Fishing With Alex Julius 11/07/19
It’s been a while between rounds but number three round of the Top End Barra Series (TEBS) took place last weekend.
The fishing grounds for this round were any Mary River billabong, so competitors had four to choose from: Mary River Bridge Lagoon, Hardies Lagoon, Corroboree Billabong and Shady Camp Freshwater Lagoon.
TEBS co-ordinator, Ross Abraham (Rossco), said great weather was predicted with light winds so the weekend looked good.
“Unfortunately, that was not so for most anglers,” Ross told me.
“Perhaps the crisp nights over the past few weeks had something to do with the low water temperatures that were experienced.
“The fish were there but, as the results showed after Sunday, they were not in the mood to play.
“Competitors were spread across the billabongs with Corroboree being the most popular location,” Ross reported.
“We fished Shady fresh on Saturday with a few other boats on the water.
“The wildlife and stunning scenery made up for the tough fishing, although there were plenty of small barra under 50cm but these fish were not able to be converted into points.
“There were huge schools of tarpon in the system and, as always, a bit of fun to cast a lure to.
“The road into Shady had just been graded so travel there was easy. “We lost interest after many hours of casting and packed up to head to Corroboree,” an exasperated Rossco explained.
“Several competitors tried their hand at Hardies for mixed results. “Peter Cooper managed a few of the weekend’s scoring fish from that area.
“Corroboree produced the most results but, compared to previous years, the fishing was tough.
“Corroboree is a great location to visit just for the wildlife, so the cameras were clicking at the scenery rather than at scoring fish. “Saturday night was a typical dry season night on the water.
“As the evening progressed, the temperature dropped dramatically and along with the cooler air came the moisture and mist.
“It is quite eerie trolling through the night with limited visibility,” Ross said.
“The best fish of the round was caught at night by James Park: an 83cm barra which was a terrific catch given the conditions.
James fished most of the night with his mate before dropping him back at the ramp to catch a flight down south.
“James landed two scoring barra, both on Saturday night trolling.
“Only nine competitors sent in their barra captures at the end of the round.
“In total, there were 17 barra recorded over 50cm, the minimum size in the Top End Barra Series,” Ross explained.
“Had the size length been less than 50cm, the results would have been different given the numbers of ‘rats’ in the Mary system.
“By contrast, in 2018, in similar dry season conditions, there were 90 barra recorded,” the TEBS co-ordinator said.
Peter Cooper was the highest-scoring angler in this third TEBS round, followed by Simon Bochow and James Park.
The next round of TEBS is located on Darwin Harbour on 17-18 August.
Darwin Harbour rounds have generally been quite productive.
As the weather warms up on the approach to the build-up season, and given the great harbour tides, good barra fishing is to be expected.
1. James Parks’ 83cm barra was the biggest of round three of the Top End Barra Series.
2. As usual, Simon Bochow got amongst the fish in the TEBS Mary River billabongs round.
3. Peter Cooper didn’t need company to win this latest round of the Top End Barra Series.