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Alex's Column 24/02/2022

It’s a fact that the Holy Grail of Top End anglers is to catch metre-plus barra.

Whether you’ve never caught one, you’ve only ever caught one or you’ve caught hundreds, a metre barramundi is what you want every time you go barra fishing.

If you’ve got the skills, the experience, locational knowledge, and luck is with you, a metre barra might just come your way on your planned fishing trip.

Newsworthy, of course, is when you manage to catch two meteries in a session… that’s real hero stuff.

But how about if you head to a special location all by yourself, doing everything all by yourself, and you hook and land two metre-plus barra at the same time… simultaneously?

Well, that’s exactly what top Darwin angler, Greg Shields, did recently.

Greg was fishing one of his favourite coastal creeks; he didn’t say exactly where, but there are plenty of them between Anson Bay and the East Alligator River, that’s for sure.

"I was fishing a back eddy holding several fish when I hooked and landed a solid 95cm barra on the Zerek Defiance,” Greg said.

"After landing it, I returned back to the spot, but the fish had moved off so I continued casting my way along edges back to the creek mouth.

"After casting around for a while, I felt hungry and decided to put a Panini in the pie oven and use the cooking time to troll back up the creek and locate where the fish had moved to.

“Trolling the same Defiance, I almost made it to the same location when the lure was smashed, almost pulling my Venom rod from my hand.

"As I turned, I saw the big barra launch from the water, so I immediately moved the throttle to neutral, and then the second rod loaded, launching another big barra into the air,” Greg explained.

“That rod was in the rod holder, so I decided to commit to the first fish, but first I removed all brake drag on the reel in the holder.

“With the electric motor pre-deployed, I was able to manoeuvre to the middle of the creek, giving me the best chance of landing both fish.

"After an exciting battle, I managed to net the first fish, bring it aboard and unload it from the net.

“I then quickly turned to the second rod and started taking up the slack line.

“As the pressure took up, the second barra also launched from the water, but thankfully it came to the boat quickly for an easy net job,” Greg explained.

"I could barely believe I'd just done the seemingly impossible: landing two metre-plus barra at the same time solo!"

Greg measured the big barras which were 101cm and 105cm respectively.

Luckily, there was another boat nearby for someone to take a photo.

“I was rapt when both big girls swam away apparently none the worse for wear,” Greg said.

Congratulations legend on a truly-spectacular effort… you deserve a Fishing Medal Of Honour.


Good news is that some serious monsoonal rain is forecast to start soon and continue through next week.

We certainly need it.

The Daly River is less than 2m over the old crossing, the top of the South Alligator is hardly running, and it’s ditto for all our other big tidal rivers.

According to the Bureau of Metreology, we will see monsoonal conditions and widespread enhanced tropical weather developing around Australia's far north.

Current weather models indicate multiple tropical lows could develop offshore around northern Australia in the coming week.

Now that is good news.

Greg Shields seemingly achieved a first in barra fishing history when he went fishing on his lonesome and hooked and landed two metre-plus barra simultaneously… and both swam away nicely.


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