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Alex's Column 3 May 2024

Both the NT Barra Classic and the inaugural Barra Classic Masters are in full swing today.

This 42nd Barra Classic is taking place down the Daly River from the Banyan Farm Tourist Park venue where it is always held.

Hosted by the Darwin Game Fishing Club, there are over 60 teams in total, of which nine are competing in the “Old Farts Classic”.

Following record rainfall this past wet season – with Darwin experiencing its wettest March since 1900 – by all accounts the Daly is alive with barra.

The recent Barra Nationals had a huge tally of barra caught and released.

Last week’s Round 2 of the Top End Barra Series, which was also held on the Daly, produced an impressive number of barra.

I spoke with Craig “Lats” Latimore who took part in the event.

“There were plenty of fish in the 50s, 60s and 70s,” Craig told me.

“The best fishing was on the first of push in and the last of the runout.

“Often they just wouldn’t bite even though you could see them on forward-facing sonar.

“Pretty much every creek was running at the bottom of the tide, and the river came alive at night.

“I fished solo on both Friday and Saturday, and the river went off with barra boofing everywhere.

“They boofed 2Deadlies and Raptor fizzers but my hooks didn’t pin the fish; I didn’t even feel them,” Lats told me.

“I couldn’t believe it on the first push in when I made 15 to 20 casts, and lost several up to 90-plus that just threw the lure.

“Then they just turned off.

“The river was pretty dirty on the spring tides, particularly when the tide was running out at the mouth, but it cleared a bit when it started backing up and slowing.

“There were a few fish caught trolling, but pretty much everyone was using forward-facing sonar.

“I fished Elizabeth Creek and most of the time I didn’t have my Active Target on because you knew where the fish were holding,” Lats explained.

Andrew Gatehouse’s 100cm barra was the only metrey caught and there were not many fish in the 90s either.

“Unlike the Nats, when there were plenty of 90cm-plus barra caught, they were missing in action during this TEBS round,” Lats explained.

It was quite cold on the river too.

“On Saturday night, I was anchored and heard a young fella catch two 60s on fizzers, so he had more luck on surface lures than I did,” Lats commented.

“Some anglers camped at the tourist parks, but most slept in their boats on the river.

“Mozzies were pretty good for a change,” he said.

“It was a pretty successful comp overall, with lots of people catching their bag of five fish.

“The size was down on previous years but there were plenty of them, if you can land them,” Lats joked.

Andrew Greenhouse won this coveted round with five barra measuring 100cm, 86cm, 72cm, 81cm and 65cm.

Ever-consistent Evan Dixon was second with barra measuring 81cm, 84cm, 79cm, 90cm and 76cm.

Lachlan Markey was third followed by Blake Adcock and Charlie Syme.

Junior angler Ryan Higgs blew everyone away when he landed his full bag of quality barra fishing landbased the whole time.

It was an impressive effort to say the least.

The next round will be in Bynoe Harbour.



Mark Grosser’s silver barra was a real salty caught during Round 2 of the Top End Barra Series.

Clayton Archbold with one of his barra from the TEBS Daly River round.

John Keirs nailed a few during his two days on the Daly.


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