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Alex's Column 21/04/2022

There were at least 42 competitors in Round 2 of this year’s Top End Barra Series (TEBS).

That’s because 42 anglers registered barra, including 20 anglers who caught their full bag of five barra.

Round 2 was held from Shady Camp, with competitors able to fish all of the Mary River and coastal creeks on either side of the Mary’s delta mouth – from Marsh Creek to the west all the way to the Wildman River to the east.

According to TEBS President, Tim Bolch, the rumour prior to the comp was that

the threadies were so thick that it would be hard to get past them to the barra.

“They must have known we were coming because it was much easier to find a nice fat barra than a salmon of any kind,” Tim told me.

“Indeed, most of the barra caught were in extremely good health and as fat as happy piglets.

“The wet season was just a bit better than average in the coastal regions, yet it seems to have been a rather good for the barra food wise.

“The Wildman River, which in previous years was where to be if you wanted to catch a few big fish, was a bit on the nose this year, with reports of dirty water and very few fish.

“More reasonable fish were caught in Tommycut Creek where the water was rather clean,” Tim explained.

“Weather wise, it was hot to really hot – nearly build-up weather minus the humidity.

“Many different types of lures were used during this round, with trolling mostly done with hard-body lures and casting mainly with soft plastics.

“All up, 150 barramundi were registered for the round.

“The biggest fish of the round went to Jack Oswald: a very respectable 103cm barra,” Tim reported.

One of the endearing traits of the Top End Barra Series is that competitors take on the spirit of goodwill and there is a great deal of support for fellow anglers, and definitely bucket loads of camaraderie.

That was evident once again in this round when Dwight Shepherd brought down a couple of litres of steering fluid for a commercial jewfish boat.

Robert Parslow had plenty to thank Tristan Christie for after Tristan shared some hot goss on the location and technique that helped fill Rob’s bag.

Tim said: “One crew quite simply forgot to bring drinking water with them but another crew helped them out a 10 litre water esky; not that they would have died of thirst as they had all sorts of other beverages on board.”

Jack Oswald won this round with a great bag of 77, 80, 95, 99 and 103cm barramundi.

Second place went to Tristan Christie with a nice catch of 64, 70, 75, 76 and 93cm fish.

Craig Latimore was third with a bag of 66, 69, 76, 80 and 88 cm barra.

The next TEBS round will be in Bynoe Harbour.


1. TEBS President Tim Bolch made good account of himself at the Shady Camp round with the capture of this 95cm barra.

2. Dwight Shepherd with his 85cm barra from the TEBS comp.

3. Craig Latimiore with one of his better fish from Shady Camp.


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