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Alex's Column 22/09/2022

September is definitely one of the best months of the year to chase barra in Darwin Harbour.

That point was definitely proven by a few of the competitors in last week’s fifth round of the Top End Barra Series.

Some boats caught serious-cricket-score numbers of barra, although the common theme was the number of rats amongst them.

According to TEBS spokesperson, Morris Pizutto, conditions were ideal for a good weekend of fishing.

“There was a big full moon, it was the beginning of the Build-up, the tides were building and the waters were getting warmer,” Morris reported.

“Most anglers instead found the conditions pretty tough.

“There were several reports of rats being caught in good numbers, but just not many reaching the minimum 50cm scorer size.

“Tim Bolch and Craig Latimore fished together to boat a whopping 46 barra for the weekend, but only two were scorers: a 65cm and 53cm for Lats.

“Poor old Bolchy could only manage a bag of fish in the 47-49cm range and no scorers for the weekend.

“Three-inch Zman pearl paddle tails did most of the damage on the flats,” Morris reported.

Peter Cooper is one of the most-consistent TEBS competitors, and usually wins or goes close in the Darwin Harbour round.

Peter – aka Cuddles – said he found the fishing tough for good-sized fish.

“The fishing wasn’t hard for numbers but not the best for size,” Peter said.

Peter still managed a respectful bag and finished up equal second in the round with barra measuring 68, 64, 60, 59 and 52cm.

“Fish were caught moving between West Arm and East Arm, following the tide through different locations, and all on 5” plastics casting,” Cuddles said.

“The other equal second competitor was Wade Johnstone who fished solo on the western side of the harbour in some of his favourite creeks,” Morris reported.

“He found quite a few good-sized barra on the run-out that were very skittish, but the rats were once again willing to play.

“On Saturday night, he found a creek out of the sea breeze to camp up for the night, only to find he had forgotten the Thermacell.

“Wade alleviated the discomfort by hooking a big fish that he called for a queenie, only to be pleasantly surprised to see it was an 82cm barra when it came to the net,” Morris explained.

The TEBS spokesperson reckoned he also forgot the Thermacell and somehow the rum also missed the boat; sadly, all he could find were a couple of rats.

The winner of the 2022 harbour round was Jack Oswald with a great bag of 74, 71, 70, 70 and 67cm barra.

Jack said he had a belter of a weekend landing over 30 fish.

“I found most of my fish on one particular flat casting to the submerged snake drains,” he said.

“I also found some good barra hanging around the Sadgroves moorings, with good sized goldies mixed in as well.”

This was the second win for Jack this year.

The Water Police were also out in force on the weekend; there were 66 boat inspections and 13 infringement notices issued, and none of them to any TEBS competitors.


Jack Oswald was a convincing winner of the Top End Barra Series round five in Darwin Harbour.


Keiran Chin’s 68cm barra was a good one for the harbour.


Robert Parslow’s 72cm was one of the better fish of the TEBS round.


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