Jarrod Healey, a 30 year old Landscape Gardener from Noble Park has claimed victory in the first qualifying event of the 2011 Daiwa BREAM Series with a substantial 10/10, 10.43kg limit.
The EJ Todd sponsored angler has been spending his Christmas holidays at the iconic Mallacoota township since he was a child and this year was no different. Healey picked up a cool $2400 for the win, $500 for the 1.49kg big bream and an additional $250 for being the highest placed Mercury owner.
His second career victory since his last at Mallacoota back in 2008, Healey claims he struggled on the prefish to find fish or productive areas.
“I used past experience and would sight cast to feeding or cruising fish along snags or sand flats,” he said.
“Working both the top and bottom lake, I would only get 1 fish at a time, not 2 or 3. Infact, I caught 7 legals on day one and only 6 on day two,” he continued.
Targeting these large solitary fish meant that Healey’s bag was going to be healthy as long as he could find enough to fill his limit. Day one’s 5/5, 6.13kg bag set up his victory, putting Jarrod over a kilo in front of his nearest rival. Of course this was cemented with his 1.49kg kicker fish, which ultimately won big bream.
Healey used a G.Loomis SR842 matched to a new Daiwa Certate 2004 and a G.Loomis DSR820 with a new Daiwa Certate 2506 both spooled with 3lb Stren Microfuse and 4lb Sunline FC Rock leader.
His lures of choice for the weekend consisted of a shallow Cranka Shad in toffee apple colour, a deep diving Jackall Chubby in brown suji and a Berkley camo worm rigged on a 1/32 Nitro jighead; the Cranka Shad accounting for the big bream.
“The bigger fish are on the banks, but it is a matter of having the patience to be rewarded,” said Healey.
“Day 2 I didn’t have my first fish till 9.15am, I got my five fish, but you are never sure what limits will come in at Mallacoota,” he continued.
Testament to this theory is Shaun Clancy’s victory from 10th place in the 2010 Daiwa BREAM Grand Final with a 5.58kg limit at this venue.
Taking home $1500 in second place was Warrnambool based angler Mark Gercovich with a 10/10, 9.21kg limit. In his first visit to Mallacoota, Gercovich found some good yellowfin bream on the flats during prefish. Remembering back to the 2007 BREAM Grand Final at Lake Macquarie catching yellowfin, Gercovich used a slow rolling crankbait technique to fill his bag.
Gercovich used a Daiwa Interline TMZ776 matched to a Daiwa Sol 2000 spooled with 3lb Yamatoyo Famell Spinning Fluorocarbon and a Daiwa Saltist Hard Rock Fish with a Daiwa Sol 2000 with 2lb straight through fluorocarbon.
He used a Jackall Chubby in suji shrimp and a Zipbait Rigge 46MDR in colour 809 for cranking the flats. On day 2, when there was no wind and bright sunny conditions, he headed to deeper water looking for bream with an Ecogear VX35 in colour 439.
“Using the Humminbird 898SI sounder, I was able to identify some good schools. Using a simple lift, drop technique I was able to pick up a 36cm and a 37cm on the vibs. When the wind picked up again, I then headed back to the flats,” he explained.
Champion non boater for the Atomic Mallacoota Qualifier was Darryl Hislop, a 41 year old brick layer from Colac in his first ABT event (9/10, 6.31kg). Taking home a swag of Daiwa goodies including two rod and reel outfits his wire to wire victory was set up with a 5/5, 4.05kg day one limit fishing with Tony Pettie and completed with a 4/5, 2.26kg limit with Dave Welfare.
Hislop used a G.Loomis 842 rod and a Shimano Sustain 2500 spooled with 4lb Berkley Crystal Fireline and 5lb FC Rock leader.
Heading upriver on day one, the pair worked in 6ft of water around Gypsy Point, Hislop choosing to throw a mid range Smith Camion in natural colours and a deep Jackall Chubby in suji shrimp, all retro fitted with Owner ST11 ultra light trebles.
“I was trying to work the lures across the bottom structure with the occasional flick,” explained Hislop.
Day 2 saw him venture out to the middle of the bottom lake working Ecogear VX40 blades in colour 439 and a variety of Berkley plastics before working the sand drop offs at Goodwin Sands.
The Atomic sponsored event was once again heavily promoted by Frogley’s Offshore. National Sales Manager Jay Morgan handing out a $100 lure pack to every angler at the briefing as well as a swag of Atomic, Bassday and Samurai Reaction rods to those anglers weighing in the largest Atomic or Bassday caught bream over the weekend. The lure displays on site were impressive to the attending public and the amount of kilo plus bream being weighed in on these lures testament to their popularity.
The top 4 boaters and non boaters have now qualified for the end of year Daiwa BREAM Grand Final at Forster and can relax, save and plan for the main event.
The focus now turns to Tasmania where the much anticipated St Helens and Derwent rounds will be held in early March. Let’s keep a close eye on any record breaking attempts, of course, all the action of the Rapala Derwent Super Series event will be streamed live on www.bream.com.au.
For all competition results click here