TOURNAMENT veteran Warren Carter has beaten the best bream fishers in Australia to win the 2016 Mercury Cup and collect a cheque for $1000.
“I came second last year so it’s definitely nice to go one better, and it was a surprise because it was so close,” Warren said. The Mercury Cup is decided on performances in the ABT’s Costa BREAM series, with points given for an angler’s five best tournaments including the grand final. It’s only open to competitors with Mercury engines.
“With the grand final worth extra points, a couple of places can make all the difference to your final tally,” Warren said. Warren uses a 225hp Mercury Pro XS to get to the best spots first. When the final fish were weighed, Warren had won the Cup with 156 points, just nine ahead of Kris Hickson, with Steve Morgan another eight points back in third.
The victory was a just reward for Warren’s great year. “I never finished outside the top 10, and in fact 10th in the grand final was my worst result, so you can’t ask for a better year than that,” he said. To put it another way, his year went as well as his Mercury Pro XS. “I’ve done 400 hours with this motor and it really purrs,” he said.
“It’s one of those motors. “I couldn’t ask for anything better. “It’s got power, reliability and fuel economy – all three. “I didn’t used to run Mercury but thanks to this one I’m a changed man!” While the Mercury Cup is going to join Warren’s many other trophies, the winner’s cheque won’t be hanging around.
“I’ll be using it to finance the 2017 season,” he said. The ABT Costa BREAM Grand Final was won by local favourite Grant Kime, who went home with a brand-new Bass Cat Margay with a Mercury 115 Pro XS FourStroke on the back – a $50,000 combination. As soon as Grant heard the 2016 grand final was going to be held at St Georges Basin, one of his favourite spots south of Sydney, he was determined to be there.
“The grand final was brilliant,” Grant said. “On day one I caught a big one and then managed to do all right over the next two days, catching my limit and then making some upgrades. “But that last half hour at the end, waiting while everyone else was weighing in, was awful. “There were some people with 3.5kg and 3.6kg bags.”
Grant had to weigh in last and he needed 2.52kg to win. In the end he tipped the scales at 2.86kg for his biggest tournament victory. “Let me tell you, that was a bloody good feeling!” he said. On his competition boat, Grant runs a 150hp Mercury OptiMax that has clocked up 860 hours, so he was more than happy to have a new 115hp Pro XS FourStroke to call his own.
“My first engine was a 5hp Mercury on a little punt, then I had a 15hp Mercury on another punt that I replaced with a 25hp Merc, and that thing flew,” he said. “I used to do 60km/h and I wish I still had it!”