In front of a huge crowd at the Sydney 4WD and Fishing Show, Team Triton weighed a 4.35kg bag of live bream to pip Team Evinrude E-Tec at the post at the Bing Lee Sydney BREAM Invitational.
With 10 teams representing 10 major BREAM tournament sponsors and the media, breamin' was given a grand reception at the show, with standing-room-only weekend crowds witnessing the incredible quality of bream that Sydney Harbour occasionally offers.
Team Triton (Martin Bardetta and Ross Cannizzaro) started slowly, with a 2.77kg limit – over 2kg lighter than the 4.82kg opening bag posted by the first day's leader, Evinrude E-Tec (Mark Mangold and Scott Towner). But Team Triton came back strongly, finishing with 15/15 for 11.72kg. The rest of the top five spots were filled by E-Tec (15/15, 11.69kg), Lowrance (15/15, 11.12kg), Daiwa (15/15, 10.86kg) and Millerods (15/15, 10.43kg).
Triton team captain Martin Bardetta outlined the pair's three days on the water.
“We usually have good results in Blackwattle Bay, so we headed in there for the first day," Martin explained. "But the weather was shocking – the water was dirty and the debris was near-unfishable, so we moved around and managed to scratch out a small limit by 11am.
“We obviously needed a re-think on Day 2, so we headed up the Parramatta River to find some clearer water and current."
Martin and Ross then proceeded to amass nearly 30 legal fish for the day, adding a new technique to the ABT winners' circle: drop shotting.
“We fished a 6g sinker on the bottom with a 60cm drop from a three-way swivel and then a 2m trace terminated with a Gamakatsu Worm Hook," Martin explained.
Their preferred baits included 2" Berkley Power Grubs in pumpkinseed and 3" Berkley Bass Minnows in pearl/watermelon. Fishing various waters from Putney through to Gladesville, they found their best success came on steep drop-offs with current, in particular one that one that dropped from 10 feet to nearly 30 feet at Cabarita. Their second day limit finished at 4.60kg.
"Fewer fish came on the drop shot on day three,” Martin said, “so we targeted pylons, jetties and the mooring piles for moored boats. We fished 1/2g Squidgy and TT jigheads with the same baits down deep, especially at the interface between pylons and mooring lines and the bottom."
Ross and Martin used Strudwick SoftBodz Finesse and SicStik Pro rods with Daiwa Luvias and Shimano Sustain reels with 4lb Fireline and 6lb Siglon Fluorocarbon leader. They fished from a 17.5 foot Triton with a 115hp Mercury OptiMax engine.
After leading the event for the first two days, Team Evinrude E-Tec didn't necessarily stumble on day three, with a 3.49kg limit, but they lacked that final kicker fish they needed to take the title. Even so, Mark Mangold and Scott Towner's form fishing together remains incredibly good, backing up from a team win at the Lowrance Forster MegaBREAM event and winning cash at the Bing Lee Australian Open.
“We had our chances on the last day and Scott was pretty hard on himself for losing one kicker fish that crushed his jighead flat, but that's fishing," said Mangold. "I've rarely seen the Harbour fish so well – the fish are abundant and fat." E-Tec targeted the Sydney City stretch of the Harbour, focusing particularly on old broken down docks and similar structure.
"We usually use 1/16oz TT heads, but we upped them to 1/12oz for this event and fished a little deeper," Mangold explained. "Most of our bites came in the 4-5m range. We sunk the artificial baits down the front of the docks and looked for any variation in the sinking line. Most bites were pretty tentative."
E-Tec's favourite baits were watermelon and pumpkinseed coloured Eco Products ClioNexts and watermelon coloured 2" Berkley Power Hawgs. Both team members used Strudwick SoftBodz Pro rods (6'8" to 7') and a combination of Shimano Stella and Daiwa Luvies reels. 4lb Fireline and 6lb Vanish completed their kit.
“Most days there were plenty of fish on offer and we managed to upgrade 8 or 10 times," Mangold said, " and I think it'll be a while before I see another bream as big as Scott's 1.78kg monster that he landed on the first day!"
Generally ABT BREAM events are open to the public. Check out www.bream.com.au for more details. – ABT
|Place||Team name||Team members||Fish||Weight (kg)|
|1||Triton||Martin Bardetta/Ross Cannizzarro||15||11.72|
|2||Evinrude E-Tec||Mark Mangold/Scott Towner||15||11.69|
|3||Lowrance||Greg Silva/Toufik Hachem||15||11.12|
|4||Daiwa||Clayton Gusmerini/Glen Helmers||15||10.86|
|5||Millerods||Mick Collins/Ian Miller (Fri), Dave Welfare (Sat/Sun)||15||10.43|
|6||Shimano||Brett Wilson/Mark Dunphy||15||10.40|
|7||Bing Lee||Greg Lee/Patrick Debattista||15||10.02|
|8||Mercury||Andrew Homann/Bill Maguire||14||8.95|
|9||Ausbream.com||Neil Ryan/Pat Morris||12||8.77|
|10||Ecogear||Lance Sulkowski/Kris Hickson||11||8.20|