2014 Hobie Kayak Bream Series, Round 5, Forster
I have been fishing the Hobie Bream comps for over 5 years now and have witnessed many changes to the sport. We have gone from basic kayaks to Pro Anglers with state of the art sounders and some of the boats are even wrapped with sponsors logos. The sounder is something that took a year or two to develop and then it became the norm after a few seasons. Anglers practically all wear their sponsored tops and some are fortunate to be sponsored with gear. None of this really has a bearing on the results as these are items that anyone can purchase and use during the comp and its all affordable. On the weekend I was able to use my new Kayak accessory and there is no hiding my love of this new toy... more on that soon.
The comp for me is all about having a plan and sticking to that plan. In a sport that relies on skill and being in the right place at the right time some would call luck the only thing you have control of is your thoughts. I have come to realize that my thoughts under pressure are sometimes clouded when compared to when I'm preparing for an event. So the plan is something that I take really seriously. So before each event I will look at Google maps and look for areas that suit my style of fishing. I will then pencil in approx travel times and allocate times I will spend at each location. I love flats fishing and I love throwing hard body lures like Jackal Chubys. So I look for areas of flats and weed beds to focus my attention on. I found some spots that looked good and since I had not fished that part of Forster before my goal was to search new territory and find fish.
On day one I was a little slow with my plan and was about 2 hours behind schedule. During a comp I set my iphone to have the alarm go off every hour, this enables me to stay focused during that period and then reassess my progress each hour if I need to make any minor changes to my schedule or my location taking into account travel time. When I arrived at my first location 2 hours late I was very disgruntled with myself until the 3rd cast when I landed a 33cm (37cm tip) Fork fish that was over 700grams. I had one small 27cm fish in the well and was searching for my 3rd. Less than 30 minutes later I had my bag and was really happy with my progress - it was now about 11.30am. I had caught my bag on a shallow Jackall Chubby that had been pimped by Craig Coughlan, it was the only one I had so I put it away for Sunday. I then put on another chubby and lost that to a bad cast, so I put on an atomic shallow similar style and shape.
I left my spot where I got my bag to save for Sunday and went about looking for fish to upgrade but more importantly as a back up for Sunday. In the process I managed to catch nearly a dozen fish on very shallow weed beds rolling the hard body ever so slowly. The technique of rolling it slowly only came about because the weed was so thick. When I started to roll it painfully slow the fish could not get enough of it. I then started throwing it into thick weed and moving the rod tip and BANG they were on. What was interesting is that I caught all the fish in conditions that were the same as the first weed bed that I got my bag at, and I had an unfair advantage... yes I had the new micro power pole... why is it unfair? Well because its like having an extra arm or extra leg in shallow water.
Seriously it is the best thing I have ever used in a Kayak since I went from a paddle kayak to a mirage drive. The mirage drive lets you peddle why you fight the fish and make vital changes that enable you to fight the fish with you hand on the rod pedaling and steering. The Micro Power pole lets you hold a spot fan the area in detail with the touch of a button. So does a standard steak out pole of course, but I'm a bit lazy and sometimes the thought of getting the pole out and finding ground annoys me. The Power pole in the hands of capable user is like a mirage drive kayak fisherman in the current and a paddle kayak fisherman in the current, paddling and fishing at the same time is a challenge no matter how strong or good you are.
Hows this - I would drift with the pole down so that it would slow my drift in shallow water, as soon as I hooked a fish I would hit the Powerpole and hold position. I would land the fish do my upgrade and then cast out again and bang im on. In the past I would fight the fish, drift and then land the fish, still drifting and if I thought about it I may put the steak out pole in to stop my drift. This would sometimes have me drift over the exact area I was trying to protect or preserve. It would also be at least 20-50 metres from where I had just hooked that fish. The power pole also lets you save small fragments of time and allows you to be in a position of power when fighting the fish, if you hook a good fish they will take you into structure and if you don’t have leverage your in trouble.
The power pole has so many benefits and many have to be experienced to be appreciated. If your serious about fishing and love to fish shallow water you must save up to get one of these. I ended up 9th after being in 2nd place after day 1. This was due to me not getting my bag on day 2 and not adjusting to the change in the conditions. The weekend was fantastic I got to catch up with the NSW boys and met a few new guys as well. Byron Hill was in his first comp and hadn’t fished Forster before and after getting no fish on Saturday I gave him one of my lures the Atomic shallow and told him how and where to use it. Sunday afternoon I caught up with him and he had his bag and had caught several legal fish for the day, it was great to see the excitement on his face and that he got his first bag which was better than I could manage. Had a great weekend with some great mates swagging, fishing and telling stories. Looking forward to doing it all again at the next comp.
- Scott Baker, SLH Fishing Team