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Round 4 Hobie/abt Kayak Fishing Comp And


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Hi all

You may be wondering what has happened to me recently as I've been unusually quiet on the forum!! You'd better grab a beer & a comfy chair, as this could take a while!

I have been extremely busy over the last week or so (make that 6 months!), getting ready for and competing in 2 kayak competitions held in Forster over the last 5 days! That means 4 mornings of getting up at 4-4.30am!

On the Friday, I had a terrific prefish with one of the yakkers & managed to land a terrific bream 39cm on a Sammy & then got 2 nice whiting 33cm each, on the same lure! It gave my confidence a boost for the following morning's comp ....... little did I know what would happen!

2 nice whiting like this one


1 nice 39cm bream



All up, 45 yakkers hit the water Sat morning for the first day of Round 4 of the inaugural ABT/Hobie Kayak Fishing Competition. Competitors coming from near & wide, (VIc to Qld & west to Canberra) to absolutely perfect conditions ......almost too perfect! I'd gotten used to the wind & ruffled water & I am sure that is what got me into fish yesterday & previously!

About 6 yakkers got the trifecta (bream, whiting and Flathead) on Sat, one of each species, including Steve Fields (General Manager of Hobie Australia) ..... lots got 2 of the 3 species, a few got one species (including yours truly!) and a few more got donuts (none)!

My day was one of mixed emotions ..... elation at getting my first bream fairly early, despair as I slowly realised that I would not be catching anything else!

In the morning, I headed back to the spots where I'd caught the bream & whiting the previous day, and using the same lure, proceeded to catch nothing! On the way to my first 'spot' I cast to a bunch of birds that had been diving for baitfish & I managed to catch one A bloody cormorant, that then bit me on the hand, so I had to grab it by the neck to retain my favourite lure!


After over of hour of follows but no hits, I ducked over into a lease where I had caught a legal bream on squidgy bug & resin head last week. The tide was dropping & the conditions just about matched, so I tossed the bug out & whack! My $35 'fly/spin' rod was doubled over as this bream tried to hightail it back under the lease! I dug my yak fins into the sand & put pressure on the 4lb braid & 6lb leader ...... and somehow managed to drag him away! In the net! 33cm Woohoo!! I am on the board & still got 4hrs left for a whiting & flattie!! Slinky's little Synergy reel worked a treat!! It is so tiny!

I don't know where the next 4hrs went, as I tossed lures & sps all around the place ...... I even managed to run into a hire boat, as I was changing a knot when I pedalled across the main channel, not realising it was taking me 'out' as well as 'across'! Next thing I hear is "Watch out'' as I headed towards their anchor rope!! They were very good about it & I was soon underway again.

Back in the shallows again, I saw a 1m flattie, resting in the sand between the weed beds ...... a fellow yakker (who was not in the comp) was heading my way, so I asked if he could skirt around the edge, so I could have a shot at the flattie, but she didn't take any of my offerings!! Then I returned to popping & walk the dog ..... Funny how one lure could work so well one day but not the next! Then, my lure got caught up in the weeds & my 6lb leader busted off! No worries, I knew where it was (or so I thought!) .... but by the time I turned around & got back there, it had submerged & hidden in the weed & I couldn't see it! :( I jumped out of the yak & using the net, sweeping it left & right, trying to snag it, but just couldn't find it! $25 GORN!! I had a backup lure, but didn't want to use/lose it again on the Sat, so left it for the Sun.

Heading back towards the bridge, I could not catch a cold! Later, I heard that many had caught their whiting in the shallows in front of the bridge, including Steve Fields, giving him a full bag! At the presentation, I did, however, get a mention as equal First with Steve Fields for 'big bream' of 33cm! If only I had the 39cm from Fri in hand!

Equal Biggest bream on day 1 (thank god the other half of his tail wasn't bitten off!)


