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Alex's Column 10/9/20

There’s no question that last week’s Women’s Barratoga Bash (WBB) achieved what was intended by co-ordinator, Kristen Noble: relaxing and having fun both on and off the water.

Palmerston Game Fishing Club decided to hold this event as an alternative to the long-running Secret Women’s Business Barra Challenge which was cancelled this year due to major sponsors pulling out with the uncertainties of Covid-19.

Mind you, with 39 teams of three or four female anglers, it wasn’t that much of a lesser event.

“I was rapt that it was so well supported, and with more focus on competitors having fun and appreciating we live in best place in Australia.

“I’m also ecstatic about the results – over 300 saratoga, barra and tarpon – because we haven’t had numbers like that in years,” Kristen explained.

“Last year, there were only 5 barra caught so 38 this year is unbelievable.”

Kris said the WBB gave her the opportunity to try some different things.

“We gave saratoga the same points value as barra, plus we introduced tarpon,” she said.

“The social side at Corroboree Park Tavern was really big, and we trialled the Track My Fish app which meant results were virtually instant,” Kris said.

For the second time in three years, the winning team was the Slippery Gypseas, comprised of Leila Bartolo, Delisa Bell and Jade McGowan.

“I went out to Corroboree to pre-fish probably 9 times,” Leila told me.

“This year, we moved around a lot more than in the past, but not far… if a spot stopped working, we’d move, even if only 20 metres.

“We didn’t target barra at all because toga are so territorial and we knew they would bite more.

“We didn’t target tarpon either… you only catch them when you’re not trying too,” Leila joked.

“We mainly used Akame Hybrids which are made in Darwin by Stewart Hodges,” she said.

Second place went to Team Bynoe Blush (Angelina Anictomatis, Melissa Cabot and Joanne Rudd); and third was Team Zerek (Rocky Edwards, Roma Dainius and Fay Rohweder)

Champion Angler was Melissa Cabot, followed by Leila Bartolo and Rocky Edwards.


Rebecca Campart from the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT asked me to let readers know that the Museum is chasing samples of the mysterious Worm Gobie, aka Worm Of Death.

NT anglers fishing in saltwater for barra occasionally hook small (5-30cm) thin, pinkish, worm-like fish with large fangs. The Museum’s Curator of Fishes, Dr Michael Hammer, is trying to better document the biodiversity of NT waters, including the discovery of species new to science. “Worm Gobies are poorly known, and hard to collect with traditional research gear, so the army of Top End anglers is a perfect way to help advance our knowledge,” Dr Hammer said.

Worm Gobies live in the mud and, although they have poor eye sight, they have lots of sensory features to help detect prey and predators, as well as large glass-like teeth to help them secure prey and defend their territory.

If you catch a worm gobie, keep it and contact the museum on 8999 8264.


Leila Bartolo, Delisa Bell and Jade McGowan of Team Slippery Gypseas won the inaugural Women’s Barratoga Bash.

Melissa Cabot was Champion Angler in the Women’s Barratoga Bash.

Samples of the vicious Worm Of Death are being sought by the Darwin Museum.


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