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Alex's Column 16 May 2024

By all accounts, last week’s Big Horse Creek Barra Classic was a huge success.

Held on the mighty Victoria River by the Katherine Game Fishing Club, this great competition has been running for more than 30 years.

The venue is Timber Creek Travellers Rest and the major sponsor is Katherine Rod and Rifle Tackle World.

I spoke to Rod and Rifle’s Warren De With who said there were 280 competitors and they caught 848 barra compared to about 400 last year.

I asked him why he thought it was so good.

“Two words: wet season,” Warren replied.

“It was one of the best-ever and longest wet seasons and it’s been two years in a row.

“It was a wet season that came from way up the top; the whole length of the Vic was flooded for months on end.

“There’s so much more new timber for bait and barra.

“It’s back to what it used to be like with structures under the water.

“Those big boab trees fall in and drift a bit and anchor on the bottom,” Warren explained.

“There’s plenty of cover for baitfish.

“There are several eligible species and a few people use bait, mainly popeye mullet.

“Points are awarded according to length and it’s all photo and release.

“The Katherine Game Fishing Club throws everything into the mix to ensure it’s a real family-oriented event.

“They get lots and lots of families, and it gets mums and kids involved with prizes for not only barra but also catfish, mullet and just about anything,” Warren said.

I checked the Facebook page for the KGFC and the amount of different categories was awesome.

The two biggest categories were Best Team with up to three anglers and Best Team with up to five anglers.

The River Reapers team of Anica Bryant, Boyd Bryant, Kinnah Bryant, Shane Bryant and Wade Bryant won the five anglers category.

The Get Flicked team of Ryan Christophers, Glenn Harris and Dane Neighbour won the three anglers category.

“The barra were stacked up under snags and along the banks,” Ryan said.

“With some good use of the side-scan, we were able to mark plenty of fish and target them either flicking, trolling or with live bait.

“We got good fish with all three methods.

“Glenn caught the second-biggest fish, 100cm, and we caught 21 fish for the comp,” Ryan said.

The biggest barra measured 112cm and was caught by Tristan Warner.

The Big Horse Champion Angler was Chris Parris and the overall Junior Champion was Kinnah Bryant.

Whilst the Big Horse Creek Barra Classic wasa great event, there’s since been some worrying news from the Department of Infrastrucrture Planning and Logistics.

Warren De With is also AFANT President and he was told by a department representative that the Timber Creek boat ramp will be closed for at least a month commencing 20 May.

“You’d reckon they’d find another boat access point while the ramp is being repaired,” Warren said.

“It’s unacceptable. When DIPL fixed the Daly River public ramp, they gave several months’ notice and found alternative launching access.

“I know of many people coming up to fish the Vic and they’ll freak out when they can’t access the river.

“Timber Creek itself will be devastated.

“All the locals and tourists planning to fish the river over the coming weeks will just not go to Timber Creek if there is no boat access.

“The losses in accommodation, fuel, food etc will be huge if no one can launch a boat,” Warren said.

A lot of people will be heading to the Vic given how good the fishing is this year.

Let’s hope the department can come up with a workable solution.


Ryan Christophers from Big Horse Creek Barra Classic winning team Get Flicked with a solid 97cm barra.

Evan Dixon’s silver beauty came from the recent Top End Barra Series round on the Daly River.


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