Alex's Fishing Report 13 April 2017
Last week’s annual Aurora Kakadu Klash surprised a few competitors with the sheer number and size of barra in the river.
There were six barra over a metre caught and quite a few more in the 90s hit the deck in the three days of competition.
Two of those metreys were landed by Team Tackle World Revos, skippered by “Mr Ever Consistent”, Shane Compain.
This was the fourth time Shane has captained the winning team in the Aurora Kakadu Klash, and this year his team amassed a whopping 287 points.
“We fished back eddies and swirling water on the outgoing tide, mainly casting shallow-running minnows,” Shane told me.
“On the orientation day before the tournament start, we caught at least 20 barra, including a 105 and five in the 90s.
“During the comp, our two biggest fish – a 112cm barra on day one and a 105cm fish on day two – were both caught on the incoming tide around the mouth of Brook Creek,” Shane said.
Shane’s team mates were Jamps Gregory and Bryce Neil, and Bryce proved the secret weapon in the catching department, landing the team’s scoring barra on each of the three days.
I asked Shane for one tip to increase your chances of tournament success.
“Read the river on the day and not from the past,” he confided.
Michael Dickinson and his Team Fusion accomplices, son Daniel and Darrel Melville, are never far off the money, and did well again this year scoring 227 points.
“The fishing was 100% better than in recent years,” Dicko said.
“Unfortunately, the orientation day was the best for us because Darrel caught a 112cm barra.
“The main river had good clarity during the comp, and we found fish in the eddies upriver.
“It was amazing how much bait was around, especially the big schools of scats,” Michael said.
Regular barra tournament contender, Trevor Robb, and his Gillies Guns team were consistent with quality fish.
“We worked upriver a fair bit, and we did well at Nourlangie Creek mouth chucking big rubbers,” Trevor told me.
“We had Nourlangie to ourselves for most of the time, and that’s where our best two fish – 89cm and 84cm – came from.
Trevor’s team caught 35 barra over the three days, including an 82cm in the Rookery on the last day.
Everyone I spoke to reckoned Aurora Kakadu did a great job hosting this iconic NT barra tournament, the only one held in world heritage Kakadu National Park.
For the record, second place went to Glen Hemsley, Jim McGanly and Nev Trinne of Team Filthy Swines with 260 points, third place went to Gillies Guns with 255 points, Kokoda’s David Abela, Dwayne Wauchope and Dan Kirkup were third with 250 points and Anthony Verkuylen, Peter Dienhoff and Danny Stevens of Team INXS were fifth with 228 points.
So, just when you thought this great wet season was finally running out of puff, the Top End was threatened with another bucketing from a sodden tropical low.
Big tidal rivers, which are all still well above dry season levels, stopped falling and began to rise again.
Most of the rain came down on the floodplains to the east of Darwin.
It’s certainly going to make for an interesting Easter, one which is sure to produce some vintage runoff fishing.
I was down the Daly again last week, enjoying some good runoff sessions with mates from down south.
At the time, the river appeared to be settling down, with patches of green water breaking through the brown.
The Daly was still a couple of metres above the crossing, and for my money was just where you wanted it to be with the Club Marine Insurance Barra Nationals just a couple of weeks away.
Much as I find it unusual to write this, I’m glad the deluge largely passed by the upper Daly.
With 62 teams, the Barra Nationals will be much easier fishing if teams don’t need to fight over the creek mouths.
It was a hard slog for Steve, Cheryl and Shane Compain, but somehow they managed to complete and open the new Tackle World Coolalinga super store just in time for Easter.
Congratulations to the Compains and their dedicated staff for this great addition to the Top End angling scene.
Bryce Neil (left) shares a special moment with fellow Tackle World Revos’ team member, Jamps Gregory, following the capture of his magnificent 112cm barra in the Aurora Kakadu Klash.
Bryce bagged his second metrey on day two of the Klash: a 105cm barra which received the thumbs up from team captain Shane Compain.
Darrel Melville’s 112cm barra was a great fish that came a day early in this year’s Aurora Kakadu Klash.
While the Klash was on, big barra like this metre fish caught by Nugget Johnson were on the bite down the Daly River.