Alex's Column 12/05/2022

Another great Barra Nationals finished down the Daly River this week.

There were 66 teams of three and four anglers competing in what was a very tight competition right to the end.

Last week I reported that Shane Compain’s Tackle World Team won the Barra Classic, with Team Humminbird/Edge a very close second.

That is exactly what happened again in the Barra Nationals.

The Tackle World Revo team relied totally on the amazing Lowrance Active Live Target which basically shows you fish swimming around.

Then, if you’re good enough, you toss your lure at where you think the fish is and hopefully achieve the right depth for the fish to see it and bite it.

But it’s not the simplest technology to use, and requires a lot of practice, and that practice needs to take place where there are fish.

In what I have no doubt is a record for the Barra Nationals, or any other NT barra tournament, Shane personally landed three barra over a metre, including two whopping 113cm fish.

It just goes to show what is achievable with this technology.

Terry Ryan in the Tackle World team also caught a metre-plus barra, and fellow team mate Bryce Neal caught a 107cm barra on the Orientation Day.

When you consider there was only one other metrey caught between the other 65 teams – Michael Dickinson’s 112cm barra – it’s very clear what direction barra fishing is taking from now on …talk about a game changer.

Interestingly, Champion Angler was Kaile Robb who caught 37 barra, which is simply awesome given the tough conditions on the Daly during the Nats.

There was some discussion about how the Champion Angler status was evaluated according to all fish caught whereas Champion Team was based on a maximum of five barra each day.

According to Barra Nationals Co-ordinator, Adam White, the Committee will continue to revise the scoring system until it gets it right.

“I think the tournament went well, but I’m always my harshest critic,” Adam told me.

“I just want to keep making the Barra Nationals better and better …I want competition anglers out there to want to fish the Nats more than any other tournament.

“The biggest thing I wanted to portray to people was that I’m receptive.

“It was my first year as co-ordinator, and sign-up day was such a highlight for me – seeing all the teams go through.

“Raising $21,000 for Max’s Cast For A Cure was another highlight,” Adam said.

“There was a bit of carnage on the water with the river as low as it was: two marshall boats damaged engines and were out of action, there were at least 10 propellers that needed replacing, and at least another couple of bent or broken prop shafts.

“Plus there was lots and lots of sand which affected engine cooling systems,” Adam reported.

There were nearly 1000 barra caught and released in this 27th Barra Nationals which once again was held from the Banyan Farm venue.

I believe the host Palmerston Game Fishing Club and the tireless tournament committee did a great job in putting together this awesome event.

Every night there’s a feast of entertainment on the stage, and the regular Ironman event keeps everyone highly amused.

Adam said: “We’ve already released EOIs for 2023 – there are only 338 days to go.”


Champion Team Tackle World Revo’s skipper, Shane Compain, caught three metre-plus barra during the Barra Nationals, including two that measured 113cm.


Terry Ryan can be rightly proud of his 101cm barra caught in the Barra Nationals.


Bryce Neal’s 107cm barra was caught on the Orientation Day.