on day one to pick up four fish for 2.09kg on the second day of the tournament.
Well done to the team from Totally Immersed Watersports in South Nowra for their dealer support and for the delicious curry and rice on Saturday and the exceptional burgers on Sunday.
Thank you to our sponsors Daiwa, Berkley, Atomic, Lowrance, Rhino-Rack, Strike Pro, TT Lures, Pro Lure, JML Anglers Alliance, Mortgage Corp, Power-Pole and Hobie Polarized for their endless support. – Hobie Cat
|Day one fish caught||177|
|Day one anglers with fish||59/64|
|Day two fish caught||195|
|Day two anglers with fish||57/64|
|Total fish caught||372|
|Total cash payout||$4640|