Fishing With Alex Julius 19/09/19
Just when you thought the easterlies were a thing of the dry season just passed, last week, and particularly the weekend, was more than just a bit blowy.
One area where it really howled was Bynoe Harbour, and didn’t that make fishing interesting for competitors in round five of the Top End Barra Series, aka TEBS.
According to a TEBS organiser, Regis Martin: “Bynoe Harbour is very big, with many islands offering protection when the wind blows.
“Well windy it was, and the little islands didn’t offer as much protection as many had hoped for,” Regis reported.
“The wind blew above 15 knots on both days.
“In a place where fishing for barramundi on the flats can be excellent, as if on cue, the wind started blowing at the prime time to fish each day.
“For many TEBS competitors, the solution was to try and hide in small creeks and find the limited fish in clearer, more protected waters.
“The windows of opportunity over the weekend were incredibly short and being in the right place at the right time was key,” Regis explained.
“Turns of the tide once again seemed to be the ticket.
“These events pushed clarity into the gutters and provided enough flow to fire the fish up.
“Fishing wasn’t easy, and as usual talent, perseverance, knowledge and sometimes pure luck made all the difference,” Regis said.
The recent strong winds had combined with fire outbreaks in rural areas, and apparently there was plenty of smoke down Bynoe way.
Amazingly, competitors departing Bynoe from Six Pack Creek on Sunday afternoon had to be escorted by firemen along Barramundi Drive, with hardly 2m of visibility.
Back to the fishing, one competitor, Crystal Neal, said the wind was so strong that many anglers gave up and there were boats rafted together and crews socialising.
Not surprisingly, competitors who managed to catch a barra or two did so on soft plastics.
Regis reported that there were plenty of juvenile barra in Bynoe Harbour.
“I caught all my fish on soft plastics too, except for my only scorer,” he said.
“This fish responded to a hard-bodied lure which had been neglected in my bag for several years.
“It was a good time to try it, and saved me from the dreaded donut.
“One competitor, Moz, used an effective, handmade, timber lure that also accounted for several fish.
“His ‘Stick With Eyes’ lure has more of a reputation than he does,” Regis joked.
“Species caught during the round were again varied with many competitors catching ‘the mystery fish’ for the round: queenfish and golden snapper.
“Other species landed included mangrove jack, trevally species, rock cod, star gazer and even flathead,” Regis reported.
James Mitchell and Dean Blackman did their good deed for the weekend when they came upon an osprey floundering in the water and rescued it.
The pair offered the bird the net and it climbed straight on to it.
The osprey was covered in mud and, when it shook it off, it took a moment to get itself together and dry before finally flying away to a nearby mangrove tree.
Regis also reported: “Another amusing story is the 85cm barramundi caught by Peter ‘Cuddles’ Cooper.
“Peter was fishing in very shallow, dirty water, hoping to get a fish in the 60cm range to upgrade his bag, when his lure came to an abrupt stop.
“It was like Pete had been snagged on a rock, before the line took off at great speed, leaving a bow wave and dirt trail in its wake.
“Pete’s first thought was that he had hooked a small crocodile that he’d seen in the vicinity earlier.
“It was only after a few minutes into the fight that he was pleased to see a big yellow tail breaking the surface.
“Once the fish was netted, he realised that it had been hooked just on the side of the head which is why it had been fighting in a very odd manner,” Regis said.
Once again, Peter Cooper is at the top of the leader board and apparently unstoppable in the 2019 Top End Barra Series.
His fellow competitors reckon he is a real “barra weapon”.
1. Clayton Archbold’s barra was one of the few better fish caught in last weekend’s windy Top End Barra Series round 5.
2. Jason Gerdes queenfish was a great catch in the TEBS round.
3. Josh Scanlon with a quality TEBS barra from Bynoe Harbour.
4. Moz’s “Stick With Eyes” lure actually catches fish.