Alex's Fishing Report 14 September 2017
The Top End Barra Series (TEBS) continues to go from strength to strength, and the recent round four in Darwin Harbour was certainly testimony to that.
According to TEBS co-ordinator, Ross Abraham, the harbour round again demonstrated that the city backyard is in healthy condition.
“Despite the wind that turned up on the weekend of TEBS, there were 99 barra recorded over 50cm,” Ross said.
“The biggest barra came in at 81cm and was captured by Simon Bochow.
“The number of barra caught over the past three years in the harbour has remained consistent during the TEBS competition.
“We do not keep records of the sub-50cm barra that are captured but reports indicate that there were substantial numbers around again during the comp.
“Flats fishing on the springs was again the preferred fishing method for barra in Darwin Harbour.
“Targeting the runoff drains right down to the bottom of the tide was also an effective way to pick up fish waiting to ambush the baitfish coming out of the mangroves.
“Matching the hatch with similar-sized lures, soft plastics and vibes produced the best results,” Ross said.
“We usually nominate other species for each round; for the Darwin Harbour round, we nominated queenfish and mangrove jack.
“Jason Haack caught the biggest queenfish at 83cm to the fork, and Dustin Menke managed to bag the biggest mangrove jack at 44cm.
“Another noteworthy catch was a big GT that Jon Russo picked up while trolling East Arm flats.
“Interestingly, there were schools of large slatey bream patrolling the flats and it’s common to mistake them for barra in discoloured water,” Ross told me.
This TEBS round was won by Jamie Cooper with Peter Cooper second and Peter Washington third.
With two of the six rounds to go, Bryn Montgomery is leading, with Kai Argent and Ben Judd tied at second spot.
The next round will be held in Bynoe Harbour over the weekend of 23-24 September.
Shimano baitcasting fans will be pleased to know that the all-new Shimano Curado 200K series is living up to the manufacturer’s claim that it will withstand the toughest saltwater environment.
It has a specially-plated pinion gear, combined with a breakwater wall and drainage port which sheds any water before it can access the reel’s internals.
Bryan Spick of Darwin Barra Fishing Tours was sent one of the first two to arrive in Australia and was asked to put it through its paces.
He was specifically instructed not to service it or even wash it in freshwater.
Basically, if it developed any issues, Shimano wanted Bryan to send it back so that the problems could be evaluated.
“The one I have is the Curado K series XG model which has the super-fast 8.5:1 retrieve,” Bryan told me.
“I’ve been using it for clients for nearly six months and doing a lot of salt water work, including in Darwin Harbour and out in the Mini Mini system near Endyalgout Island.
“It’s had heaps of salt water spray on it which I haven’t washed of it at all, and it still casts great and the drag is still good too.
“My clients have no problem casting lures with it, even unweighted weedless lures.
I’m pretty happy with it and I’ve been using it long enough now for the colour to come out of the braid,” Bryan told me.
“I love the fast retrieve and I really like the feel of the bigger handles.
“I’ll be buying a bunch of them for my guided fishing operation,” Bryan said.
Pictured on this page is a photo of Michael Reiter with his biggest-ever barra caught at Shady Camp in 2012.
I remember the day Michael brought the photo to my office, together with other images of quality barra following a great Shady Camp session.
It was the same year that he was diagnosed with brain cancer, and had been fighting his illness with courage and great intestinal fortitude for the last five years.
Sadly, Michael passed away last week at the young age of 42.
An avid fisherman, his PB barra was caught on his first day back on the water after his first surgery.
Michael was an integral part of the team in the early days of NAFA magazine.
He was responsible for introducing many people to the wonders of recreational fishing, including all of his three children and their mothers.
He was one of those freaky blokes whose lure seemed to be “the one” in the eyes of barra.
Many mates always questioned how he did it and, like a true Territory fisho, he’d left them wondering.
This column extends its deepest condolences to Michael’s family and friends.
John Russo with a typical “rat” barra from the Top End Barra Series round 4 in Darwin Harbour.
Jason Haack caught the biggest queenfish in the TEBS competition.
Mick Reiter with his PB 118cm barra which he caught in 2012.
Following exhaustive testing on Top End waters, the all-new Shimano Curado 200K series is living up to the manufacturer’s claim that it will withstand the toughest saltwater environment.