Ecogear Great Lakes Shootout Forster
  |  First Published: February 2010

Round Two of the Gamakatsu Team Series kicked off with bang on the Great Lakes in Forster. Sponsored by Ecogear, 49 Australian and two Japanese teams competed for over $10,000 in cash and prizes, the coveted Grand Final invitation and a crack at a $25,000 tournament boat package.

Father and son duo Ian and James Ison took the top honours.

Fishing the back of Wallis Lake on a single weed bed all day they found success slow rolling shallow running crankbaits on 2lb and 3lb line for a stealth and finesse and also retrieving the lure with an erratic, twitching movement.

Using the mid morning wind to their advantage, they made long casts and fished quietly, allowing the boat to drift rather than using the electric motor.

After upgrading several times throughout the day it was their last fish, a 1.49kg blue nose corker, that scored their winning bag as well as the $500 Damiki Big Bream. The big kicker was caught on a Zip Bait twitched, jerked and paused over the same weed bed.

Second place was awarded to Basscat Boats/Barz Optics teammates Wayne Reed and Greg Flett. Throughout the day they fished a mixture of places, but most of their fish came from the lakes too. Concentrating on weed beds they used a variety of techniques to get their bag and scored $750 cash for their great efforts.

Third place winners team Berkley spent the first half of the session targeting the shallow flats and oyster leases at the bottom end of the lake. They used a 2” peppered prawn Berkley Shrimp on 1/32 Nitro jighead and a 3” Berkley Hollow Belly rigged weightless.

With only four small fish in the well the bigger fish were proving very tough to crack due to the clear water and lack of wind in the area.

Later in the session team Berkley opted for a change of tactic and headed to the back of the lake to fish the wind blown banks and flats.

They used a tandem approach with Trent fishing tight to the edges with a snagless rigged 2” pepper prawn shrimp while Russell fishing surface lures using long wind assisted casts to cover as much area as possible.

They then used an aggressive walk the dog style retrieve to provoke the bream into a strike, which allowed them to fill their bag and make several upgrades along the way.

Steve Morgan and Takayoshi Orimoto from Ecogear Team 1 also did well to score fourth place, landing seven legal fish for the day.

Orimoto San landed the first fish on a biodegradable Ecogear curl-tailed grub. The rest of the fish ate Stick Minnows fished with a jerky retrieve over the flats.

Fishing the northern part of the main lake Steve and Orimoto San had to wait for the wind to start blowing for the fish to liven up and start responding to the lure. Their fourth place bag was anchored by a pair of 33cm fish.

The anglers and huge local crowd were treated to the latest offerings from Ecogear and loads of giveaways, including products from Ecogear as well as our sponsors Gamakatsu, Atomic and Graham Barkley Marine. Every team ended up with a bag of goodies as well as the GTS BBQ and cold drinks. Team Euro Angler Eyewear also took out the Blue Eye random bag weight prize.

GTS would like to thank Ecogear and all their staff for their involvement in the event; it was a huge success due their generosity and support.

We would also like to thank Takayoshi Orimoto and Hideyuki Igarashi for travelling from Japan to compete and present the winners with their cash and prizes.

A big thank you also goes out to the tournament’s helpers; without these people events would not happen.

Check out www.gamakatsu.com.au for more details. – Vinnie Bleakley & Michael Starkey



PlaceTeamAnglersWeight (kg)Fish

1Port Macquarie Tackle/LamiglassJames Ison/Ian Ison4.035/5
2Basscat Boats/Barz OpticsWayne Reed/Greg Flett3.625/5
3BerkleyRussell Babekuhl/Trent Fahey3.005/5
4Ecogear Team 1Steve Morgan/Takayoshi Orimoto2.885/5
5Team Century BatteriesNeil Chegwidden/Ross Lamotte2.795/5
6HDS BroadbandDan Frost/Max Frost2.755/5
6Manning River Marine 2Daniel Brown/Martin Richardson2.755/5
8Tackle World Marks PointMark Healy/Karen Scully2.655/5
9Ballina MarinelandMick Corbett/Jake Stewart2.615/5
10Bream OnJohn Startin/Beau Startin2.505/5

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