Most of us got more than the fish 'entered' into the comp, but they were not all legal fisheries length, so didn't count. Lynette, one of the Qld competitors (& one of the few girls entered), had a bream that was 23cm to the fork & took a pic without the tag ..... then nearly cried when I said the measurement is to the tail for this comp, as it would have been legal !!! Lynette caught more fish on the lake on that one day than she has ever done in her life in Qld!! She is a happy girl! I reckon both her & Paul (of marlin from yak fame at SWR) will be returning to Forster to fish again in a less 'stressful' situation! Many found it difficult to photograph the fish on a floppy fisheries mat & quite a few lost fish overboard as they tried to photograph it ..... one guy had his flattie jump clear out of the net & he was unable to land another one! We were not allowed to use rulers or brag mats - it had to be the fisheries measure, so everyone had the same! I got a piece of aluminium & folded up one end, sticking the fisheries measure onto it (see photo) and it worked a treat! Oh yeah ...... and quite a few forgot to put their 'tag' in the photo, so those fish were not counted! So many tales of woe - poor Michelle (the other female) lost a brand new rod/reel overboard on the first day and then her sunnies on the 2nd day & had to fish all day without any! Then here 'backup rod/reel packed it in, so she pinched a combo from her son, who was also competing.

Saturday night, I had organised a 'pizza meet & greet night' and 33 yakkers attended, inlcuding 5 from the USA. We had a great night - I played 'lucky dips' with some fishing stuff that I had either made or scrounged from the garage or been given, & everyone went back to their tent/cabin with something!

My little ute full of pizza!!



We had a longer bit of 'in tide', however, as soon as we cleared the marina, it started raining! Not heavy, but just persistent. After about an hour it stopped, then 5mins later, started again for another hour! The wind then came up, giving some of us 'wind chill factor' but when the sun came out, all was good again! I tried the same lease that I got my bream on the first day & kept catching the racks, the netting, the oysters ..... everything but a bream! I caught myself, my rods, my net ..... you name it, I hooked it, but no fish (well, a couple of putbacks, but they didn't count!) Once again, I drifted over a HUGE flattie, which I then cast a few sps to, to no avail! This one didn't even spook as I drifted across it!

On the way back across the main channel to 'the paddock', I got snagged on the big lease there & the current pushed me right up against it & after retrieving my lure, it took me 10 mins to work out a way of getting off the lease fence! The current was so strong it was holding me there & when ever I pushed off, I felt really 'tippy'! I ended up pulling myself along the lease fence into calmer water & then was able to push off & pedal like hell to get away from it!

I kept going back to places that I had caught fish in previously ..... perhaps this wasn't a good thing to do, as they were probably all spooked by now!??

I returned to the shallows, where I'd caught my whiting & Bream on the Fri & threw lures 'a country mile' to no avail! Things were getting desperate! Then suddenly, I saw my lure (that I had lost the previous day) sticking its nose out of the water! I couldn't believe it! I yahoo'd & hollered - I am sure they all thought I'd caught a fish! I wish!! Then, Steve Fields upgraded his bream & jumped off his yak to take a photo & ended up to his armpits in water! I yelled 'Are you OK, Steve?' & he replied "Yeah - I thought it was only 2ft deep!!"

A cast of thousands followed & I got hits & misses but no hookups! Nooooo! I am heading for a donut!!! All the way back to the bridge, I continued casting for whiting, bream or flatties & I had a whiting hookup in the last 5 mins before 'stop time' and the mongrel got off!! I was spewing!!!

The biggest bream of the comp still only went 38cm, so once again, the 39cm one I got on Fri would have won that!

Stuart Dunn from Sutherland won the event with a combined total length of 2m of fish (exactly!) He was fishing from a very small (less than 3m) blue sit on yak & was fishless till mid morning! He said he spat the dummy, got off the yak & sat on the shore to think things thru, for a new game plan. He got back on the yak, things then came right for him thru persistence & hard work & he got his bag limit, plus an upgrade bream as well!! Second place was local GUN ABT guy, Russel Babekuhl from Taree with about 1.86m then Dave Hedge from Newcastle came in third, with Steve Fields Jervis Bay 4th & Jon CHen from Canberra coming 5th!! As Dave was already in the final from the 3rd round, Jon was upgraded to a Grand Final position, with a couple of others also given Grand Final spots, due to some already qualifying in previous rounds - 2 in Qld & the first one in Sydney.

