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Action Fishing Tournament - Kayak Bream Comp Round 2: Tunks Park

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This post was recognized by mrsswordfisherman!

"An excellent report on a Kayak Bream Comp round"

Bennyg78 was awarded the badge 'Great Content' and 400 points.

Hi Raiders 

I thought I'd fill you in on round 2 of the AFT comp at Tunks Park.Grab a coffee, beer or some other beverage and have a read

The competition was held on Saturday 20th January. The AFT comps are designed to be shorter and faster events giving you around 6 hours of fishing time (launching at 6 am and back by 12), so you can be back home with the family after lunch. The format is all about catch, photo and release of your 3 longest bream- so its all about the length. At the conclusion of the fishing time allocated everyone submits their photos to the admin who then verify and input it into their spreadsheet. The great thing about this comp is even undersized fish count, and every fish even a tiddler could make a difference. The competition is points based with the top 3 taking out $$ prizes, I think first place took home around $500. The points you earn accrue towards your overall position in the series. My aim is to keep accumulating points in this series as the top 30 will be invited to the grand final at the end of the series

The area:

Tunks park is a busy little boat ramp situated in Cammeray and a good launching point for all those that fish middle harbour and wanting to venture out past the heads. The area offers an immense amount of structure such as marinas, jetties pontoons, shallow bays and the spit bridge. These are all great opportunities for the up and coming bream angler, sometimes this is the problem as you have so much choice in the area.

I had fished the area from Tunks Park a few times previously with what could be described as mixed results, one very good session and one average session. What I needed was a plan as I knew this comp was going to draw a few more anglers and I really like to have my own space to fish.

The Plan:

I really wanted to get away from the pack and fish my own space in this comp we had 38 anglers competing which isn't a lot when compared to the hobie comps which draw fields of close 100 anglers. So my game plan was to pedal from Tunks Park down  past spit bridge and work topwater early as we were just coming off the top of the tide at 6 am and then move to structure fishing some of the marinas, the bridge and pontoons. I had to be mindful of time as I knew its fair pedal down and I wanted to cruise back home and now bust my ass on the way back

Comp day?

Well as soon as the start signal was waved, I took off with only one other competitor in line with me. We were both moving between 7.5-8 km/h, which doesnt seem that fast but trust me your legs know about it after 30 minutes. Luckily the other competitor, headed left towards Sailors bay and I went right continuing under the bridge.

I pulled out my rod already rigged up with a bent minnow and began casting in a shallow bay that had some significant oyster/rock bars still covered in water at this time. On my third cast , I begin working the lure twitching and pausing and then think its got snagged. I then feel this snag run and pull some line hard, I am holding my rod up at an elevated position and away from all sharp boundaries( sometimes very tricky in a kayak). After a few runs, I net this fish and its a horse of a bream, I didn't have my scale but man I reckon this thing would have been 1KG. I line it up on the measure mat , and its just short of the 40 cm mark. I photograph the fish and release it. This is a great start, I have my first fish before 7 am I a thinking I am on here!

I then continue to cast the bent around missing a few more fish - dammit!, I decide to leave the area with thoughts of hitting it again in an hour. I move to a nearby marina throwing some soft plastics and a the muss lure with no success. Moving back to my shallow bay it seems the fish have moved deeper but i need to decide to stay in this area or begin my journey back fishing the structure on the way. I decide to fish the spit bridge and see if I can pull a fish off one of the pylons using the muss. Now if you have never seen the spit bridge from the water level, if caked in barnacles, oysters and other sharp things. Its kinda like an add for a razor company if you ever need one. Now casting into that bridge I had 8 lb leader on the muss which wasn't enough as I ended up losing about $40 worth of lures on those pylons without a fish too boot!

So after the bridge not working for me, I decide to move to some jetties and pylons. I also realise I have dropped my scissors in the water somewhere- darn it!. Now I have to use my teeth and a rusty old bait knife to cut my  lines when changing lures.

I switch to a Daiwa flickbait on a 1/20th jig head, this lure has become a favourite of mine and seems to work with how I fish it. On second cast I hook up to a pinky, this happens again a few cast later.

I run into another competitor, who said hes not had much luck on the pontoons, I decide to keep at it and get hit hard with a good run, I net this fish and its a healthy 28 cm. My mood lifts as I now have two fish towards my bag and measurement.

I keep working my plastic along pontoons and bang I get hit and start winding and working in, I see the fish come to surface and its darting from side to side and then it happens PING! leader snaps down near the lure and bye bye fish number 3. Upon reflection this is my fault as the jetties and pontoons I was throwing into were very much covered in oysters and barnacles.

Anyway times a ticking I decide to pedal over the side and hit a few pontoons and jetties but the wind is picking up making it hard to position yourself well in the kayak. I start to cruise back with the occasional flick to no avail. Soon I am back at the ramp, and get the yak out of the water as Tunks Park is a busy place and I don't want to be in boaties or kayakers way.

How did it pan out?

Well I entered my two fish for a total of 68 cm, this actually got me to 12th place out of 38 competitors, first place went to Ryan Honeybrook with a whopping 117cm 3 fish bag. I guess I'll ponder the what if? with that 3rd fish that would have placed me in the top 3,but thats fishing! The great thing about fishing these competitions is its a very good learning platform and I have some more lessons to apply for next time.

Next round is in March at Tuggerah lakes.

If anyone is interested in fishing kayak comps or has any questions feel free to ask or message me I am only more than happy to help

I Hope you enjoyed the read.







Edited by Bennyg78
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A very enjoyable read Ben and well done on the recognition from Donna. I can only imagine what it's like fishing from a kayak. I envy all you young, fit people for using them to chase down your quarry.

Good luck in your future competition entries.


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That’s a respectable performance @Bennyg78 amongst what I know is a fanatical group of anglers.

I love any soft plastic flickbait and that’s the first lure I reach for in most situations.

One stonker, one legal, one smoking. That’s a good day in my books, competition or not!

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Hi @Bennyg78

I really enjoyed reading this report and felt like I was almost there with both the successes and the anguish of losing the fish. All learnings to work with for the next event.

This is a world away from where we started with learning to cast and getting into topwater fishing and now you are going to be giving the big boys a run for their money in the competitions.

I have a lot of respect of how much effort you have put in to getting good at this niche in fishing and expect to see you grow even further.

Well done mate.


Edited by DerekD
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Ah, the highs and lows of a bream comp. Great report and through your words I can sense your enthusiasm. Pity about that dropped 3rd bream (that’s fishing), but the first one was a beaut and one you won’t forget in a hurry, I bet. 12th place is a respectable result and congratulations in that regard.

Good luck with the next comp at Tuggerah after restocking the tackle box.

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A great report Ben, thanks for sharing, it was a great read.
I don’t compete in fishing comps, but do in hunting trials with my Lab’ and understand what a buzz it is when you achieve your goals and even more so when you have one really good “run on the board”. It’s frustrating that 3rd fish didn’t come in for you 

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