Hobie employee Greg Lewis secured his fifth win of the 2011 Daiwa-Hobie BREAM Kayak Series with victory in the QLD State Title event at Redcliffe, July 2/3rd.
Coming from 6th on day one to secure the win Lewis mowed down a talented bunch of Queensland locals including day one leader Tristan Taylor, Humminbird Queensland BREAM Open runner-up Grayson Fong and Brisbane young gun Guy Struthers.
For Taylor it was the tournament that slipped through his fingers with the Hobie AFC angler blowing a 445 gram day one lead to slip to second.
Victory though belonged to Lewis with the kayak king fishing North Reef at Scarborough both days to catch his fish. Day one was an all hard body affair with Lewis fishing a slow rolled deep Atomic Hardz Crank 38 in ghost gill brown to catch his fish. The approach delivering him his limit by 10.30am and eight fish in total for the session.
"It was classic crankbait rock fishing. Bounce and work the lure through the structure and wait for the rod to load up with an angry Redcliffe bream", explained Lewis.
The approach produced a 1.535kg bag on day one and had Lewis sitting in sixth place heading into the second and final day.
Positioned 650 grams behind leader Taylor and the fishing only predicted to get harder with the calming conditions and increased fishing pressure on day two it was going to take a Herculean effort to peg back the lead, especially considering Taylor's Redcliffe reputation.
Day two as expected proved a lot tougher with Lewis fishless until 10.30am.
"I was beginning to worry, I had nothing and I was starting to question whether I should stay or go", explained Lewis.
Keeping in mind what Steve Morgan said to him the day before "more big fish come from the North Reef area than anywhere else on the peninsula" Lewis decided to stay, stay patient and wait for the bites to come. And he didn't have to wait too long.
"The wind swung around to the north, the conditions changed and the fish started biting", explained Lewis.
No longer using the hard body approach of day one Lewis swapped to something a bit more finesse, a 1/20th oz Nitro jighead rigged new penny coloured Berkley Gulp Shrimp fished close to the bottom with a slow lift and jiggle.
"I just wanted to keep the lure on the bottom and work it through all the gaps and cracks that are littered throughout the reef", explained Lewis.
The approach delivered Lewis his first fish just after 10.30am, and an hour and half later he had filled his bag and upgraded all three fish at least once. The only setback being when he dropped a fish overboard while he was upgrading a fish.
"It's the first time I've ever done it. I'm not sure if it cost me any weight in my bag, but I'll make sure from here on in that I'm a lot more careful", explained Lewis.
Weighing in the biggest bag for day two by nearly 400 grams any downgrading Lewis may have done never came close to jeopardizing his win.
The tackle he used to rack up his fifth win for the series included a Millerod Bream Brawler rod, Shimano Stella FD 1000 reel, spooled with 10lb Unitika Egi PE, and 4lb (soft plastics) and 6lb (crankbaits) FC Rock fluorocarbon leader.
Post victory Lewis was still in shock on what he'd just done. He'd achieved a perfect season, 500 points out of a possible 500 in the Angler of the Year race.
Heading into the season Lewis had two event wins and four seconds on his tournament CV and he was beginning to think that he was destined to be a bridesmaid but never the bride. Season 2010/2011 was where it all changed. First at Tweed in December for his opening win of the season, followed by Albany, Marlo, Narabeen Lakes and Redcliffe.
"Simply winning one event is a great feeling, but to win five is more than I could ever of dreamed of", explained Lewis.
What makes Lewis' achievement even more remarkable is that all events, bar the Tweed River round which was a single day event, Lewis came from behind on the last day to claim the win. Staying in front of the pack is never easy, and running down the guy in front is even harder. To do so five times in one season is testimate to Lewis' mental toughness and ability to rise to the occasion and perform when his back is against the wall and the fishing gets tough.
With three more qualifying rounds and the grand final to go in the Daiwa-Hobie BREAM Kayak Series Lewis' year could get even better still. The next round at St Georges Basin, August 13-14, is when we will find out. With St Georges Basin being his home water there is a good chance that it'll be win number six for the season.
For event runner-up Tristan Taylor is was the event that got away with the Brisbane Dentist stumbling on the final day to hand Lewis the win. Like Lewis Taylor fished North Reef and focused most of his attention on the area near the white channel marker.
