Making the right decisions!

ABT Australian Open 2013 025

I had no preconceived ideas of how the fishing would be heading into this year’s Australian Open.  Previously it has been held in January but with the weather still warm in mid March, I was hoping it wasn’t too late for a crank bait bite.  During the practice day, it wasn’t long before I realised that crank baiting could well and truly be on the cards for at least two of the three days if the weather reports were anything to go by.  Sydney Harbour is reknown for fishing patterns to change literally overnight and with a southerly front predicted to approach during Saturday evening and Sunday, I had a gut feeling the bite would change significantly.  Along with the southerly change, the weather was predicted to be different for each day of the tournament.  Overcast on day 1 with light winds, sunny and still on day 2 and the strong southerly winds on day 3.  Because of this I was anticipating the chance of a change in fishing patterns if not daily, definitely for day 3.  For this reason, rather than resting areas I was fishing, if I thought big fish were in the area I decided to fish them thoroughly and not leave anything to chance.  That didn’t mean I wouldn’t return to the areas later but rather, I wasn’t going to leave any fish that may be actively feeding.

ABT Australian Open 2013 024For the first two days, although there was a difference in weather, the fishing was very similar and I managed to catch my five fish on both days in the first 30 minutes of the day.  From here it was a rotation between boat hulls and marinas then on to shallow edges and pontoons in the second half of the rising tide.  This plan worked perfectly scoring me numerous upgrades throughout both days.  Day 3 on the other hand was very different.  Following the same run and pattern as the previous two days, it didn’t take long to realise that the fish were no longer feeding as aggressively at the top of the water column.  They were still there, but with only 3 fish in my live well by 9am, I knew I had to try something different.  With the Bream sitting up high on the structure for the previous 3 days, I knew the fish still had to be in the area so whilst continuing to crank bait the structure I also started to sink a plastic down around the poles of marinas, jetties and pontoons.  I could see fish on the sounder but it took some time, cycling through my tackle to find something that they were going to bite.  I still managed to pick up the odd fish crank baiting but it was evident the fish had moved to the bottom.

Now some people talk about luck when it comes to fishing but I try not to let it influence my mindset.  The choices you make will ultimately influence your success, nothing else.  If you hook a fish and your drag is too tight or too loose, chances are you will lose the fish.  You might be “lucky” to be positioned right over a school of fish but if you don’t have your lure in the water then you’re not going to catch anything.  Your equipment is no different and there are three things which I truly believe helped me secure the fish I needed during this year’s Australian Open:  My crank bait rod, my soft plastic rod and my electronics.

ABT Australian Open 2013 013The rods I use to crank bait around structure are the TMZ Interlines with Atomic deep crank lures in Muddy Prawn colour, I believe these rods actually get my lure to the right spot in the water more often as it has unprecedented casting accuracy over a conventional guided rod.  People are hesitant when it comes to the Interline rods but once you try them you soon realise that they are dead accurate and also cast the same, if not longer distances than a conventional rod.  There is no guide wrap and tangles which means you can easily pick up a rod and start casting.

For soft plastics, i’ve just recently started using the Generation Black Pinster rod and I haven’t been disappointed. At 6’4″ I think it is perfect.  I like short rods for accurate casts around structure, while it also has a heap of power to persuade fish from around the docks and pylons that I like to fish on Sydney Harbour.  This rod played an instrumental part in ensuring that I was able to cast tight into poles and jetties and sink my lure down to the fish at the bottom.

Electronics – On the third day of this event it was my sounder that helped me see what appeared to be fish holding at the base of marinas, mooring poles as well as jetties.  It then became a matter of process of elimination with lures to see what they would bite eventually settling with the Keitech 3″ Little Spider in Sahara Olive.

I think it is important to remember that each piece of your equipment, whether rods, reels, lures, line or electronics, is designed to carry out certain functions.  Yes, you may be able to use it for purposes other than intended but by doing so you may be limiting your opportunities.  You could use a 7’6″ rod to cast tight in around structure but you’re probably going to be more effective by using a shorter rod.  Even if you can land 3 out of 5 casts exactly where you want.  Add this up over 3 days and that is quite a few casts and potentially missed fish where the correct rod may have landed 4 0r even 5 out of 5 casts maximising your opportunities.  Couple this with other equipment like sounders, the right class of line, your decision to try different lures and time on the water and you will start to give yourself an edge over your competition.  There is one thing I always try to remind myself when I’m on the water, and that is, my actions are the only thing that I can control.

