Early morning on the Hawkesbury painted an awesome picture as a full 50 boat field adorned the beach at Bayview Park. Boasting a diverse field of local and visiting competitors from Victoria, Queensland and even top class Japanese anglers, it was clearly evident that the second round of the NSW Berkley Summer Series was set to be hotly contested.
All hopes of a visitor victory would soon be lost, with countless reports of bust-offs and lost fish, leaving it up to the expertise of local boys, Team Rapala to come up with the goods and present the weigh master with the heaviest bag to take the win.
Team Rapala, consisting of good mates and long time ABT anglers Mick Collins and Joe Crust compiled an impressive 5/5 3.60kg limit to secure the win and add $1800 to their bank accounts. Team Daiwa anglers Clayton Gusmerini and Brendon Hughes finished the day in a mere 50g behind with a 5/5 3.55kg bag, scoring themselves $1000 for their effort, whilst third place was taken out by South Coast anglers Grant Kime and Scott Brown of Culburra Bait and Tackle who walked away with a couple of 67L Engel ice boxes for their equally impressive 5/5 3.53kg limit.
Heading out for the day and confident of getting 3 – 3.5kg, Mick and Joe of Team Rapala decided to target the vast weed flats throughout Pittwater. Equipped with an Okuma 7’ 2-4kg Celilo rod, Okuma Inspira 20 reel spooled with 3lb Berkley Crystal Fireline topped with 5lb Maxima leader and a Daiwa 6’ 10” 2-3kg Heartland Saegake rod, Daiwa Luvias 2000 spooled with 3lb Berkley Crystal Fireline and a 6lb Yamatoyo leader respectively, Mick and Joe would cast their surface lures, by way of the new Ecogear PX45F, to the edge of the weed working them back to the boat with a ‘walk the dog action’ interspersed with long pauses. “It was on the pause when the fish would hit” said Joe, “It was then a matter of getting the hooks in and landing them” added Mick.
The decision to use surface lures proved crucial to their win, with Mick scoring their 1.23kg kicker fish early in the day on the PX45F. Once the wind and sun got up the lads then moved out a little deeper and changed their tactics by using Ecogear SX40’s and Berkley Camo Sandworms. This change in tactics involved Mick slow rolling the SX40’s to an almost stand still, whilst Joe, casting a 1/16 jighead would countdown the plastic to the required depth, hopping it off the top of the weed. “Depth was crucial” said Joe, “You had to be just above the weed to get the bites” he added. “That’s right if you weren’t just above the weed you didn’t get the bites” added Mick.
Mick and Joe managed to land about eight legal fish using these methods, however at 1 o’clock they realized that one of their bigger fish was looking a little sick, “We checked the well with about an hour to go and noticed that a 700 gram fish was lying on its side, probably due to extreme temps during the day, it was then that Mick and I decided to ‘downgrade’ to a 450 gram fish that he had just caught, to play it safe” said Joe. “We just hoped we would still have enough to be up there” Mick added.
It was that very fish that sealed the victory for Team Rapala and relegated Clayton Gusmerini and Brendon Hughes of Team Daiwa to second place.
Instead of fishing the ‘Pitt Street’ flats area in Pittwater the Team Daiwa boys decided to fish their beloved old oyster racks that still litter the Hawkesbury. Clayton opted for a Daiwa 7’ SOL, medium-light rod whilst Brendon used a Daiwa Kingbolt 6’ 10” rod, both anglers used a Daiwa Certate Finesse 2506 reel, spooled with 10lb Daiwa TD Sensor braid topped with an 8lb Daiwa Fluorocarbon leader.
The boys would cast their Gulp 2” Natural Shrimps and 3” Pumpkinseed Minnows rigged on 1/16 # 1 Nitro jigheads to the old rails and posts, working them back to the boat with a slow hop and a pause next to the posts. “It was on this pause, next to the posts, that the bigger fish took the bait” said Clayton. “Brendon had this pattern sussed and if it wasn’t for the two absolute smokings we got, we should have walked away with the win” he added. “Yeh, but that’s fishin” added a philosophical Brendon.
