Last time BETS paid a visit to Lake Macquarie for the final round of the 2013 season it was an absolute fish fest – 5-bags every where. Fast forward 7 months and the Lake put on a show again. Over 60 5-bags were presented for weighing, almost three quarters of the field!
As the bags rolled in it became apparent that the key to success was to find the larger fish. As the tally of 3kg+ bags moved into double figures, word around the park was it would take 4kg+ to nudge the top places. It never quite came to that, but even the eventual winners thought that’s what would be needed and before a fish touched the scales they were sure they were a good upgrade short.
It’s one thing dragging yourself out for fishing tournament but it’s a whole other game when you travel interstate to have a crack. Team Simrad is a regular name on the BETS score sheet and anglers Scott Butler and Guy Struthers make the long haul from the Gold Coast each round. Although they’re getting more familiar with the NSW arenas, Lake Macquarie is not a spot they visit too often. So, rather than try to work the waterway out in short time, the team chose a ‘stick to what you know’ approach.
Fishing Scott's favoured target, the humble boat hull, the pair used ZipBaits Khamsin Tinys in bluegill quickly cranked out from the hulls to find scores of active fish jockeying for the lure. By casting both lures at the same time to the same spot, the action just intensified with regular double hook-ups. So successful was the technique that the same effect could be had using ZipBaits Skinny Pop surface lures, and the team mixed styles to great effect. Within the first hour Scott and Guy had a 3kg+ plus bag. They could relax and enjoy the day after that, spending the rest of their time filtering out the better fish.
The end result? A 3.94kg bag. While it wasn’t the 4kg the boys thought they needed, it was more than adequate to take out Engel Round 2, the winners’ cheque of $3800 and set the scene for a happy drive home.
Sister company of Simrad, Lowrance, were the backers of the next team to make it a 1st/2nd for parent company Navico. Adrian Neoh and Mark Healey, ever consistent on Lake Macquarie, again provided a quality bag that fell just short of the mark at 3.67kg.
Previous BETS Lake Macquarie winner Scott Bilton and teammate Ron Ashman of Team Yamaha Vmax SHO/Shimano, one step behind with 3.52kg, also represented a local charge to the top that came close – an upgrade or 2 short perhaps.
Surprisingly there was a shortage of true stonkers but the Steve Vumbaca and Matt Lucas of Full to the Bream scored a 1.34kg unit that was the best for the day. Winning the Austackle Big Bream Award saw the team earn a $250 Austackle Lure Pack, a paid entry for the next round courtesy of the sponsor and first away at the next round.
With Adrian Neoh picking up the Steve Duff Custom Rods giveaway and new sponsor Lock 'n' Haul giving away the first of a series random draw prizes, the event drew to a close. Next stop: St Georges Basin!
Big thanks to the Wangi Lions Club for the BBQ as always and host Jenny and Chris from the Wangi Point Holiday Park for making us welcome.
Apologies for the lack of video and pics this round - the multi media resources were stretched a little too thin this weekend. If you have any pictures you'd like posted in the gallery please send them to --e-mail address hidden-- and we'll post them up.
Entries are now open for TT Lures Round 3 - get in quick and we'll see you there! - BETS
|1||Simrad||Scott||Butler, Guy Struthers||5||3.94||$3800|
|2||Lowrance||Mark Healey, Adrian Neoh||5||3.67||$2800 + prize pack|
|3||Yamaha/Shimano||Scott Bilton, Ron Ashman||5||3.52||$1800 + prize pack|
|4||Off Da Hook||Rod Ford, Mark Robertson5||3.49||$800 + prize pack|
|5||Bears Concreting||Kevin Tommerup, Mitch Martin||5||3.46||$600 + prize pack|