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Alex Julius' Fishing Column 24/7/20

For several anglers, the fishing was not too bad last weekend in the third round of the Top End Barra Series (TEBS).

However, according to TEBS administrator, Regis Marti, the round wasn’t without hiccups.

“Nick Hall, for instance, managed to set the hooks on his largest catch to date: himself,” Regis reported.

“The treble went straight through the skin of his calf.

“To ease the pain, Nick took to some refreshing beverages with the company of Josh Scanlon.

“After a few ales, this experience was relived: a misjudged cast by Nick’s decky sent a vibe into Josh’s back… that’s one way to tie off in a raft-up.

“Luckily, in both cases, and the help of a side cutter, the hooks where able to be pushed through,” Regis said.

The TEBS competitors were lucky with the weather last weekend.

After weeks of moderate to strong easterlies, a low pressure system moved into the Great Australian Bight, thus causing the winds to drop away across the Top End.

It made for perfect conditions to sight fish for barra.

“Bynoe Harbour is reputed for its flats/sight fishing, and this was the plan for many,” Regis said.

“For a few, this strategy was effective, but one person with a different approach was Charli Syme.

“Charli saw a nice school of big fish on his sounder hiding in about 4m of water on the high tide, and decided to drop a vibe on them.

“Talk about persistence: it took three hours to get one single bite, but it gave Charli the biggest slab of chrome for the round.

“Back on the flats, James Park bagged his five fish.

“He worked from the mangrove edges to the gutters as the tide slowly dropped away. “James used a wide variety of lures, from small soft plastics and vibes to shallow hard bodies.

“His bag of 63, 63, 64, 65 and 66cm fish put James in third position for the round.

“He caught 11 point scorers, which was a stark contrast to the many doughnuts delivered this round.

“In second came Kevin Bochow with a bag of 63, 63, 63, 64 and 75cm.

“In first place was Simon Bochow who provided the biggest bag for the weekend at 65, 65, 66, 66 and 66cm.

“The prize for the biggest Queenfish for the round went to James Park with a fish that measured 84 cm to the fork,” Regis reported.

“The total number of barramundi recorded over the 50cm mark for this round was 74, which is an improvement over last year’s total.

“The number of full bags also went from three in 2019 to five in 2020, so this year seems better all around,” Regis explained.

The next round of TEBS is scheduled for the lower Adelaide River and estuary system on 12-13 September.


A great catch was made from a kayak last week by ABC Tales From The Tinny’s co-producer: Beard.

“I launched at Lee Point at 6.30am and did a few troll runs towing a weighted garfish rig with skirt and wire,” Beard told me.

“A tuna took the first gar and the second gar got smashed by a beast of a fish.

“I thought it was another tuna, but then I was convinced it was a big trevally after it started tea-bagging below after its first run.

“After its second run, I got eyes on it and nearly shit myself when I realised it was a big mackerel.

“After a bad gaff shot in side and a knife in head, I almost capsized the ‘yak hauling it in.

“At 124cm, it’s my PB by a long shot and my fishing goal for the year doneski,” a stoked Beard told me.


Top kayak angler, Beard, from ABC’s Tales From The Tinny, with his 124cm mackerel trolled up off Lee Point.

Leila Bartolo is congratulated by son Wilton after catching a point-scoring barra in the TEBS Bynoe Harbour round.

Regis Martin struggles to hide behind his TEBS barra from the weekend.


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