Firstly let me introduce myself. My name is Justin Pitt, I have been Greg’s regular fishing teammate for a few years now. We have had some good results on the tournament trail together, and I like to think that we have both learned a lot from each other during this time. Our wives have become good friends and all our children go to school together, we have had some memorable trips away with our respective families and it has been a great fishing environment to have the support of our significant others whilst away.
Lately Greg has had some ever growing commitments, with his business, photography, writing, amongst other things and has been unable to dedicate as much time to the tournament circuit as he would like. One of these commitments was his son Tom’s birthday party that fell on the same day as the BETS Hawkesbury round three. I still was keen to fish the event, so I asked my good mate Damien Nayna if he would like to enter with me and he agreed.
Damien and I prefished for the event twice and were nervously confident we could do reasonably well. This was to be Damien’s first teams event, we started in 45th place and were greeted by the sun piercing through the light fog as we sped to our first spot commonly known as the carpark. Fortunes were against us at this point. Boats all round us were pulling in good fish, we could not turn a reel and the only thing I caught at that spot was my knee as I knelt on a stinger treble (a little bit of yanking and all was good). Off to spot two, another weed bed near Juno Point that produced only undersize fish.
I knew that our next spot needed tidal movement on it, and as the clock approached the right time we headed further upriver to a rock bar that Greg and I have done well at before. I don’t think I will forget what happened next in a hurry. Damien threw an NW pencil in Yumyum Yellow into about a foot of water covering oyster covered rocks. Not long after it splashed down the water erupted, Damien promptly yelled “I’m on”! Well lets just say this fish went hard and the 3lb leader was well and truly stuffed by the time it found its way into our net – the sun shines on a dogs butt some days! At 40 fork and 1.29 kilos it was an impressive fish and what a way to kick off your tournament career. Immediately I though we can’t waste the opportunity a big fish like that can bring during a tournament. Not long after at spot four Damien did it again, same lure albeit a smaller bag fish was added to the live well, then the bite slowed and we spent a good hour or so baking in the sun, content to listen to the gentle buzzing of the live well knowing what was inside it.
Spot five and finally my little GGB atomic crank was met with a solid thud, after a spirited fight in gnarly country a respectable 30ish fish was also added to the well – three down two to go we thought. At this point, the electric ran out of power due to an overnight charging issue, and we decided that the only option left was to go back to the carpark. When we arrived back at the carpark I noted that the water had dirtied a little and felt more comfortable about our prospects, my plan was to have five casts of a plastic and then change if no results came. Damien and I were now fishing really hard, concentration was high, I hooked up to another bag filler on an ecogear bream prawn and proceeded to add him to the well. There was 1/2 an hour to go, “we can do it” I thought as I changed to the GGB atomic, and was rewarded with the sight of a 34fork fish buzzing around the boat. After a spirited fight he too slipped into the well. “Bloody hell we have got a pretty good bag of fish here” we thought as we made the run back to the weigh in.
The sausage sandwich was a godsend (thanks Mako Eyewear). As we waited for a weigh bag chatting with other competitors we slowly realised that our bag may do well. Scotty popped the fish on the scales and it went 3.31 kilos. Damien held big bream until Daniel Brown weighed one that went 1.42 kilos and after the dust settled we ended up in third place – we were stoked!