Leaders Creek across and into Adelaide River comprised the grounds for the fourth round of the Top End Barra Series (TEBS) last weekend.
According to Evan Dixon from TEBS, the results for this round were certainly an improvement on 2019.
“Last year, there were 17 scoring fish and this year approximately 40,” Evan said.
“However, given the optimal conditions, the results fell well short of expectations.
“According to one angler, the fishing was best on Friday evening and steadily became tougher as the tides eased.
“Some competitors switched between locations in a desperate attempt to find feeding fish, yet few were rewarded,” Evan reported.
“Something last year and this year had in common, other than tough fishing, was the same angler leading the round results.
“For a second year in a row, Kai Argent has showed everyone how to deliver the goods at this location.
“Kai filled his bag with five legal fish to 82cm.
“Kai is an old hand and his experience on the water is telling.
“It seems the fish were hiding deep in the thick of snags.
“Only the perfectly-placed cast or tight troll run was rewarded.
“Zman softies were again stand-outs.
“It might also be a quietly-guarded secret, but dark lures are returning to fashion with the theory of contrast growing momentum,” Evan said.
“Interestingly, missing the last round due to personal commitments was Peter Cooper, but he is again back on the leader board after coming in at a very respectable second place.
“You’d be naive thinking a missed round would put this man out of contention.
“Third for this round was Phil Newton, landing the biggest fish at 86cm,” Evan reported.
Also held recently was the sixth round of the Top End Billfish Series.
This was the one competitors were waiting for – given the right time of year and the excellent weather conditions.
After an amazing effort tagging nine sailfish and two black marlin, Kurt Williamson, fishing with Bridget Rootsey, was a convincing winner.
The pair worked around Witches Nose and south-west of there wide of Dundee.
“The marlin was the first big one I’ve hooked in Darwin waters,” Kurt told me.
“We switch-baited it from a big Catbo pusher to a rigged skipping queenfish on 15kg gear.”
Kurt’s marlin came in tail-wrapped and had no chance of survival if released.
“I called up Doug and he advised me to keep it as there was a trophy for the biggest marlin weighed for the year; I’m going to put it on the wall,” he said.
About 18 boats fished one or more of the three days of competition.
According to the Billfish Series co-ordinator, Douglas Saunders, some teams raised and even hooked plenty of billfish, but couldn’t get them to the boat.
“There were a few newer anglers coming across – which was the idea anyway: to get more people skilled in catching billfish,” Douglas explained.
“I saw three free-jumping sails at Witches Nose, but the macks chased me away.
“There were lots of flying fish but not heaps of other bait.
“The sails were mainly 12-14kg compared to last year when the fish were bigger,” Douglas said.
The next round is this weekend and will be held in conjunction with Darwin Game Fishing Club’s Billfish Bash which was rescheduled from earlier in the year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Kurt Williamson with his 108kg black marlin from the Top End Billfish Series.
Tim Bolch’s barra was one of the better ones from the Top End Barra Series.
Regis Martin with a TEBS scoring barra.