The Port Macquarie BREAM Classic is the longest running BREAM Classic in the country and is the foundation event for all ABT Classic events.
Tournament director David Poulton started the event in 2004 after running bream socials on the Mid North Coast for interested lure anglers. This concept quickly grew and it wasn’t long before it was obvious there was a need for a teams classic event to supplement the ABT BREAM qualifiers.
Now we see Classic events all over the country and being one of the most popular forms of bream tournament angling.
The 2012 event saw a strong field make its way to Port Macquarie to contest the title. With ABT Grand Final winner Russell Babekhul teaming up with Trent Fahey (Team Berkley)to defend their title. And in the Kayak division Luke Kay also a top 10 Hobie Kayak Angler returning to defend his title in the Kayak section.
Kayak angling is going from strength to strength in our country, and is definitely the fasting growing water sport in the country. And this years Classic not only saw Luke Kay returning but other top anglers, with Peter Woods and Jason Meech turning up to test their skill on the Hastings River.
The reigning champions team “Berkley” consisting of Russell Babekhul and his partner Trent Fahey had it all in front of them after a not so good day one as they sat in 9th place and what appeared a long way from the top of the field. But Babekhul and Fahey known oyster rack fisherman, came home on the final day with the largest 5 bream limit of the tournament weighing 2.955kg. For a short time during the weigh in they held the lead and it looked like they had done enough.
Day one leaders team “Koolabung Lures” with a solid 2.77kg day one limit. Neil Chegwidden and Ross Lamotte went into the last session filled with confidence and new they had to return with their 5 fish limit and hope it was bigger than anyone else’s. However they couldn’t find those bigger fish and had a limit of 1.92kg to put them right behind team “Berkley”.
However no one could contain the local team “Port Macquarie Tackleworld/Daiwa” pairing of Wayne Bale and Jeff Brunsdon as they accumulated a complete bag limit of 5 fish for each day of the event, returning on day one with their fish weighing 2.055kg they sat in 6th place with some competition above them. They held their nerve though and came home strong with the second largest bag of the tournament of 2.87kg to take the title.
When asked about the effort needed to win, Bale responded “Its like any sport if you want to do well, you need to practice and fish as often as you can”. Indeed he and Brunsdon has possibly put more time on the water in recent months preparing for this event.
Bale and Brunsdon filled their day two limit in the canals and upgraded several times. When asked what the secret to getting better fish in the canals. Bale said “We’d get bumps and knocks all the time with diving lures, but when we switched to surface they really switched on!” Throwing a Bassday Sugaminnow tight to the bank and behind pontoons and twitching and pausing was the key, with rocky shorelines holding the best fish.
Both Brunsdon and Bale threw their surface lures on a Daiwa Black Label rod teamed with a Daiwa Freams 2000 real, and a Daiwa Saegake with a Daiwa Certate 2506 reel. Giving them the finesse and power to present their lures to the awaiting bream holding in the canals.
The kayak division was also a close affair with Luke Kay once again taking the title. He proved consistency pays off with his day one limit of three fish weighing 1.17kg and his day two limit tipping the scales at 1.175kg to snare the title a 6/6 limit of 2.345kg. Kay was excited during the weigh in as his good mate Lindon Briggs was holding the lead when he weighed in and he was torn as he wanted to see Briggs win and wanted the win also. When asked about the event Kay stated, “It’s the best run tournament in the country and Port Macquarie is his favourite place to visit for fishing” Kay based in Syndey is currently one of Australia’s best kayak anglers.
Over the weekend competitors also competed for the Daiwa Big Bream prize one in each of the division. Team Cranka/Samaki took out the largest fish in the boats with a nice bream tipping the scales at 1.035kg. And Central Coast kayaker Jason Meech who is ranked number 1 in the country, returned the biggest bream in the kayaks with a fish that weigh 655g. A decent effort considering he missed day one of the tournament due to work commitments.
Large crowds enjoyed the event over the weekend and saw plenty of decent bream weighed in and enjoyed and entertaining and informative weigh in each day. Tournament organiser David Poulton would like to thank all the sponsors for supporting the event and bringing tournament bream fishing to Port Macquarie. Event sponsors for 2012 where Port Macquarie Tackleworld, Mid Coast Marine, Edgewater Holiday Park, Daiwa, Shimano/Squidgy, Berkley, Damiki Lures, Pontoon 21 Lures, Samaki Rods and lureandfly.com.