Kris Hickson

Kris Hickson

Tournament Angler And Personality

Kris is a popular fishing personality and successful tournament competitor. He’s been fishing the ABT tournament since 2001, but also fishes AFC and kayak tournaments regularly, with plenty of wins and podium places under his belt. He also recently fish the World Fishing Championships in South Africa. He has a big reputation for extracting sizeable bream from the heavy structure of oyster racks in NSW estuaries.

Kris’ Top Bream Fishing Tips

  • Bream fishing from the stones between Port Macquarie and Camden Head can be exceptionally good and the quality of fish tends to be high.
  • Kris likes to fish small holes and channels that are in washy areas. This takes a little practice to develop the skills required to work the lure and can result in higher lure losses, but he likes to live on the edge. For those less adventurous there are also plenty of quality bream on the shallow, rocky flats where there is less wash.
  • Tide is the key. An incoming tide allows fish to push up into shallow areas as they become inundated. Don’t be afraid to fish all the cracks, ledges and other structures, even in areas that are a foot or less deep. Bream will frequently move into holes that become dry when the next wave recedes.
  • Be sure to wear quality footwear that’s suited to fishing from slippery rocks and take precautions regarding safety (ie fish to conditions, wear a personal floatation device etc).
  • Bream in these areas are there for the sole purpose of feeding and are often quite aggressive, allowing anglers to fish a little heavier.
  • The quality of fish and the toughness of the structure demand strong hooks, but it’s important not to weight the lure too much and that hooks can still be straightened when a lure gets snagged. Kris like to retrofit his lures with Decoy Y-S25 trebles.

Kris’ Headlands Bream Fishing Tackle

  • Kris likes the Daiwa Emeraldas Rod for its softness and ability to make long casts. The softer rod allows the angler to coax the bream a little more gently, which results in less of a dash for structure on the part of the fish. The Daiwa Gekkabijin rod is another great option, being long, soft and light enough for this style of fishing.
  • A mid-range 2500 size spin reel with 6-10lb line and a 12-20lb leader completes Kris’ setup for targeting bream from the stones.

Fishing Lures

  • Kris’ #1 bream fishing lure off the headlands is the Daiwa Tournament Spike. This deep diving lure has a long bib that bumps it’s way around the bottom in shallow water and keeps the hooks out of danger. The key is to fish it as slow as possible, winding when there is a wave surge to maintain contact with the lure, then holding steady as the wave recedes and letting the current impart action to the lure. In less washy areas, fish slow, keep the rod tip up over shallow water, then drop it and crank to work the lure into holes and cracks. Kris recommends rubbing the end of the diving lip over concrete to wear away the curved tip and leave a square edge. This helps flip the hooks up and out of danger when the lure strikes structure.
  • The Daiwa Presso Rolling Crankbait is a great bream lure for the stones but is no longer made. If you have some in your box they can be fished in much the same way as the Tournament Spike.
  • The Jackall Chubby makes up the trifecta and is a small deep diving hard body that is effective on headlands bream.
  • Kris finds that the natural, earthy colours typically used for bream in estuaries are not as effective on the stones as the brighter baitfish colours.

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Kris’ Sponsors

Daiwa Australia have been a valued sponsor of Kris for 13 years and he works with them to develop gear that suits Aussie fishermen.

Tackle Tactics have also sponsored Kris for about 14 years and help him with lots of tackle including the Zman soft plastic and TT jig heads he mentioned in this episode.

Mercury marine have been great supporters of Kris and of his family’s business manning River Marine.

Humminbird and Minn Kota produce Kris’ favourite G3 Helix sounders and Ultrex Electric Motors that are absolutely critical to what Kris does. He’s just installed a 15 foot Talon anchor from Minn Kota on his boat and reckons being anchored is better than using spot lock on the electric.

Costa Sunglasses provide the polarised glasses that Kris uses, and he reckons their 580 glass lens is “the bomb”.

Manning River Marine is Kris’ fathers business and will look after both your boating and fishing needs. Kris works there, so it’s a great place to go and get some fishing tips when you’re in Taree.

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