Alex's Fishing Report 11 February 2016
If the Law of Averages has any sway at all, the odds of the actual Million Dollar Fish being caught is now shorter than it’s ever been.
After Shaymus Frewen caught the eighth tagged barra worth $10,000 last Sunday, and with now only 67 similar-tagged fish and the sole seven-figure fish still at liberty, don’t be surprised if the big bucks go off.
I find it strange to write “don’t be surprised” because I’m still mightily surprised that so many of these tagged barra have been recaptured.
Isn’t it great too that these red-tagged barra have now cropped up in four different locations: four from Darwin Harbour, two from the Daly River, one from Corroboree Billabong and now one also from Bynoe Harbour.
As I’ve written in my monthly Million Dollar Fish feature, I still reckon the seven-figure fish is swimming happily in the Daly River.
The good news is that the Daly is by far and away the big tidal river of choice to focus your immediate run-off fishing endeavours.
It’s risen again and was around 11m at the crossing early this week, but once it falls the fishing could go ballistic.
As I wrote last week, a cherabin spawning run of enormous proportions has been taking place on the Daly, and that’s mother’s milk to the barra.
Apart from the Daly, however, the big rivers particularly to the east of Darwin are really not experiencing much of a wet season at all.
In fact, Darwin was only a couple of millimetres more than its second-driest January.
Although I did see a Face Book post of the Magela Crossing leading to the East Alligator River being about 0.5m high, I heard that the South Alligator is suffering from lack of water with shallow mud bars everywhere.
Fortunately, there are still about seven weeks to the annual Aurora Kakadu Klash, the first of the Top End’s three Grand Slam tournaments, and a few barra are being caught at the top of the river.
There’s bound to be plenty of rain by the time this great event takes place at the delightful Aurora Kakadu Resort.
But how about the two other big competitions: the NT Barra Nationals and the NT Barra Classic?
They’re both held on the Daly, and I bet the organisers of these two iconic events are rubbing their hands with glee given what’s been happening at the Daly with all the flooding.
Talking about iconic fishing competitions, Christina Hurren sent me an email reminding me that this year’s Secret Women's Business Barra Challenge (SWB) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
This is without doubt, the premier women’s fishing comp in Australia.
“This year's tournament is being held on 9th and 10th September 2016 and promises to be the best one yet,” Christina explained.
“Expressions of Interest for entry into this invitation-only tournament are now being accepted.
“As always, SWB is all about getting together with like-minded women, forging new friendships and re-kindling old ones.
“SWB is an all-women, catch, tag-and-release, fishing tournament targeting barramundi and saratoga.
“Women of all skill levels take part in this nationally-recognised tournament, from novices to skilled anglers.
Held on the spectacular Corroboree Billabong, which is located just outside Darwin, the fishing can often be tough, but this doesn't seem to matter as the women fish their hearts out vying for the title of Champion Team.
“The atmosphere on the water is electric as the target species of barramundi and saratoga are sought out amongst the lilies and snags.
“Other titles include Champion Runner-Up Team, Champion Angler, Biggest Barra and Biggest Saratoga,” Christina wrote.
“SWB continues to hold a five-star NEATFish accreditation, something which Christina and fellow organiser, Kristen Noble, are proud of.
“This tournament is committed to preserving the environment and keeping the fisheries healthy and strong.
“All barramundi caught during the tournament are tagged before being released to assist NT Fisheries with their research.
“The fun is not just restricted to the water though; back at base camp at Corroboree Park Tavern there is entertainment and activities each night for everyone to enjoy.
“One thing is for certain: there is never a dull moment at SWB.
“Expressions of Interest close on Monday 18 April 2016 so, for more information on how you can be part of the 10th anniversary of Australia’s premier all-women tournament, please contact ,” Christina reported.
Having covered the last SWB on behalf of NAFA magazine, I can tell you it is a hoot, and the women sure go for it with some seriously-spirited competition.
Brad Woollams fished Darwin Harbour last Sunday, catching a yummy 60-plus-centimetre silver barra.
Roger Sinclair also fished the harbour and reckoned this brown sweetlip put up a hell of a fight.
“Girls gone fishing” at the 2015 Secret Women’s Business Barra Challenge, with expressions of interest closing 18th April for this year’s 10th anniversary event.