28 responses to “Making the right decisions!

  1. The wisdom of a champion, beautiful work mate, and to all the Seeto clan, what a solid team you guys are, it must help enormously and be ever rewarding to have the support and to share these victorys with the clan.

    • Al – the rewarding aspect of all of this, is that the 3 of us started out together with zero idea. We jumped in the deep end together and have been learning together ever since.

      You’ll see from our results over the years that we either all bomb out or all do well and that’s probably because we fish similar patterns to each other and have always prefished together as a team and shared the information with each other.

      Ian’s obviously proven that he can mix it with the best, and as much as Chris and I would have loved to be the ones standing on the podium, we’re both really proud of his achievements.

    • Al, as Greg mentioned we started out together and brought with us to fishing, our family belief of “one in – all in”.
      I couldn’t celebrate these victories alone, without these guys or any of my supportive family I would not be the angler or the person I am today.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to explain your thoughts and actions. Now if only I could read the weather, I might catch more.

  3. Very good read Ian, Well done on adapting your technique to the changing conditions. I always believe that certain gear works best in certain situations and you proved it once again well done.

  4. Hi guys .. that’s for sharing .. and I love the passion you all have for finesse fishing and your willingness to pass on your thoughts and ideas .. a question is the TDX641LFS a similar rod to the Pinster?
    Cheers .. love your work

    • haven’t had the pleasure of using the TDX model, but if it’s anything like the others, it will be crisp and sensitive. Specs look pretty similar to the Pinster

      • Cheers mate … I’ve just bought 2 new rods but I like the look of the TDX … or maybe save for an 6′ interline .. I had a 7’6 for a while but you really had to keep the internals clean … and get pedantic with knots .. was great at eliminating line wraps

    • Todd, if we don’t convince you to buy one soon, come see one of us next time we are up the coast and that way you can actually use one and decide for yourself. Hopefully that would be enough to push you over the line.


  5. Thanks Ian, I reckon the info passed on from success is the easiest to absorb. Congrats on the win mate.

    • Thanks Ron, I hope that all the information we provide can help you and other readers in some way. Keep your eye out for a video interview we have done, it should be up soon.


  6. From this, I went out and spent $550 on an interline rod… thanks guys :p

    Nahh, I am loving it 🙂 you guys have helped me heaps with my breamming

  7. TMZ (Orange) in 7’6″ as I needed a new flats rod. most expensive rod I have ever bought..
    Well worth the money although. I love it and can’t wait to use it this weekend 🙂


  8. This is a bit belated but a comment on the Gen Black Pinster – after fishing as the non boater with Chris on day 2 at Hawkesbury ABT I quickly realised that my rods were completely inadequate for close in accurate casting. Added a Pinster to the arsenal and the last 2 sessions I have been on waterways where there is an abundance of boats, pontoons et al. The Pinster has come into its own with its casting accuracy and ability to put the hurt on fish when needed even on 3lb leader

    • That’s good to hear Nathan. Since the Aus Open, my Pinster has moved into the starting lineup of al my light tackle fishing sessions.


  9. Hi Ian,
    Great read, thanks for sharing.
    Just a question on Pinster: I am looking to buy a shorter rod to use around structure and Pinster II caught my eye. Do you know if they are fitted with microguides or normal guides? Daiwa doesn’t say anything about it unfortunately. What knot do you use on it? I am intending to fish it with 8lbs braid and 6 lbs leader. Would it be a problem if the rod is fitted with microguides? Cheers,

    • Hi Alex,

      I sought clarification from Daiwa regarding your question and can tell you, “The Pinster II does not have micro guides. The smallest guide on the rod is a Fuji size 4 which is perfectly suited to light line like you require. The term “micro guide” has been abused and in 99% of cases quoted is completely incorrect by people. Micro Guides were made by Pac Bay and are a size 0.5 – 2.”
      Hope this helps,


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