Alex's Column 29/10/20

There were major fishing competitions happening on both sides of the Top End over the weekend.

I was over at Gove for the Airnorth Ladies Fishing Classic, and what a great event that is.

You can read about that one next week.

Meanwhile, the 33rd annual Humminbird Corroboree Park Challenge took place across all inland waters between the Mary River system and the Arnhem Land border.

Hosted by the Palmerston Game Fishing Club, this is the family fishing event to beat all family competitions.

This year there were 262 competitors in 86 teams, including 35 family teams, and 71 juniors.

According to Challenge co-ordinator, Tegan Cann, the majority of competitive fishermen tried their luck at Shady Camp in both the fresh and salt water sections, or headed to the East Alligator River.

“Corroboree Billabong proved to be the best at producing the numbers with the majority of fish captured there,” Tegan reported.

It’s so easy for fishing which is why we go there, but I was surprised at how well it fished.

“Emily Melville and her family in Team Size Matters caught barra up to 93cm there, and Emily was Champion Female angler and Runner-up Champion overall.

“Corroboree boat ramp is still a big issue, as much of it has washed away and there is a big hole in the middle.

“Kakadu had closed some billabongs so some competitors had to step up to the challenge.

“It’s interesting that a lot of people went out in the morning to fish, then came back to Corroboree Park Tavern in the heat of the day, returning to their chosen spot for a night session,” Tegan told me.

Champion Open Team this year was Bent Buoys comprised of Justin Halton, Paul Bishop and Paulk Spinks, while Justin took out the Champion Angler trophy.

Champion Junior was Izzy Povey of Star Gazers which itself won Champion Family Team.

Justin and co caught their best barra in an unnamed billabong in an unnamed location not far from an unnamed turn-off.

“Peter, Lynda and staff at the Corroboree Park Tavern were wonderful, and it was great to have the presentation back there,” Tegan said.

“It was a very-smooth-sailing comp this year, with no Million Dollar Fish caught like last year, so maybe next year I can catch one,” Tegan joked.

On a future fishing note, consider having a fish in Darwin Harbour arms for barra on Saturday.

The tide is a pearler just the day before the full moon, and the making spring tides are ideal.

I certainly won’t be surprised if another red tag or two get claimed this weekend.

Offshore, it’s also looking good for all those billfish hunters.

No doubt there’ll be dozens of boats giving it a shot way out wide of Dundee, which they’ll need to do if they want to fish clear, blue water.


Paul Spinks (left), Chris Keating and Champion Angler Justin Halton with Justin’s magnificent 94cm billabong barra.

Jackson De Castro with the biggest barra in the Corroboree Park Challenge - 97cm – caught by his grandfather Luis.

Champion Junior was Izzy Povey.

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