No chance of me getting into the Grand Final, unless I got the 'wild card' drawn that night at prize giving ...... which I didn't! :(


To say that I was disappointed in my own performance would have to be an understatement! (Plus the fact that I had probably spent way too much money on lures since Keith had given me a $200 voucher to a local tackle shop! (Not to mention the odd bit of shopping money here & there!) Normally I am able to catch at least ONE legal fish when I go out! I was sitting at my computer on Mon morning, typing up a report to put in the local paper & told Keith to monitor my calls as I had to have it in before 10am, to be published the following day! He took a call from a guy & I asked who it was ...... Steve Fields ...... I said, I'd take the call!


Steve Fields had rung me to offer me the spot as the 'Forster Ambassador'!! - I had to wait all of a nanosecond before saying "ARE YOU KIDDING?? Of course I'll take it." I was shaking & a bit teary too!! There were now 26 of us in the Grand Final! I was in a spin for the rest of the day, buying even more sps (mouldy cheese minnow & jig worms & banana shrimp were working a treat.) I didn't sleep a wink on the Mon night, I was so scared of sleeping thru the alarm!!


Up at 4am to be sure I didn't miss anything, as we were given 'clean' yaks ...... you had to put all your gear on - & it all takes time. I still forgot to take a knife which was annoying later when I got a lure hooked on some submerged netting & just couldn't release it - but a knife would have! Had to bust it off ........ but I know where it is & will go back for it!

Another tough day on the water - had lots of hits almost immediately but no legal hookups ..... eventually got a couple of 'just too small bream by .5cm' which was really annoying! Then got a lovely flattie (approx 50cm+) & heaps of longtoms! Could have done with the flattie the other day!


The really really annoying thing is you can see the mongrel bream down there, laughing at you! Both girls in the grand final (me and Tameika Buchan from Jervis Bay) donutted on Day 1!

I didn't even bother taking pics of my 2 'small' bream - figured I'd have bigger ones to look at later in the day! How wrong can one be!???

30% of the field didn't bring home fish on Day 1! And one competitor (who was in with a chance of winning the whole event, came back 15mins late, so was disqualified from the event.) He had brought in a bag of 2 very big fish! Rules is rules!! The biggest bag of 2 fish weighed in was only less than a1kg, so it could be anybody's day on Wed & if someone can land 2 really big fish, they could easily overtake the leader! Heard of lots of bust offs & sad stories (including one of my rods getting a giant birds nest that I just cut off as I couldn't wind in the lure & didn't use after that!)

Looking back, I can see that I was panicking, not fishing the area 'smart', so chatted with some buddies at the Expo & went out with a better game plan for Wed.


Another tough day on the water again today, for me. (Where have I heard that before!?) I headed up the Breck Channel with Jon, to fish the flats & the racks ..... Jon lost his favourite chubby lure in the shallows but I told him not to panic - they normally float to the top & 2 mins later, I saw it floating by and was able to net it for him. Shortly after, he caught his legal first fish of the day, probably on the chubby! As we worked our way past the boat sheds, he cast his next lure way up into the trees ....... and I was able to lend him my 9ft extending 'lure retriever' and he was able to get that one back, too! He was one happy chappy again.

We worked our way down to Wallis Island & found a nice bay to fish, where we hooked into lots of fish that went 'fisheries legal' to the tail, but not 'tournament legal' to the fork! Once again, they missed by .5-1cm! Shame! They really hit hard & felt 'bigger' than they really were.

I had to lift the mirage drive out to get across some really shallow stuff (had to get out & walk the yak too) & shortly after getting back in, I noticed that the mirage drive was no longer sitting on the front hatch! I nearly died!! After frantically trying to remember which 'route' I had taken thru the mud & weeds ....... I saw that I had refitted them into the yak!~ What a relief!

