First Prize $20,000 in the 2011 Berkley Evinrude Team Series Fishing Competition

The 2011 Berkley Evinrude Team Series is one of Australia’s premier angling events. Fishing exclusively for bream the two person team based format that has seen over 140 teams take part in six rounds of competition from Forster in the north to St Georges Basin in the south.

The top twenty placed teams following these round stages have earned an invitation to the BETS Grand Final and the chance to fight it out for a top prize of $20,000 on one of the country’s most cherished bream fisheries, Sydney Harbour.

Anglers pursue the heaviest five bream they can catch in a seven hour fishing session using on lure or fly fishing techniques and the fish are held onboard in a “live well” to be weighed live at the end of the session. Fish are then released back into the waterway in a practice know as “Catch and Release”. The team with the heaviest ‘bag’ is the winner.

In the early days the humble tinny was the basis for the tournament boat with anglers fishing from four metre boats with 20hp outboards. Some five years ago the popularity of fast fibreglass boats used on the lucrative bass fishing circuit in the USA took hold in the Australian bream and bass world and in 2011 the average power now utilised is 137hp with a standard tournament boat valued around $40,000

From a trial bream fishing event of four competitors in 1999, BETS team events now see fields of over 85 boats and with a competition prize pool of well over $100,000 in cash and prizes it has become a highly competitive and well regarded event.

For twenty teams the BETS Grand Final held at the Sydney Boat Show represents the culmination of nine months planning, practice and competition and two days fishing on Sydney Harbour now stands between anglers and the $20,000 first prize.

When the boats return at around 2pm each day each team will bring their ‘bag’ to be weighed atop the BETS Reef Science Tank. The leading team will occupy the “Hot Seat” on stage until their weight is surpassed.

Following the final weigh-in on Sunday the winner of the 2011 BETS Grand Final and recipient of the $20,000 First Prize will be announced.

Anglers will be on hand afterwards to answer questions regarding the tournament scene.