Day one saw Taylor use a two pronged approach, fishing ghost gill brown coloured deep Atomic Hardz Crank 38s over the top of bombies and a combination of muddy prawn colour Atomic Semi Hardz SH40 and soft plastics at the base of the bombies.
"I'd use a medium to fast retrieve with the crankbait and an aggressive two hop n' pause retrieve when using the Semi Hardz and plastics", explained Taylor.
The approach delivered, with Taylor filling his bag by 8am and catching over twenty legals for the session. The kicker fish (1.06kg) in his bag coming on a Semi Hardz early in the session close to the white channel marker, and went on to claim the $100 Boss Hog Prize for the tournament.
Day two was a lot harder, and while Taylor managed to catch his limit by 8.30am, all he could manage to find was small fish. The big ones were nowhere to be seen.
"I thought if I stay here all I'm going to catch is more of the same so at around 10am I pulled the pin and headed down to the ferry terminal to hopefully find some bigger fish", explained Taylor.
The moved back fired with Taylor unable to find the fish he needed to hold off a fast finishing Lewis.
"In hindsight I should have stay and plugged away at North Reef, but hey that's tournament fishing. Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the wrong one", explained Taylor.
In the end the difference between Lewis and Taylor was a meager 30grams. A mere sliver of a bream, or the same weight as a packet of 1/4oz jigheads. One more small upgrade and the result may have been different, Taylor may have claimed his first kayak win and denied Lewis his perfect season.
The tackle that Taylor used included a Samurai Reaction 201 rod, Daiwa Certate 2500 Custom Finesse reel, spooled with 10lb Unitika PE, and 4lb Unitika Aiger fluorocarbon leader. Taylor also used the new crawfish scented Mega Strike on his lures, applying liberals coats to keep the fish on the bite in the tough conditions.
The next event of the Daiwa-Hobie BREAM Kayak Series sees the tour head to southern NSW for the St Georges Basin round, August 13-14th. Visit www.bream.com.au or www.hobiefishing.com.au for all the event information.
|1||Greg Lewis||3||1.535||3||1.830||6||3.365||0.68||$750 + $100 (1st Pro)||Hobie, Berkley, Daiwa, Atomic, Plano Prize Pack|
|2||Tristan Taylor||3||2.185||3||1.150||6||3.335||1.06||$400 + $100 (Boss Hog- 1.06kg)||Hobie, Berkley, Daiwa, Unitika, Atomic, Plano Prize Pack|
|3||Grayson Fong||3||1.685||3||1.155||6||2.840||–||$275||Hobie, Berkley, Daiwa, Unitika, Atomic, Plano Prize Pack|
|4||Peter Woods||3||1.58||3||1.240||6||2.820||–||$200||Hobie, Berkley, Unitika, Atomic, Plano Prize Pack|
|5||Nicholas Meredith||3||1.405||3||1.380||6||2.785||–||$175||Hobie, Berkley, Unitika, Atomic, Plano Prize Pack|
|6||Denis Metzdorf||3||1.33||3||1.450||6||2.780||–||$175||Hobie, Berkley, Unitika, Atomic, Plano Prize Pack|
|7||Ryan Dixon||3||1.55||3||1.115||6||2.665||–||–||Hobie, Berkley, Atomic, Unitika Prize Pack|
|8||Will Lee||3||1.495||3||0.980||6||2.475||–||–||Hobie, Berkley, Unitika Prize Pack|
|9||Gary Beazley||3||1.23||3||1.220||6||2.450||–||–||Hobie, Berkley, Unitika Prize Pack|
|10||Guy Struthers||3||1.74||2||0.705||5||2.445||0.86||–||Hobie Prize Pack|
|14||Jason Meech||3||1.25||2||1.020||5||2.270||–||–||Random Draw Prize (Lowrance Endura Out & Back GPS unit, RRP $300)|
For more information on the Daiwa Hobie Bream Series go to http://www.hobiefishing.com.au Many thanks to Daiwa, Hobie, Atomic Lures, Berkley Purefishing, Hogs Breath Café and ABT and Sunstate Hobie for the Redcliffe Round