We obviously weren't going to get our 'legal' fish in that spot .... but will keep it in mind when we get the next 2m tides, as I reckon it will fish well!

Heading back down the channel, I tried one of the leases where I had landed fish before, only to drop my lure retriever overboard! I could see it in the clear water & was lucky enough to use one of my rods with a jig head on it, to retrieve it! By then, a really strong n/e wind had come up, going against the tide, making it hard work to pedal & cast. I tried my favourite racks with poppers before heading further down towards the town, but didn't even raise a bloop!

Time was running out, so headed for the finish line, sadly with no fish! I wasn't alone - about 7 of us double donutted both days (including Tameika again, too!) Bummer!

Jon caught another legal fish on the way home, so landed 2 for the session! Terrific result on an otherwise tough day.

Many thanks to ABT and Steve Fields & Hobie for putting on a top event over the last 2 days. I can really see this event taking off, from next year on! The top winners received some lovely fishing gear from the sponsors, and the winner got to keep the Hobie Outback that he had fished in, including the Livewell! About $3000 worth! We all received a fishing 'goodies' bag of sponsors products, too, (and 2 donuts for the double donutters! :) ) so many thanks for that. Steve is more than happy to have Round 4 and the Grand Final in Forster for the next 10 years, so that is great news - it will probably continue to be held during the Forster Fishing Carnival week on the first weekend, like this year, as the second weekend is for the Megabucks Bream comp (this coming weekend.) I may go out on Monday, looking for 'lost lures' in the racks! :)

Even tho I didn't land any fish for 'weighin', it was a great experience & I would like to thank Steve Fields of Hobie & Steve Morgan from ABT, personally, for allowing me to be a part of the inaugural ABT/Hobie Kayak Bream fishing Tournament! A real honour.

I also really enjoyed meeting up with the other Grand Finalists, as not all had been able to attend the Round 4 as a prefish.

Next year, I hope to be in the GF on my own merit!!

Well done & congratulations to all who competed, especially those who caught fish & were 'placed'! As I said all along ....... it was going to be tough!!!

Had a fish today with some of the yakkers, over in the racks at Tuncurry (where the winner got his top bream apparently) but I thought it was too far for my tired old legs to paddle during the comps, so stuck with the Breck Channel & The Paddock ...... next year may be different, as I landed 2 flatties & 1 bream & dropped a beautie there on a chubbie!! It is an area that I know well & it really did feel like the weight of the world had dropped from my shoulders, after the comp finished yesterday!

I will be fishing with other yakkers thru to Sunday ..... not sure if I will bother being 'competitive' again even tho the Forster Fishing Carnival doesn't wrap up till lunchtime Sat! We'll see!

I had a blast!!

Cheerio for now


Scott Lovig - winner of the inaugural ABT/Hobie Bream Kayak Tournament


5 of the best


Place Angler F1 W1 F2 W2 TF TW Big Bream Payout

1 Scott Lovig 2 0.75 2 1.44 4 2.19 Hobie Kayak, Team Daiwa Advantage Rod and Prize Pack

2 Michael Maas 2 0.98 2 1.17 4 2.15 $100, Team Daiwa Advantage Rod and Prize Pack

3 Ken Raley 2 0.9 2 1.05 4 1.95 $75, Team Daiwa Advantage Rod and Reel

4 Russell Babekuhl 2 0.9 2 1 4 1.9

5 Vince Console 2 0.75 2 1.07 4 1.82

Wayne, who won the Sydney Round, got Biggest Bream & a chq for $500!

Edited by Roberta
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WOW ! 2 beers later I've finished reading, that is a great post Roberta, sounds like you did well in top yakking company, great pics as well.

Now you can get back to normal and enjoy some 'no pressure' fishing.

Congrats Roberta.


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Well, it sounds like you had an interesting tournament Roberta. Lost (and recovered) lures, big (uncooperative) flathead in the shallows, landed fish, dropped fish .... the whole kit and caboodle! You sound like you ran the whole gamut of emotions too; elation, disappointment, and so on.

