BETS Round 1 Mako Round Wrap Up

Story by Dominic Wiseman

Round 1 wrap by BETS

Hot! Pretty much describes both the day and the action for Mako Round One on the Hawkesbury River. After the cancellations of last year the 2016 opener not only took place on the planned day, it also became one of those great Hawkesbury river fish fests of old.  Recovering from heavy rains in the previous month the river was ready to give a little love on Valentines Day. Five bags were a plenty and at the pointy end teams needed to be well into weighing three kilo’s to even get a sniff of a top ten place. It wasn’t just the action that was heating up either with a humid 35C testing the resolve of all concerned.

Keeping cool was one thing but keeping your cool on a physically challenging day is often key to tournament success. Experience counts and it was to be two experienced anglers fishing competitively for the first time that made the most of a hot river bite. Ross Cannizzaro of Team Abu Garcia/Evinrude Australia has joined forces with work mate and BETS regular Codie Stewart for the 2016 season and were keen to kick their campaign off with a good result.

Fishing in the a number of river sections from Brooklyn to Spencer the pair carefully targeted rocky banks at particular points in the tide cycle.  Using deeper running Berkley 3B hard baits in Red Eye Express colour the pair worked the rocky edges often picking up quality fish with in a few turns of the handle. When the bite slowed a switch to deeper water and Berkley PowerBlades tempted the wary fish that had moved out in to deeper water. While every technique was catching fish it was these methods that certainly picked out the better fish and by 11am the team had a bag in and around the five kilo mark. After a mid up stream journey meeting with a log the pair chose to make their way slowly back to the weigh in. After being pipped at post despite having a similar sized bag last year the pair were confident yet cautious.

As one of the first teams to weigh in the scales settled at cracking 4.99kg and it became an issue of whether the bag would hold up un the onslaught of fish to come. Several shots across the bow were fired but none landed and the cautious confidence quickly turned gleeful joy as it became apparent the new look Team Abu Garcia/Evinrude Australia had secure their first team victory and the first win of the season.

The Mako Round One First Place secured Ross and Codie $3500 BETS Winners Cash and the first 100 points of the season towards a BETS Grand Final invitation.

One of those shots across the bow? That came from Team Big who certainly went big for this round. Fishing a small patch of reef towards the mouth of the river Kevin Attard and Justin Sheather worked the area with various Berkley Gulp products on a 1/6th jig head targeting bigger fish moving on and off the reef. It was an accumulation process and the bigger fish certainly came with a solid 1.34kg fish the corner stone of the bag. With scales locking at 4.96kg the bag was agonisingly close to the leaders falling just thirty grams short. It was however enough to secure Second Place and $2500 to give the team one their best results.

Fishing their favoured washes around Barrenjoey Head, Team Skeeter Boats/PowerPole anglers Josh Batterson and Matt Webb are no strangers to quality bags coming from the most difficult of situations. The surging water makes for hard fishing but the pair stuck it out knowing a five kilo bag was quite possible if all went well. The team nearly got there with a bag of quality fish but missed the real corker to lift them to the top. Weighing 4.65kg they were well into the four kilo club and it was enough to secure Third Place and$1500.

Joining the BETS Series for 2016 as Big Bream Award sponsor Hi-Tec Batteries offered up a pair of deep cycle batteries as reward for the biggest single bream. As an essential item on every bream boat and fine reward for a fine fish the Round One Hi-Tec Big Bream Award went to Team Big  and the 1.34kg kicker that secured their bag. Valued at around $700 it certainly made boating such a fish worthwhile.

And one final treat remains! Being the Mako Round we had a random Mako giveaway quietly running in the background. Up for grabs is a cracking pair of exclusive Mako jackets – all you need to do is be the owner of boat rego AHY 795N. Stake your claim using the Contact Us page before Friday 26th Februaryand the jackets are yours!

On now to TT Lures Round Two at St Georges Basin on the 20th March. Late summer surface bite? We’ll see, get your entry in early to be first on the banks!

In the meantime the BETS Video Wrap can be seen below and the happy snaps will appear shortly in the gallery.


The BETS Team


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