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Alex's Column 24 May 2024

I’ve just returned from a whirlwind visit to the Gold Coast to attend a media day for the launch of the new Honda BF350 V8 4-stroke outboard engine.

As luck would have it, the weather was fantastic – a bit like an extra-cool dry season day in Darwin – so blue skies and calm seas enhanced the experience of blasting around under smooth, ultra-quiet, V8 engine power.

It’s interesting that this stylish outboard is the first V8 of any land or sea engine developed by Honda which is the biggest engine manufacturer in the world.

At the launch, we were treated to a plethora of impressive information about how the Honda BF350 was developed to achieve all those features that really matter in the production of a state-of-the-art, mega-sized outboard engine:

·        instant acceleration;

·        exhilarating performance;

·        low noise and vibration;

·        smooth power delivery;

·        cutting-edge technology;

·        awesome fuel efficiency;

·        improved corrosion resistance; and

·        an eye-catching, stylish appearance.

I can tell you it was a lot of fun, in particular, skimming the Gold Coast Seaway in a Robalo 9.6m dual-console fishing-and-pleasure boat with two Honda 350s purring out the back.

At my behest, Scott O’Hare from Aussie Boat Sales, who was driving the luxury Robalo, trimmed up one engine and floored the other to see if the single engine would get this 5 tonne fibreglass weapon up on the plane.

Given that the Robalo achieved an awesome top speed of 95km/h with both engines maxed out, I was still blown away that the single Honda V8 got the boat up and planing with relative ease.

Honda Marine maintains that the BF350 is its greatest achievement yet and, like all Honda outboards, it comes with a 7-year warranty.

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It was interesting how many people wanted to talk about Million Dollar Fish whilst I was down at the Gold Coast this week.

Admittedly, most of the people I spoke to were in the marine industry, but everyone had heard about MDF and thought it was a great concept.

The fact that the $1 million fish was actually caught was a great discussion point with lots of comments about how fair dinkum the competition was.

Season 10 kicks off on 1 October, so make sure you get online to register.

Million Dollar Fish has been, and continues to be, a great drawcard for interstate anglers to visit the Territory.

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The recent Darwin Flyrodders Freshwater Open saw the long wands swishing and swashing big time at Corroboree Billabong.

Nine teams of two competed in this two-day event with competitors staying at Corroboree Park Tavern.

Roger Sinclair and Justin Dwyer in Team Master and Apprentice were convincing winners this year.

“We found that small-profile flies fished on deep-sinking lines seemed to work best for the saratoga which was our main catch this year,” Roger said.

“A good wet season resulted in numbers of juvenile barra being caught.

“However, persistent high water levels that remained on the floodplains throughout the competition are possibly why the overall number of barra, saratoga and tarpon were less than expected.

“It may be a few weeks away before water on the floodplains recede and fish return to the main billabong for fishing conditions to peak.

“The only downside is that, by the time this happens, cooler dry season conditions may result in the barra being harder to catch,” Roger explained.

There were 57 barra up to 57cm caught, 123 saratoga up to 65cm caught, 546 tarpon up to 42cm caught, plus assorted other point-scoring species.

Results:

Champion Team: Roger Sinclair/Justin Dwyer (Master and Apprentice) 7315 points

Runner-up: Dwayne Devanney/Dave Nilon (Skunk Build) 5042 points

Third: Glenn Hubble/Quinten Pope (Territory Towel Ups) 4181 points

Champion Angler: Roger Sinclair 3816 points

Runner-up: Justin Dwyer 3439 points

Third: Dwayne Devaney 3019 points

 


The twin Honda BF350 V8s burn up the water during trials at the Gold Coast Seaway.



Justin Dwyer fished with Roger Sinclair to win the Darwin Flyrodders Freshwater Open at Corroboree Billabong.



Matt Hayne with a typical barra from the Darwin Flyrodders Freshwater Open.



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