The fish weren’t the only winners at last weekend’s Victorian Bream Grand Final at Mallacoota, on Victoria’s North East coast.
Local fishing fan Vanessa Fellows has walked away from the big event with a Savage 385 Jabiru Pro, a Mercury 15hp outboard, a registered trailer and full safety gear.
This catch and release contest – which the fish truly appreciate - has attracted big support all year.
More than 40 teams took part in each of the four qualifying events, and hundreds of spectators watched the best-of-the-best fight out the grand final.
Matt Campbell and Thuan Huynu from 'Team Nitro' took the title, with Savage/Mercury angler Brad Hodges, the reigning champion, finishing third.
While the location and the fishing were certainly attractive, the chance to win the fantastic Savage/Mercury boating package – called the Crowd Prize – no doubt helped entice the spectators.
Anyone who attended any of the qualifying rounds had received free entry into the draw.
'We wanted to attract new people to these events so they could learn about bream tournament angling,' Stuart Buckingham from Savage/Mercury said.
'And we certainly wanted to highlight the fact that this is catch and release, it’s sustainable angling.'
Vanessa was absolutely rapt when she learnt she’d won.
'When I was told over the phone I had won the prize I actually thought someone was playing a prank on me' she laughed.
'I didn’t believe it at first but then I realised it was real. It was like winning lotto!'
Next year’s Victoria bream series kicks off in February and, if all goes to plan, it will coincide with the New Quay summer boat show on the Yarra River. http://www.mercurymarine.com