Alex's Fishing Report 23 March 2017
If you’re looking for a runoff barra fish this weekend, the monsoon just to our north will continue to move away and the storms will begin dissipating.
According to Zuzanna Palej of the Darwin Bureau of Metreology, we can expect to have the usual afternoon showers over the next few weeks, as this has been a good wet season, but the weak monsoon trough will be gone.
“However, bear in mind that we can’t rule out another monsoon happening again this wet season,” Zuzanna said.
The tides are pretty good for Shady Camp this weekend, and they offer a mixed bag: Saturday’s tides are coming out of the neaps and Sunday’s tides are closer to the springs.
This means that Saturday could still fish well at the mouth of the Mary River, especially Sampan Creek, as water clarity should still be good enough to troll.
However, the bigger tides on Sunday offer the opportunity to travel the coast and fish the coastal tidal creeks.
All of the above is great news for competitors in the annual Top End Barra Series (TEBS) because the first of six rounds this year will be held at Shady Camp this weekend.
That means there will be at least 60 more boats than normal for a runoff weekend at Shady, and most will be working the mouth of Sampan Creek which is the major tributary of the Mary River.
The actual boundaries for competitors are from Marsh Creek, to the west of the Mary, all the way to the Wildman River to the east.
TEBS is a great competition for many reasons, one of which is that it is held on a different waterway each round.
There’s a great deal of camaraderie associated with it too: boats usually raft up at night in rows of a dozen or more.
Each round, competitors enter the length of their five longest fish, and the winner is the angler with the greatest total length.
For the record, I went down the Daly again last week; however, it didn’t fish as well as the previous week because the river was rising.
We still managed to find a few barra, including another metre fish which Stuey Brisbane nailed on a Reidy’s Big Ass B52 in the Kryptonite colour.
Top Daly River guide, Karl Skyring of Darwin Barra and Crabs, managed to find plenty of barra for his clients at one creek mouth, including a trophy 120cm specimen.
The Daly could definitely be an option this weekend, especially if it fishes like it did a couple of weeks ago.
That’s about the time Colin Burdon of Reidy’s Lures was there with his mate Zorny (Paul Zorn).
“We arrived at the Banyan Farm and the plan was to head off early next morning to one of Zorny's favourite creeks down near Clear Creek,” Col said.
“So we were on the water by 5.30 and we headed down, but unfortunately there was a boat camped at the creek we were going to fish and, as we don't like pushing in, we headed to Clear to find a couple of boats near the mouth.
“We decided to head up the creek to the junction thinking there might be a boat there but we were surprised to find it empty.
“We sorted ourselves out but Zorny was organised and casting his Reidys Weedie soft plastic; he was on straight away, only to lose the feisty little barra.
“Then bang, bang, bang, and after about 10 minutes Zorny landed three barra and I had only had one hit,” Col said.
“Obviously there was a bit of stirring and I jokingly said: ‘Okay mate, game on’.”
“I had been given the tip a few years ago that the gold four-inch Reidys rubber was a certainty on the Daly, so on it went with a treble attached to the belly.
“First cast I got a hit, second cast another hit and third time a nice 69cm swampy was on board.
“A couple of casts later, another dark barra going 65cm was on board.
“I quickly turned to Zorny and said three to two and I heard some mumbling somewhere around my old mate.
“I then had about five minutes of no hits before I was on again.
“I didn't think it was a big fish because of the current from the runout.
“Thumbing the reel, we finally saw colour and it was a good fish but didn't realise until it came hurtling out of the water just how big it was.
“After hanging around the back of the boat near the motor, I finally managed to get the fish up the side of the boat and into the net where she nearly jumped back out of it.
“Onto the lie detector and I was pleased to see her measure 107cm which is my PB for a wild barra.
“I say this because I have caught many big dam barra in Mackay with Peter Price.
“For the record I ended up landing four barra, whilst Zorny stayed on three – a bit of a tortoise and hare story during a great day on the water with a mate and a PB barra,” Col reported.
Stuey Brisbane of Daly River Barra Resort showed how to do it on the Daly when he nailed this thick metre barra on the Reidys Big Ass 52.
Colin Burdon of Reidys Lures proved his point in a competitive session on the Daly when he landed hid PB wild barra on the gold four-inch Reidys rubber.
The gold four-inch Reidys rubber that caught the 107cm trophy barra.