It's evident the whole thing was a learning curve that will certainly help in your preparation for the next comp. Congrats on all you achieved Roberta. :thumbup::thumbup:



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Great effort Roberta :thumbup: and a very interesting read! I'm sure you'll have plenty of time to retrace your footsteps and be better prepared for any sign of adverse conditions in the yak tournament next year.


jewgaffer :1fishing1:

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Thanks guys!

....Tournie fishing is a totally different beast isn't it....

You are sure right about that one, Greg!!! I was so relaxed, fishing today - my casts were going straight & not catching the racks, rods & me ...... I even enjoyed it!!

I was chatting with Max today at the Expo & he said I have to control my nerves! What nerves???? They are alll frayed!!! haha

Yesterday, I was upset at my poor results, today I am more philosophical! (slightly!) As you say, Hodgey - a huge learning curve!!! May have to borrow an Outback & test paddling over to Tuncurry!!! THe Outback yaks that were used in the GF are up for grabs - about $500 off as there are a few scratches from the leases, but come with livewell, pullout rodholders, leashes & turbo fins!

Heading out again at 9am in the morning, try & get some big whiting! My buddy got a shimano rod tonight because he weighed in a 200g whiting today!! :1yikes: He got 2nd prize!!!

Hey! IT's good to be enjoying it again! :biggrin2:



Edited by Roberta
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Just read every word... and I'm at work... love the drama of the report Roberta. It was like I was there. What an awesome experience and I'm so glad you've shared it with us along the way. :thumbup::thumbup:

Now relax, put your feet up for a couple of days and have a couple of :1wine:

Cheers, Slinky

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Thanks guys -

And wouldn't you know it - today I go out with Jon from Canberra (who donutted the first day of the GF but came good on the 2nd day) and we both got onto 6+ bream each, my biggest 2 being 28cm & 34cm to the tail, so TOURNAMENT LEGAL!! :1badmood::1badmood::1badmood: Spewing!! Why couldn't I do that on Tues/Wed????

Probably because I was buzzing around like a blowfly on a garbage truck ....... too many choices on where to stop!! :1prop:

Ah well, we have found some nice flats to fish & will hit them again tomorrow to make sure it wasn't a fluke ...... then keep it secret till next year's ABT Yak Bream Round 4! :biggrin2:

I also got 2 leatherjackets on chubbies - and they attacked it 3 or 4 times before getting one of the treble hooks in their mouth! It wasn't a mistake! First 2 times for me, on a lure!

That elusive whiting also fell to the sammy today ..... where were you last weekend when I needed that??

Hey Kael - if you do get into yakking make sure you check out the Outback or Revolution in the Hobie range ! They are terrific - hands free fishing at its best! I have the baby of the fleet, the SPORT! I love it!

Well, the Forster Fishing Carnival wraps up tomorrow night with the boat draw. My buddy from Scone (who i fished with at GLenbawn late last year) is in the 1 in 12 chance of winning the boat package! Yay!

Megabucks starts tomorrow & is on Sunday as well. Timmy Morgan was out with his brother Steve today - the lake was buzzing with big fast boats! Wouldn't I love to be able to keep up & check out their 'secret' spots! :074:

Cheerio for now - last day on the water tomorrow, then I can sleep in again! Oh, no I can't, the electrician is coming at 7.30am Monday! Bummer!!


Edited by Roberta
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What an epic!!! Great read Roberta and I'm sure the donuts will be a feint memory when you land your next big bream, flatties and whiting in non-tournament conditions. Sounds like a great week and I hope to have a go next year!

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Hi all

Wow!! Jon won a reel & other tackle (to go with his rod from the previous night) for having the biggest whiting last night!

I won a 2 night package in a cabin in the Forster Beach Caravan Park ...... may just use it for Round 4 in next years Yak comp!

