Previously we hadn't done much Bream fishing so when I told Chris that I wanted to enter the GTS on the Basin, we decided that we needed to polish up our skills to at least be in with a chance to weight a fish, hence the last few post. The last week or so has been torrential rain on the South Coast, and with the water looking like chocolate milk in most places we had little confidence going into it.
So the weekend quickly approached and neither of us had time to get a pre-fish in. We had visited the Basin around 3 weeks ago where we found some fish, so we had options for the day. After making 2 trips to Sydney in as many days, then dinner with friends, we had a late night on Saturday in preparation for the following morning. Chris had recently purchased a new flats set up consisting of a Shimano Rarenium 1000 matched to a Lox Yoshi 1-3kg 7'6" which needed spooling with 3lb Sunline Sniper straight through, along with bags being organised and the boat being packed, meant that sleep wasn't achieved until midnight.
We left North Nowra at 5am and headed south, grabbed fuel at the local servo along with half a dozen other boats and had the boat in the water by 5.50am. A dark rainy ride over to Palm Beach from Erowal Bay for the briefing and we waited our turn to get under way. Our number was called (49) and we made a bee line to our first bank. Within a couple of cast I boated our first fish which measured in at a guess of 33cm, quickly put in the live well, high fived the fact that we could weigh in and started casting again. It fell to a Cranka Crank Deep in Black Flame.
5 mins later Chris was up next with a fish that fell right on the comp limit of 26cm, that took a Diawa SC Shinner in Yellow Spot colour. Things were looking good as we had now double our expected weigh in catch. The boat was only sitting in 1.5 - 2 meters of water and our lures were working in shallower depths as we were casting towards the bank.
Under advice from Chris Neville at Tackleworld Nowra who swore that the goto lure for the day would be a Lucky Craft NW Pencil 52 I picked up my other outfit and on around the 5th cast placed the lure directly beside an old rotted out jetty, that only had it's pylons standing. The first twitch of the walk the dog retrieve and it was smashed off the surface and the Soll II was screaming it's head off. It caught me by surprise and running 4lb leader had me scared with the structure. We chased the fish in which had moved away from the jetty and netted it. It came in around the same size as the first fish. The adrenaline of catching fish in a comp is something that everyone should experience at least once. It gets your heart racing knowing that you could easily drop a fish that would result in a day changer.
This bank went quiet so we moved one bay over to find 3 boats already in there. We ummed and arrghed as to if there was enough room for us, so we went to the back where no one was, or looked like they would be there in any time soon. It was a good move as I put our 4th in the boat before 8am. Again on the same Cranka Crank. We left the bay after 20mins and went back to our original spot where after a couple of missed hook ups the 5th fish was in the well and it was only 8.30am.
Things got exponentially tougher from there onwards with a slight breeze turning into a stiff wind, we got a couple of Flatties as by catch which found us needing to hunt around for another patch of bream. We moved across to the other side of the basin where Chris upgraded our smallest fish which was a welcomed relief as it was borderline. Again things went quiet so we went for the deep water flicking blades and plastics. By this time the wind had really started to howl and we weren't getting anything, not even a tap. After catching a mid 40's Flatty on a Ecogear Bream Prawn it was time to reassess what we were doing as we were in need of a good kicker fish to give us a half decent bag. A choice was made and we made our way back into the shallows of Paradise Beach. I made the switch back to the Cranka and at 12.50pm upgraded our smallest fish. Weigh in was at 1.30pm so we called it quits at 1.05pm and ploughed our way back through the chop.
Stoked that we were weighing in a bag for my 2nd comp and Chris's 1st, regardless of placing we were content. In the end we weighed in 2.72kg for 28th behind our nemesis and BassFishingAddicts.com contributor Wes Murphy who placed 21st with 2.83kg's. First place smashed it with a bag of 4.48kg. The highlight for the day was getting to see a true brute of a Bream that tipped the scales at 2.17kg and measuring 47cm to the fork, unfortunately none this size graced our lines :(