Team Carpet Court / Cranka Lures wins opening round of the 2015 Gamakatsu Team Series run on the Manning River.
With the 1st round taking place on the Manning River one of our home water ways, the pressure is on to return with a respectable bag. In the weeks leading up to the tournament a couple of quick recon missions were in order. What we found was, well not much at all.
The vast majority of the system was lacking numbers of fish and the ones we did find were small. This meant that our usual approach to the Manning was unlikely to produce a quality bag, if one at all. This forced us to think outside the square and relearn the river we thought we knew.
Using the knowledge from previous recon trips we concentrated our efforts from the Martin Bridge all the way up to Wingham as far as you could go. We found fish still patchy and hard to come by, however at the right time of day and under the right conditions fish seemed to appear from nowhere. What we found was great numbers of fish concentrated on particular gravel types, it didn’t matter so much as to the location of the gravel (mid river, along banks or even depths) but the size of it. Once we discovered their secret we were able to go in search of similar substrate. Due to the water being so clear this was an easy task, with 6ft of visibility not only could we see the riverbed but also the fish.
During prefish we concentrated on these areas throwing a variety of lure types, however only subsurface soft plastic grubs and topwater walk the dog style lures were receiving any attention. Due to the tough fishing conditions expected on Sunday we did not pressure the fish and left it at that.
Come take off Sunday morning the conditions were great for a day on the water, Bright sunny clear skies with a gentle breeze however not so great for bream fishing. Taking of 7th we headed up river towards Wingham, upon arriving at our 1st spot we were greeted with glassed out conditions with the run out tide just starting to move. During the 1st hour we managed to pick up almost a fish a cast which was great, however not many were even close to legal. We knew we would need to just sort through the small fish.
With the grubs working well it took until 9am to get a reasonable bag going. Once the wind started to put a bit of ripple on the water we switched to topwater and continued to slowly upgrade fish throughout the day with a couple of nice 30cm fork fish landing on the deck. With these last fish landed it was time to head back for weigh in. We were reasonably happy with 5 fish for 2.31kg however not convinced it would be enough. Fortunately for us it was.
Thanks to Carpet Court and Cranka Lures for their support and also the Gama guys for running another great comp.