Alex's Fishing Report 8 September 2016
The competition scene fires up big time this weekend.
Firstly, Palmerston Game Fishing Club’s Secret Women’s Business Barra Challenge celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Once again it will be held at Corroboree Lagoon with the Corroboree Park Tavern as the official venue.
The SWB, as it has come to be known, runs over Friday and Saturday this week.
Unlike other all-female tournaments, competitors cannot enlist support from male boat drivers and teams must be totally self-sufficient.
It won’t surprise if there are some quality fish caught this year as Corroboree has yielded a sprinkling of 90cm-plus barra recently.
As always, most teams will be trolling as it’s easy and doesn’t require much effort.
Many of the teams are in it just for the fun, and trolling is the way to go for them.
To maximise results trolling, I’d suggest sticking to Bombers and Reidy’s Little Lucifers in hard bodies.
But ultra-slow, stop-start trolling with weedless soft plastics like ZMan SwimmerZ, Squidgy Slick Rigs and Zerek Flat Shads is also a technique worth considering.
There will also be several teams dining on raw meat prior to the SWB, keen to fish hard and win.
Mainly they’ll be casting and, if they don’t use weedless soft plastics, they’ll be reducing their chances.
Include weedless prawn offerings in lure selection for casting, including the Squidgy Pro Prawn which can brain them at Corroboree.
The SWB is a catch, measure, tag and release competition with points awarded according to fish length.
Saratoga are also eligible but are worth only half the points of barramundi.
Also on from Friday to Sunday this week is the Northern Territory Saltwater Flyfishing Challenge.
Hosted by the Darwin Fly Rodders, this challenging fly fishing competition is held in Bynoe Harbour.
This is the 18th annual event, and the focus is on catching as many as possible of seven different species: barramundi, salmon, tarpon, queenfish, trevally, mackerel and snapper (including mangrove jack).
With its myriad of fishing options, Bynoe Harbour is a fly fishing haven.
There are ample mud flats that sometimes provide outstanding run-off sight fishing opportunities, plus the usual rocky outcrops, islands, creeks and tidal estuaries provide surface and deep-water fly fishing challenges.
The challenge is to land all of the 7 species in one day, which earns bonus points.
Most barra anglers prefer Bynoe on spring tides, but fly fishos prefer the neaps like those this weekend because sight fishing opportunities are enhanced and some of the pelagic species are best targeted on the neaps.
The last competition – and the one which will certainly attract the most competitors – is the fifth round of the 2016 Top End Barra Series.
This will be held in and around the Adelaide River, including Leaders Creek and Saltwater Arm.
Last year there were a couple of metreys caught in the Adelaide River TEBS round, and that could well happen again on these fabulous neap tides.
Fishing will take place from Friday afternoon right through until Sunday evening.
In my opinion, to maximise chances, capitalising on tide changes will be critical; yes, it always is in the saltwater, but I reckon even more so this weekend.
There’s been a bit of rain about lately – exactly as we expected – and that too will factor into the quality of fishing in all three of the competitions held this weekend.
One thing for sure, if there is a heavy downpour at either of Corroboree, Bynoe or Adelaide River, plenty of competitors will get a wet arse…
Nicholle Smith visited Darwin and lost her barra virginity at Corroboree Lagoon with this beaut 68cm fish.
Debbie Hutchinson’s whopper black jew came from a trip with Arafura Bluewater Charters.
How’s this for a great Darwin Harbour barra: Hillar Peel with his 108cm fish caught in Middle Arm fishing with son Ben Peel.