As always the Bing Lee Big Bream was a hard fought competition with several big specimens presented to the weigh master. The account was opened early with a 0.99kg fish by Team Evinrude only to be outdone by Team Unreel with a 1.02kg model. This fish was quickly shown up by Team Kingrods with a lovely 1.11kg specimen. Mick Collins then delivered his cracking 1.23kg surface caught fish to the weigh master before Darryl Chew of Team Hooked Up dropped his 1.25kg bruiser onto the scales, scoring him the 8.0MP Digital camera courtesy of Bing Lee. “The big fish was our fourth fish for the day and came into the boat at about 11 o’clock” Darryl said. “It took a Bassday vibration bait and because it was hooked deep in the mouth I opted to leave the lure in so I wouldn’t damage the fish” he added. “It was our only lure of that type and needless to say we didn’t catch another fish for the rest of the day. All we needed was one more fish to win the event” said his disappointed teams mate Mark. Ironically Darryl found the lure in the live well after the event. Sometime during the day the fish ejected the lure, if only he found it earlier!
The battle for top overall team and a bonus $1000 is extremely close with only five points separating the top five teams. Team Hooked Up is in the lead on 193/200 followed by Team Samant and Team kingrods in equal second with 192/200. Squidgy South and Team Squidgy are in 4th and 5th place with 189/200 and 188/200 respectively.
Congratulations to the top ten teams and also the top 5 teams who automatically qualify for the Bream Classic Grand Final held later in the year on the Clarence River.
A special Thank you once again to the members of Western Sydney Bream and Bass for all their effort. The guys and gals helped out with the weigh in and provided a sausage sizzle and cold drinks for everyone which was greatly appreciated.
Mark and myself would also like to thank all of the dedicated anglers who took part as well as the following sponsors for their generous support, Berkley, ENGEL, Evinrude, Bing Lee, Humminbird, Windsor Bait and Tackle, Gabe’s Fishing and Boating and NSW Fishing Monthly.
The final round of the NSW Berkley Summer Series will be held on 03/02/2008 on Sydney Harbour and promises to be bigger than Ben Hur, with lots of handouts and prizes awarded down to tenth position, not to mention the random draw $1400 ENGEL Fridge/Freezer just for turning up! It will surely be an event not to be missed.
For more information log onto www.bream.com.au or www.wsbb.com.au or contact Mark Mangold 0419 212 553 or Scott Towner 0412 254 098
|Rapala||Mick Collins &
|Team Daiwa||Clayton Gusmerini &
|Culburra Bait &
|Grant Kime &
|Hooked Up||Mark Riddell &
|Team Budget||Vic Apoleski &
|Windsor Bait &
|Ben Turbott &
|Samant||Bill Parasiris &
|Kingrods||Brad Biddleston &
|Complete Angler||Peter Macoy &
|Squidgy||Chris Cleaver &
|Bray Boys||Daniel Bray &
|Squidgy South||Scott Lear &
|Rackaholics||Glen Hayter &
|Team BIG / SFBA||Kevin Attard &
|Unreel||Mark Healey &
|Elogear Rock’n Fish||Takoyoshi Orimoto &
|Century Batteries||Adam Sczepaniak &
|Franklins Plumbing||Graham Franklin &
|Sublime||Kamal Taha &
|Tackle Craft||Jason Dunne &
|Woodstock Bourbon &
Cola Squidgy Pro Range
|Alan Loftus &
|Evinrude||Andrew Homann &
|Lowrance||Greg Siva &
|Manning Valley Tackle||Russell Babekuhl &
|Brawlin||Mark Mc Creadie &
|Bream Wits||Ben Reth &
|Skeetn||Christian Serne &
|Bream Madness||Mark Pygram &
|Super Fat||Brad Goyen &
|Extreme||Greg Beattie &
|X-Factor Signs||Rich Potter &
|Tackle Power||John Balcomb &
|Hoota||Geoffery Borg &
|Woodstock Bourbon &
|Dave Welfare &
|Ecogear||Peter Koppman &
|Big Colour Imaging||Greg Seeto &
|S-Factor||Bill Karayannis &
|Clueless||Clint Wright &
|I’m On||Peter Messenger &
|QCC / Dave Butfields Tackle World||Rod Hardiman &
|Mojo Man||Steve Somerville &
|Bream It On||Dave Currey &
Mark Mc Gregor
|Manning River Marine||Daniel Brown &
|Webber Rods||Trent Bowman &
|Team Stevo||Steve &
|Seeto||Chris Seeto &
|Hooken||Alen Simpson &
|Simon’s Carpet Choice||Alan Horn &
|Gabes Boating &
|Steven Pietraszkiewicz &
|Pflueger||Gary Brown &