In one of the most exciting BREAM events in ABT history, Team Bing Lee (Greg Lee/Patrick Debattista) saved their best for last, weighing in a sensational final day bag of 5.03kg to claim the 2006 Bing Lee BREAM Australian Open title.
For Patrick Debattista and event sponsor Greg Lee from Bing Lee, it was an eventful day that was littered with multiple big bream captures and a final result that saw them move from 10th place at the start of the day to 1st at the end.
One of 20 teams to grace the waters of the Sydney Harbour, Lee and Debattista’s $10,000 winner’s cheque was due reward for their compiled limit that saw them deliver a 14/15, 10.55kg tournament bag over the three days of fishing.
Targeting the Lane Cove River, Lee and Debattista spent all three days pitching and casting lures to bream holding on the boat hulls and moorings.
“With our boat positioned parallel to our moored target we cast our lures tight to the hull, with one of us presenting it to the front and the other to the back,” Lee explained. “Then it was just a matter of letting the lure sink to the bottom and watching for any telltale ‘tick’ of a bream taking the lure.”
Their technique generally required a few more important factors to maximise success.
“The presence of current was very important,” Lee explained. “The adage of ‘no run, no fun’ was definitely true and when this was coupled with plenty of shade there was a high chance of success.”
All this came together on the final day with Lee and Debattista striking gold on one boat in particular.
“One of our favourite yachts proved to be the money boat,” Debattista explained. “The three biggest fish in our bag all came from that boat.
“Once we put the last fish in the well, we just sat down and looked at the limit we had. We couldn’t believe it. It was one of the magical moments that comes along so rarely.”
The gun lures for Lee and Debattista were 4” Berkley Gulp Turtleback Worms (pumpkinseed), cut down 6” Gulp Worms (pumpkinseed), and 3” Power Bait Hawgs (watermelon).
Rigged on Nitro jigheads, Lee and Debattista modified their presentation by alternating between sizes, including 1/24oz, 1/16oz, and 1/12oz.
Lee used a quiver of Millerods, comprised of 6’9” Bream Buster Millenniums and the new 6’3” Wharfie, all matched with Shimano Stella 1000s and spooled with 4lb Berkley Fireline and 5lb Fullingmill fluorocarbon. Debattista’s tackle showed a similar style and included 7’ Nitro Powerbream and 6’6” Finessebream rods, Shimano Stella 1000 and Daiwa Certate 2000 reels, 4lb Berkley Fireline and 5lb Fullingmill fluorocarbon.
One of the notable additions to their lures was the liberal application of Megastrike scent to their Berkley Hawg plastics.
Post victory Lee and Debattista were willing to divulge how it all happened.
“Knowing our daily run of locations intimately was crucial,” Lee said. “We knew which boats held the bigger fish and what time, tide and conditions had them at their best. Having this information as a guide and a little bit of luck saw it all come together.”
Playing an important role in the events of the final day were the event’s runners-up Mark ‘Mango’ Mangold and Scott Towner of Team Shipton Trading/TT Lures.
Firm favourites leading into the event, Mangold and Towner lived up to their predicted form, heading into day two in third position and heading off first on the third and final day. In the end their performance was enough to keep all teams at bay – bar one.
Success was still there for them though, with their $2750 prize cheque coming from a well calculated game plan formulated in the weeks leading up to the event.
Fishing the middle reaches of the harbour as part of their plan, Mangold and Towner hit a milk run of locations each day, targeting bream holding on a range of floating, fixed, natural and artificial structures.
“Hitting spots at the right time was important,” Mangold explained. “Ample tidal flow on the harbour, like most places, is important. We tried to hit our locations when the current and fishing was at its best.”
Mangold and Towner took a fairly standard approach to their presentation.
“Getting the lure tight to the structure and in the right spot to best get the lure down to where the fish were holding was essential,” Mangold said. “Then we simply retrieved it back with a run-of-the-mill hop ‘n’ drop retrieve.”
The approach proved productive, with the pair working an area over thoroughly before moving on to another location to repeat the process. The end result saw the team compile a 15/15, 10.47kg limit for the event, finishing only 80g adrift of the event winners.
