We asked Nigel Skyring some questions about Team Bream Tournaments.
When did you start?
Zac (my son) had been following the tournament scene for a while. In 2010, when he was 15, we competed in our first GTS Tournament on the Gold Coast. We placed 2nd, a huge result for a first tournament. That had us hooked! The next few years we fished hard both socially and in tournaments with many highs and lows, as there are in the world of Bream tournaments. In 2013, we updated to a Triton Bass boat and were fortunate to gain sponsorship with Frogleys Offshore and never looked back.
What’re your best results?
In 2014, we came 2nd in the Gamakatsu Team Series Grand Final. We then came 1st in 2015 and also won Team of the Year. Then in 2016, we came 2nd again. An amazing run!
Your favourite tournament rods?
Samurai Reactions and Samurai Infinite rods – at the moment we love the Infinites. They’re incredibly light and the sensitivity has to be felt to be believed. The Infinite UL F69 2 – 6 LB is my go to rod, I love it with a passion. They are top of the range with the world’s best components. I cannot speak highly enough of these rods.
How do you deal with tournament nerves?
Forget its a tournament, relax, and just go fishing. I run these words through my head every tournament. You need the right headspace. In the 2015 Gamakatsu Team Series Grand Final, Zac and I were sitting in 1st after day 1 so the pressure was intense coming into day 2. We came 2nd in the Grand Final the previous year and were determined to win this year. Day 2 we were amped. I was fishing and retrieving way too fast and consequently missing a few fish. I just took a breath, relaxed and ran these words through my head and the fish started coming! We ended up winning the Grand Final.
Any special tournament tactics?
We prefer to target structure with deep water nearby, preferably rock walls. Big Bream deep water and old bream legend once told me. I have never forgotten it. We always fish the entire depth of the wall working as a team. Zac is a surface freak and loves using the Bassday Sugarpen across the top of the wall. He’s pulled big Blue Noses both summer and winter. They often sit deep and come up from the other side of the wall smashing the lure in the shallow water on top. I fish the sides generally starting with Atomic Cranks or Atomic Semi Hardz Minnows and stay close to the structure. In the deeper areas, I use Atomic Metalz but upgrade the rear hooks with Atomic Trick Bitz Assist hooks. If I need a subtler approach, Atomic Plazos coated in Megastrike or a Bassday Kangoku Vibe is perfect. If the bites aren’t coming, slow it down.
Your thoughts on pre-fishing?
Bream wise, not a big fan. Maybe to suss out a river we haven’t fished, but would rather rely on instinct. Bream can move quickly, in one spot one day then gone the next.
Any tournament Tips?
Familiarise yourself with the river, check maps beforehand. If you aren’t getting bites, mix it up as depth and type of lure can make all the difference. The right tidal flow is essential and can fire up a bite, sometimes only for an hour so its imperative you make the most of that session. Good braid and leader are essential, especially in heavy structure and Unitika has never let us down. We use 6lb – 8lb Unitika Super PE and Bream Super PE Jr braid and 4 – 8 lb Unitika Silver Thread, Rock or Aiger FC leaders. Do I move or do I stay? This decision can make or break a successful tournament and one which no one can advise you on. You learn to rely on instinct.