Gerke Claims the Clarence Kayak Open – Full Report

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

The heat was on in the Gangster Lures Clarence River Kayak Open as 25 anglers took to the water in souring heat, and the bite of the bass in the Copmanhurst area really shut down.

Ken Gerke from Coffs Harbour in NSW has claimed his maiden Native Watercraft B.A.S.S. Australia Nation Kayak round and made a point that it pays to be consistent as he took home the Native Watercraft

The heat was on in the Gangster Lures Clarence River Kayak Open as 25 anglers took to the water in souring heat, and the bite of the bass in the Copmanhurst area really shut down.

Ken Gerke from Coffs Harbour in NSW has claimed his maiden Native Watercraft B.A.S.S. Australia Nation Kayak round and made a point that it pays to be consistent as he took home the Native Watercraft Manta Ray 12 Propel worth more than $2,800.00. Being the only angler to make it to the scales for all 3 session Ken Gerke stuck to his plan and approached the bank, and heavily lined timbered area with a multitude of presentations across the weekend.


Ken Gerke – 5/6 – 2.87kg – Gangster Lures Champion Angler Trophy, Native Watercraft Manta Ray 12 Kayak.

Ken Gerke has pushed himself in contention for the Kayak AOY as he claimed the 2nd round in what can only be described as a very tough bite on the Clarence River in mid NSW over the weekend.

Heading to the Orara River section some distance down river Ken had made the conscious decision to stick to his guns and fish banks for the entire tournament, focusing on particular honey holes that had previously produced good quality bass over the years. Using a multitude of lures, ken was able to pick his way through the heavily timbered lined banks with 3 main outfits that helped him get bites throughout the entire session of each day.

His go to lure for the tournament and the standout that got him into the commanding lead was a 3” Easy Shiner from Keitech in Shad colour matched to a Tackle Tactics Demonz Jig head in Red nightmare colour.

He was slowly working around the timbered laydowns and dark shadow pockets in the final session with a ZMan Finesse Frogz in watermelon and white colour on a Gamakatsu EWS work hook that allowed the bait to travel through and over cover without hooking up in the thick stuff. The ZMan Frogz leg action calls bass from miles and the bubbling action sounds similar to a buzz bait style lure.

Gerke fished quite light for the tournament using only 6lb Braid and 8lb Sunline FC Sniper leader material and his go to outfit consisted of a 2000 Caldia reel matched to a Daiwa Gen Black 2-4kg rod.

Mentioning to us on stage that he loves the look of his new Native Watercraft Kayak, Ken is looking to use it in the following tournaments and chase the extra $100 cash for the highest ranked Native Watercraft angler at each event.

Instantly qualifying for the Championship, Ken will be looking to head into the next round fresh and ready to go back to back.


Jonathan Chen – 4/6 – 2.40kg – Gangster Lures 2nd Place Angler Trophy, $675 Gangster Lures Cheque & Gangster Lures Prize Pack

Chen is an incredible angler, who has the right attitude and work ethic that proves why he is the 2017 Kayak AOY Champion. Practicing as hard and long than just about anyone else on the water, it took until the back half of the 2nd session for Jonathan to really dial into something that was working in the system. When he did he did, managed to catch some real quality and do something the rest of the field were not really looking at.

Working the river edges for 1 ½ sessions without success, he made the adjustment and went deep just in site of the actual start line, using a Damiki Backdrop Jig 30g in the #111 Zebra Glow colour, which is the same jig he used to claim the Native Watercraft Kayak Championship in 2017.

Fishing the lure a little differently to some of the other people who fish a flutter spoon presentation, Chen would cast wide from the Kayak and then allow it to sink to the bottom, retrieving it up fast for around 10 winds then allowing it to free fall to the bottom again.

His spoon outfit consisted of a Millerods Ripfreak Baitcaster matched with a Chronarch 150 Ci4 spooled with sunline 10lb green shooter fluorocarbon straight through.

Look out for a solid run from Chen as the year pans out, he has the ability, determination and drive to go back to the top in both the AOY and Championship.


Allan Britcliffe – 2/6 – 1.96kg – Gangster Lures 3rd Place Angler Trophy, $270 Gangster Lures Cheque & Gangster Lures Prize Pack, Tonic Eyewear Big Bass Eyewear.

Britcliffe had an even tougher tournament, and like Chen made an adjustment that saw him catapult from dead last position into a top 3 with the biggest bag of the tournament and largest bass of the event in the last session.

Working a Damiki spoon as well, he fished further downstream from Chen in a deeper area and upgraded 4-5 times in the last session to make a huge deficit. Using a Duffrod 2-5Kg Bass Stix matched to a Megabass Luvito reel his jig outfit is spooled with 20lb mainline and 12lb fluorocarbon leader material.

Britcliffe is booked in for the entire season, so look out as he is chansing down an AOY.


Gangster Lures Kayak Open Wrap.

With many faces comes a more exciting future and we want to thank all the anglers who stepped up and gave the Native Watercraft Series a crack for the first time over the weekend, the comradery is strong and everyone really enjoyed themselves.

Special thanks to the Rest Point Hotel and staff at Copmanhurst, we would love to come back to it all again and its defiantly on our radar for 2019. The hotel has a great view and a great feel, with fantastic food and beer garden out the back.

Of course thank you to Gangster Lures, look out for them as they are starting to make some big noise in the bass area, and their range is improving every day. The lures are locally owned, and locally made in South NSW and have a massive place in the cod market, with what they have planned you will be seeing a lot more of them over the coming years.

A special and massive thanks to Native Watercraft, they are contributing so much into this series everyone should be proud to be a part of it.

Next round sees us head to North Pine and what an event it is shaping up to be, we have 20 entries already and with months to go we expect to hit the 40 kayak target by the time it comes around. North Pine is capped, so if you are interested get your entry in sooner rather than later to secure a spot on the one of the best Australian bass lakes in the world.