Towner’s tackle strongly featured Millerods, with the pair using an assortment of Wharfie (6’), Classic (6’9”), XF (6’9”), and Brawler (6’9”) models. Shimano Stella 2500 reels were the choice of reel for both anglers, and were used spooled with 6lb Berkley Fireline and 6lb Berkley Vanish.
Lure choice was crucial, with Mangold and Towner using an assortment of Eco Products Clionext when fishing boats, and Berkley Bass Minnows in watermelon colour in all other locations. The use of scents featured strongly, with the pair applying both shrimp flavoured Yum scent and the new Dizzy wax to their lures.
As one of the premier events on the BREAM tournament calendar, the tournament is set to become even bigger and better in 2007 when the Bing Lee BREAM Australian Open once again comes to the waters of Sydney Harbour. For information on the event or the 2006 Ford Courier BREAM Series, visit www.bream.com.au or phone ABT on (07) 3268 3992 (b/h), or 0427 32 64 64. - ABT
BING LEE BREAM AUSTRALIAN OPEN TEAM RESULTS
|1||BING LEE: Greg Lee & Patrick Debattista||5||2.62||4||2.9||5||5.03||14||10.55||$10,000|
|2||SHIPTON TRADING/TT LURES: Mark Mangold & Scott Towner||5||3.28||5||3.72||5||3.47||15||10.47||$2,750|
|3||STORM: Michael Collins & Joe Crust||5||2.77||5||3.86||5||3.48||15||10.11||$2,500|
|4||NITRO TACKLE ECOGEAR: Kristoffer Hickson & Darren Borg||5||2.85||5||2.48||5||3.62||15||8.95||$2,250|
|5||SYDNEY FISHING TACKLE: Aaron Horne & Peter Jarvis||5||2.96||5||3.06||5||2.91||15||8.93||$2,000|
|6||ANGLERS WORLD AUST: Peter McWatters & Jack Olmos||5||3.53||5||2.79||5||2.59||15||8.91|
|7||AIRLITE WINDOWS: Darryl Schroder & Jay Morgan||5||2.91||5||2.48||5||3.32||15||8.71|
|8||ATTACK BOAT: Paul Barkley & Mike Sutcliffe||5||3.12||5||2.57||5||2.85||15||8.54|
|9||WINDSOR BAIT /ACES: Allen Cleary & Kris Cameron||4||1.8||5||4.07||5||2.64||14||8.51|
|10||SAMANT CONSULTING: Bill Parasiris & Steve Pourniotis||5||2.93||5||2.73||5||2.79||15||8.45|
|11||SKEETER: Andrew Homann & Josh Batterson||5||2.54||4||2.2||5||3.66||14||8.4|
|12||STESSCO: Craig Simmons & Steve Morgan||5||2.49||5||2.7||5||2.45||15||7.64|
|13||LOWRANCE: Drew Griffith & Stephen Wilson||5||2.99||5||2.93||3||1.69||13||7.61|
|14||SHIMANO/SQUIDGY: Ian Miller & Chris Wright||5||3.08||3||1.58||5||2.49||13||7.15|
|15||TACKLE POWER/ WES HUGHES TIMBER: John Balcomb & Brendon Hughes||3||1.76||5||2.41||5||2.86||13||7.03|
|16||WINSTON HILLS SQUASH: David Gibson & Richard Potter||5||2.52||3||1.51||5||2.92||13||6.95|
|17||BAITS R US: Wade Eaton & Mitchell McGovern||5||4.17||5||2.56||10||6.73|
|18||STEEL SUPPLY: Sam Reid & Michael Reid||4||2.35||5||3.56||1||0.7||10||6.61|
|19||TRITON BOATS/ AUSTRALIAN BASS ANGLER: Michael Roberts & Ross Cannizzaro||5||3||1||0.51||2||0.97||8||4.48|
|20||HUMMINBIRD: Tim Morgan & Scott Littler||3||1.42||5||2.65||1||0.41||9||4.48|
|21||MINN KOTA: Mick Mee & Bob Littler||1||0.43||1||0.43|
1. Team Bing Lee had two kicker fish that were over the 1.5kg mark.
2. The top five teams shared in over $20,000 in cash and prizes.
3. Some of the biggest and fastest bream boats around fished the Bing Lee Australian Open in 2006.
4. The Bing Lee team picked the right time to weigh in the first 5kg bag of yellowfin bream in an ABT event.