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Alex's Column 13/10/2022

By all accounts, Darwin’s premier family fishing event, Humminbird Corroboree Park Challenge, was a great success.

Hosted by Palmerston Game Fishing Club (PGFC), and held from its namesake, Corroboree Park Tavern, this year some quality barra came out to play.

The Challenge is held on the freshwater section of the Mary River, encompassing Corroboree Billabong, Mary River Bridge Lagoon, Hardys Lagoon and Shady Fresh.

Individual and team results were based on the three biggest barra submitted.

There were 97 point-scoring barra caught for a total length of 6181cm which equates to an average length of a whisker under 64cm.

Challenge lead co-ordinator, Chrystalla Sackley, told me she was surprised at the quality of the fish caught.

“The biggest barra was caught by Peter Klonaris of Team Moonyah, and it measured 95cm,” Chrys said.

“There were two fish in the 90s and two in the 80s, but we expected good fishing because it was a full moon, which is when Corroboree Park Challenge is held each year.

“Most of the 112 competitors fished Corroboree but there were quite a few caught at Shady Fresh as well.

“We used the PGFC App for scoring and the co-ordinators – myself, Leeanne Jenkins Perrett, Wendy Higgs and Katrina Hayward – started preparing from May this year.

“This year there were over $18,000 worth of prizes and the winning PGFC team won over $3000 in prizes,” Chrys told me.

Chrys also praised the management and staff of Corroboree Park Tavern: “They are just so easy to deal with.”


Biggest Barra: Peter Klonaris 95cm – Team Moonyah

Champion Male: Darryl Melville 231cm – Team Melville

Champion Female: Leah Gelder 233cm – Team Kind of a Big Reel

Champion Junior Male: Shaun Stringer 206cm Team Fillet & Release

Champion Junior Female: Mackayla Povey 189cm – Team Star Gazers

NT Fasteners Champion PGFC Team: Collins Crew 255cm PGFC members only)

FRM Champion Team: Moonyah 242cm )open to all teams)

Next Year’s 35th annual Humminbird Corroboree Park Challenge will be held on 29 September to 1 October.

How good is it that the freshwater has fired up, and not only at night as some terrific barra were caught during the day as well?

Mind you, the Build-up is producing the goods in many locations this year.

All the usual spots are fishing well, including Darwin Harbour, Shoal Bay, Leaders Creek, Adelaide River, Sampan Creek, Tommycutt Creek and out from the mouth of the South Alligator River.

It’s predicted that the winds offshore from Darwin over the weekend won’t reach more than 20km/h, so there should be some great bluewater options.

Admittedly, tides will be on the wane towards the neaps, and offshore fishing is usually better when tides are building away from the neaps.

There are some interesting tides next week, with a couple of days of hardly any tidal movement.

Water clarity will be at a premium for sure.

Daryl Melville’s total length of 231cm for three barra were enough for him to win Champion Male Angler at the Humminbird Corroboree Park Challenge.

Leah Gelder won Champion Female Angler with her three barra which measured 233cm.


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