We went out again today & Jon got two real stonker whiting (over 40cm) on gulp shrimp, but they looked a little sad by the time we got back to weigh in, & he is taking them home with him tomorrow, to eat, instead ,...... along with 3 nice flatties & a bream (33cm to the fork) that he caught today! I managed a 28cm to the fork today, so happy with that. That's the last time I take him to one of my special spots! :wacko: Only kidding!

Went to watch Day 1 of the Megabucks weigh in, some terrific fish caught, Dizzy Borg had a cracker bag of over 3.5kg & biggest bream of over 1.3kg! :yahoo:

The boating package is drawn from the hat tonight - 2 more people's names will be taken from the hat, to have a 1 in 12 chance of winning the boat. All other 11 will get top prizes, too.

2 Yakkers will also be on the podium for the boat draw, with fingers & toes crossed! THen everyone packs up & goes home tomorrow & Forster & the Pearce household will return to normal! Poor Keith hasn't seen a lot of me over the last 10 days!



Tomorrow, I will be sleeping in & reading the Sunday papers ...... last week's as well! :1yikes:

I would recommend any yakker giving it a go next year! It was a terrific event! Hope to see you there Jenno64!

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Thanks guys

here are a few pics of fish I wished I'd caught on Tues/Wed instead of Fri/Sat!

I went over to Tuncurry with some yakking buddies & got into some flatties (all put back - just legal.) Then I went to some poles & tossed a chubby at them! Grapple, grapple, grapple and I pulled the hooks out of its mouth! :1badmood: Tossed it there again & Grapple, grapple, grapple, this time I just left it there & eventually a hook grabbed & I steered the yak away from the poles, to fight it on the shallows!! Unfortunately, it spat the hooks, but it really had some weight to it & would have been mid to high 30's :mad3: !

Just as well I was fishing alone on Tues, as a parrot would have learned a new word that day!

Friday, Jon & I headed up the channel & fished the flats - it was raining & there was lightening around, so we took our rods down & lay everything flat on the yak, to be less of a target! :wacko:

The fish were on fire! Didn't matter what we threw at them, they were climbing all over them! I actually caught another one, too, but put both into Jon's livewell as I didn't have one. When he left, I realised I didn't have a pic of the 2nd one, let alone the 2 together! Both caught on top water lures.

This one was only about 36cm but it really was chunky! It went more than 500g at weighin at the estuary comp (not big enough for a prize tho!)


Sat morning, we headed off again, but the sky was blue, the water was absolutely gin clear & there was no ruffle on the water! The fish could see us from miles away! :tease: I had a few good 'bloops' but no hookups, then finally managed to get one on a gulp shrimp. Jon was really smart & used a different colour to me & ended up with 3 nice flatties to mid 50's, 2 thumper whiting above 40cm & a nice bream on top water.

Nice fish on Sat - whey not Tues/Wed?? Mine has the top of the tail clipped


I was really pleased to catch tournament legal fish on the Fri/Sat, as Megabucks was on the Sat/Sun & 2 or 3 boaties (who paid $1000 for the privilege) came back with NONE..... on both days!!

Dizzy Borg had a cracking catch the first day, about 3.7kg (big bream of 1.3kg) but on the Sun could only catch one fish! :1yikes: I am pretty sure, even the 'all girls' team beat him on the 2nd day! :thumbup:

Dizzy's fish from Day one - the big one in the front!


On the Kids day, anyone with a kid (who had paid the $25 entry fee) could enter the draw for the Hobie SPORT (whether you fished or not) & it went to the grand daughter of a buddy of mine ..... and she is only 3! :biggrin2: i know the family will enjoy using it until she gets old enough to use it herself.

On the Sun of the Megabucks there was a draw for a nice Leccie motor .....and a girl about 4-5 won it!

Go Girls!!

The week is now over & I am hoping to return to normal again ..... will have some rest days - have told a buddy's dad that I will teach him blackie fishing tomorrow, dentist on Wed, perhaps fishing again Thurs. I hope I can get him into a couple! :1prop:

Cheerio for now


Edited by Roberta
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