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Alex's Fishing Report 26 May 2016

For the fourth time in five successive Barra Classics, Team Top End Tackle World has triumphed.
In a grinding test of endurance on the water, competing on a Daly River that was in shut-down mode for the duration of the tournament, Shane Compain, his dad Steve Compain and Terry Ryan fired out thousands of casts to win the 2016 Classic.
After the first day, they were coming second to Team Taking A Punt, but then led to the end.
“We would have only spent an hour trolling,” Steve told me.
“Our tactics were to target deep snags on the side of the river and cast vibes and weedless plastics to them.
“We tried Lizzie Creek for a while on the first of the run-out tide, but it was dead.
“The fish just seemed to be sitting on the snags,” Steve said.
There were two big barra caught in this year’s Classic: Peter Politis’ 113cm fish on day four and  Murray Crowe’s 119cm barra on the last day.
It was Murray’s only barra for the week, yet ironically it was nearly enough for his Intuition team to overhaul Top End Tackle World; there were less than 100 points in it.
The sad story of the week belonged to the angler who landed one of the biggest barra ever to have been caught on the Daly: a gargantuan 127cm fish.
Unbelievably, the poor bloke accidentally deleted the photos of the fish on the measuring board before the SD card had been handed in.
This barra would have been worth 997 points and may even have gotten the unfortunate team over the line.
The Champion Team prize was a four-day trip aboard an Arafura Bluewater Charters’ boat.
However, Steve Compain of the winning team owns Arafura Bluewater Charters and had donated the prize.
Top End Tackle World members decided, therefore, to hand the prize over to the team they thought most deserving: Team Snoop N Round.
This WA team bent a drive shaft on the first day and, following a quick tow to Darwin and thanks to Territory Marine mechanics working overnight, had it fixed, but then they did in a powerhead on their outboard.
That put their boat right out of action so, after another Darwin trip, they returned to the Daly with a hire boat.
Their abysmal run of luck continued when they finished the Classic with not one barra on the scoreboard.
An extended fishing trip for three worth nearly $10,000 was definitely a reversal of their unlucky streak.
A total of 540 barra were tagged and released in the Barra Classic, which is hosted by Darwin Game Fishing Club, and there were a lot of positive comments about how well the tournament went this year.

Results:

Champion Team: Top End Tackle World (Shane Compain, Steve Compain, Terry Ryan)
Champion Runner-up Mixed Team – Intuition (Steve Roberts, Murray Crowe, Paul McKenzie)
Champion Runner-up Local Team – Polar Bears (Peter Politis, Craig Wenck, Chris Paice)
Champion Runner-up Visiting Team – Team 4B’s (Shane Biddle, Graham Light, Glen Sexton)
Champion Angler: Murray Crowe
Runner-up Champion Angler: Steve Compain
Champion Female Angler: Marion Washington

As captain of the winning Barra Classic team – as well as previously both the Barra Nationals and the Aurora Kakadu Klash – Shane Compain is well poised for his next competition foray: this time in the USA where he will be competing next week in the Bassmaster Opens Series on the Arkansas River, Muskogee, Oklahoma.
It’s been a long-time ambition of Shane’s to have a shot at the lucrative bass tournament circuit in the US.
This first visit will see him competing as a co-angler in two tournaments.
That means he will go into a draw to see which pro-angler and boat he gets to fish with.
The prize for the co-angler is valued at $30,000 and about $60,000 for the winning pro-angler.
It costs $700 to enter as a co-angler and $2000 to enter as a pro-angler.
Success in the Bassmaster Opens Series gets you into the Bassmaster Elite Series as one of only 111 anglers, and that’s where the serious prize money is: over US$300,000 for each of nine tournaments.
“I just want to see how I go, and learn from the pro-anglers,” Shane told me as he boarded a plane bound for LA in Sydney yesterday.
“If I think I can compete, I’ll have a shot as a pro angler and see where that might lead.
My mate Tynan Bartolo is travelling with me, and he’ll be terrific support as we fish the Barra Nationals together.
Good luck to Shane, an incredibly-talented young angler who – as we all know – has what it takes to win the big tournaments.
This report will be following Shane’s US tournament trail in the weeks to come.

Photos:

Barra Classic Champion Team Captain, Shane Compain, with one of the barra Team Top End Tackle World worked hard to catch.Barra Classic Champion Team Captain, Shane Compain, with one of the barra Team Top End Tackle World worked hard to catch.

Murray Crowe’s 119cm barra was the biggest of the tournament. Pictured left to right: Murray, Steve Rogers and Paul McKenzie.Murray Crowe’s 119cm barra was the biggest of the tournament. Pictured left to right: Murray, Steve Rogers and Paul McKenzie.

Ever-consistent Peter Politis with his 113cm barra.Ever-consistent Peter Politis with his 113cm barra.

Steve Compain fished like a trooper as always, including catching this barra which already had a tag from a previous tournament.Steve Compain fished like a trooper as always, including catching this barra which already had a tag from a previous tournament.