Alex's Fishing Column 12 March 2020
It seems last weekend’s first round of the Top End Barra Series (TEBS) on the Daly River was a winner for many competitors.
The Daly dropped quite quickly late last week and that set the scene for some quality sessions.
Normally, the first round of the year is at Shady Camp.
According to TEBS co-ordinator, Rossco, the primary reason for this swap was to avoid clashing with the three other competitions held on the Daly between April and May.
“In the fortnight before this first round, substantial rain had fallen across the Top End, which in turn saw the Daly River rising to a bit over 10m ,” Rossco explained.
“This weather event had a few competitors worried that there would be too much water flowing down the river but, in the four days leading to the comp, it dropped to around 7m would likely result in good fishing conditions.
“For the first time in the Daly round, competitors could fish through to the river mouth.
“Over the weekend, the river dropped down a few more metres and this did make a difference on the lower stretches of the Daly.
“Access to Clear Creek, for example, caught several people out as the normal approach was plagued by sand and mud bars, and a few boats were sitting high and dry,” Rossco said.
“There were also some massive floating logs to be mindful of.
“There were plenty of fish in the river but, as most people found, they were up tight against the weeds.
“Birds were feeding on the banks so there was obviously bait in close as well, and matching the hatch meant lots of reaching for the tackle box,” Rossco reported.
In TEBS comps, fish under 50cm are not reported, and apparently there were plenty of these rats caught.
But there were also more than 80 barra over 50cm, including a 96cm fish caught by Kevin Bochow.
The winner of the TEBS round 1 was Nicholas Hall, with Peter Cooper second and Jason Gerdes third.
The highest-scoring junior was Tore Rudduck and Sonia Barnes was the top female competitor.
The next TEBS round will be at Shady Camp on 4 and 5 April.
With the Kakadu Klash looming, sadly, the South Alligator mud-bar is close to covering the boat ramp.
According to Klash co-ordinator, Andy Ralph, on this week’s spring tides navigating back to the boat ramp at dead low has proved nigh on impossible. “The big tides and floodwater are certainly shifting the bar further down… ideally past the boat ramp and all the way to the next bend in the river,” Andy said.
“The fishing has been quite reasonable upstream with the usual large number of barra rats caught inside Nourlangie Creek.
“This recent burst of rain is just what we need for the upcoming Kakadu Klash and, while a substantial runoff is not guaranteed just yet, it’s looking good in coming weeks.”
Andy also issued a word of warning: After a car and boat crossed Magela Creek to fish the East Alligator River earlier in the day, the creek had risen to 1.5m by 10pm and the vehicle and boat got washed completely off the Oenpelli Road causeway when returning home.
The anglers’ 4WD and boat trailer remain submerged 50m downstream in over 2m of water, with only their boat salvageable.
“To add insult to injury, they hardly raised a scale during their expedition,” Andy told me.
Calling all lady anglers: Fishing and Outdoor World’s annual Ladies Night will be held from 6pm to 9pm next Tuesday 17 March.
This is always a great night with guest speakers, tackle industry representatives present, and food and wine for the ladies.
Nicholas Hall can be proud of his win in Round 1 of the Top End Barra Series on the Daly.
Showing he hasn’t lost his touch, Kevin Bochow caught the biggest TEBS barra at 96cm.
Leila Bartolo skippered her own boat to find and catch barra in the TEBS round.
Third place went to Jason Gerdes who travelled far down the Daly.