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Alex's Column 8/10/20

If you want to catch a big barra, head for the billabongs.

Some magnificent big barra were caught over the weekend, and it’s no coincidence that most of these great catches coincided with the Top End Barra Series billabong round.

According to TEBS spokesperson, Regis Martin: “All the action was happening at Corroboree, Rockhole, Hardies, Mary River Bridge Lagoon and Shady Fresh.

“Although the fishing was certainly hard for some, it was quite simply amazing fishing for others.

“In fact, those who missed the round probably regret it,” Regis said.

“Without going full data nerd on it, here are a few numbers that give the story away.

“In 2019, there were only 17 fish recorded for the round; this year so far 52 fish have been registered.

“In 2019, the biggest fish was a respectable 83cm specimen; however, this year not one, not two, but three barramundi a metre or longer were captured and released.

“The biggest measured 104cm and was caught trolling at night by Chris “Bananaman” Rutishauser on a black Reidy’s Big B52.

“In 2019, only nine anglers managed to catch at least one barra; this year 21 TEBS competitors scored,” Regis reported.

“With notable exceptions, fishing during daylight hours was slow on Saturday, and many were waiting with anticipation for nightfall.

“A great variety of lures were used over the weekend, but it seems the standout for trolling was the Reidy’s Big B52: black at night and silver or gold during the day.

“For flicking, it would have been a large array of soft plastics,” Regis said.

It seems several anglers battled and lost big barra on the Saturday night.

Tim Bolch was one of those anglers.

Regis said: “Tim landed a very fat 91 which looked more like a piglet than a fish; then, using the same lure, he hooked an absolute horse of a barra that took nearly all of his line and cut him off in some distant timber… his lucky lure lost to make matters worse.”

Kai Argent came third in this TEBS competition, with his five scoring barra measuring as follows: 61, 65, 69, 70 and 82cm.

Simon Bochow was second with five fish as follows: 54, 70, 80, 91 and 99cm.

Simon came second last year to Peter Cooper, and history repeated itself on the weekend when Peter won the round for the second year in a row.

His catch was nothing short of remarkable for a billabong: 56, 62, 67, 100 and 100cm… two lagoon metreys would you believe!

Peter cast soft plastics deep into the snags and caught all his scoring fish by 11:00am on the Saturday.

I dare say that’s probably because he went home, no doubt feeling rightly confident that he had it in the bag.


Isn’t it amazing that three Million Dollar SportsBet tagged barra were caught last weekend.

Incredibly, the one caught by Ryan Curtis on a Reidy’s Fish Snakz vibe measured 98cm and had both a red tag worth $10,000 and a purple tag worth $5000 to go to a needy mate.

Ryan is from Queensland and actually extended his trip by two weeks to stay and try to catch an MDF barra.

It’s probably fair to say that he therefore is the first legitimate interstate tourist who was influenced by Million Dollar Fish to spend time in the NT… and he caught one to boot!


Chris Rutishauser’s 104cm barra, caught on a Reidy’s Big B52, was the biggest in the Top End Barra Series billabong round.

Tim Bolch with his tubby 91cm barra caught in the TEBS competition.

Queensland’s Ryan Curtis bagged one of only five Million Dollar Fish double-tagged barra using a Reidy’s Fish Snakz vibe.


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