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Alex's Column 9 September 2021

As expected, last week’s Secret Women’s Business Barra Challenge was a resounding success.

The iconic Corroboree Billabong served up two days of great fishing and it seems everyone had a ball, and not just on the water but also at the Corroboree Park Tavern venue.

SWB is the only NT women’s fishing competition that does not allow male skippers; the girls have to do it on their lonesome; but that doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Male or female, if you know how to handle a boat, if you know how to tie good knots, and if you know how to fish, in this great sport, both genders are even par.

On behalf of Palmerston Game Fishing Club, Kris Noble has been the SWB coordinator for several years, and I reckon she gets a real kick out of it.

Kris said: “Well Corroboree Billabong ecosystem was in full force and certainly delivered over the weekend with the 2021 SWB Barra Challenge yielding a result of 256 barra landed and 120 saratoga.

“With 49 teams and 170 anglers on the water, all teams managed to land catches of the scoring kind.

“While many were over the minimum 40cm to score, the women were catching many barra between the 30-40cm mark, and a huge number were dropped.

“The billabong ecosystem was in full force with schools of barra sighted just by peering over the side of the gunnels, something we’ve not seen in years at this annual women’s event,” Chris explained.

“We were concerned that it would rain after we had a shower late afternoon on orientation day.

“However, the skies were forgiving and we were unscathed with the rest of the event.

“This year’s event was one of the best yet, with the atmosphere electric and the support and camaraderie between anglers and teams abundant.

“Delivering a supportive environment for the women to learn, grow and mentor is a huge driver for me, and the women who participate are just as passionate about helping each other grow,” Chris told me.

For the second time, Team Slippery Gypseas won this great event, with Leila Bartolo once again taking home Champion Angler.

“That’s not an easy feat in the company kept at SWB with anglers coming in from all over Australia, although sadly Covid saw the NSW and Vic teams having to pull out close to the event,” Kris said.


Champion Team: Slippery Gypseas – Leila Bartolo, Delisa Bell, Jessica Walker (1424 points)

Runner-up Champion Team: Silver Caviar – Kelli Carroll, Anne Griffiths, Emma Harvey, Leeanne Perrett (1111 points)

Third: Cast Em Up – Charlotte Close, Cassie McDonough, Ellen Walshe (1077 points)

Champion Angler: Leila Bartolo (826 points)

Runner-up Champion Angler: Christine Bailey (659 points)

Third: Charlotte Close (569 points)

Leila Bartolo captained the winning Slippery Gypseas team and won Champion Angler in the SWB Barra Challenge.

Helen Stuart and Tash Rammers from Team Skirts Ditch’n Work with an early morning SWB barra.

Team Zerek’s Dee Cox, Rocky Edwards and Fay Rohweder were right in the mix at the SWB Barra Challenge.


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