You should’ve been here last week pretty well sums up the weekend’s Humminbird Corroboree Park Challenge. I’m sure that’s what many of the record 259 anglers in 89 teams were thinking following the tough conditions and even tougher fishing out at Corroboree Billabong. Yes, competitors hit the water in their droves last Friday and Saturday nights, mainly trolling up and down the big lagoon looking for more of those great fish that were truly on the bite the weekend before. But it was not to be. So typical of barra fishing, just when you think you have them worked out, the buggers will do a runner on you. The weekend before the Challenge, beautiful barra were being caught at night by just about everyone on the water; last weekend it was close to a shut-down. If you’re looking for a reason, a good start might be the moon phase. When the barra were on in the famous lagoon, the full moon was nearly upon us. Normally I don’t like a full moon for night-time barra fishing, especially once it gets up high in the sky. On a full moon, I’ve always done best before the moon rises above the tree line. However, there’s no denying that the approaching full moon most definitely did not stop great barra from biting at night on Corroboree. So I reckon other factors came into play which shut the bite down last weekend. To be honest, I don’t know what they are, but at 1.00am Saturday morning, it started to rain, and any fish caught that night were caught before the rain started. This was not insignificant rain either as it kept going until at least 9.00am. Daytime fishing was very sad indeed. I was poking around Corroboree on Saturday during the day, and my boat never got a touch, plus the only fish I heard of getting caught was a mere 57cm specimen. One of the Top End’s better fishing guides was on the water with clients and he scored a donut too. There were a handful of quality barra caught on Saturday night, including Krystal Withers 92cm barra which earned her the Overall Champion prize for this year’s Corroboree Park Challenge. The good research Dallas Smith and family have been putting into Corroboree of late paid off when Karen Priore Smith caught an 87cm barra to claim Champion Female. Sam Bokes was the Male Champion with a superb 88cm barra. Winners in the junior categories were: Deegan Sherwood in under 13 male; Renna Francis in under 13 female; Hayden Oates in 13-17 male; and no female entry in the 13-17 category. Once again, Andrew Hunt, challenge co-ordinator on behalf of the Palmerston Game Fishing Club host, did a great job in this traditional family fun fishing event held at Corroboree Park Tavern. A total of 59 juniors competed, and those not on the water Saturday night were entertained with a junior’s casting competition and movie. Given how many competitors there were, 52 barra registered is a fairly meagre catch, but that’s fishing and from what I saw everyone had a great time. ………………………………………………… The fishing competitions just keep on happening. The next one is the Coopers Blue Water Classic which starts this Friday morning and finishes on Sunday. The event targets 16 different species and scores are allocated according to biggest in each category: boats over 6m, boats 5.5 to 5.99m and boats under 5.5m. Hosted by the Darwin Trailer Boat Club, there are some great prizes on offer. Check out http://dtbc.com.au/coopers-blue-water-classic-2016/ for information, but at this late stage you’ll have to ring Alex Ehrlich on 0425 313501 to enter. Don’t forget also the NT Billfish Classic scheduled for 7-9 November. This annual event is hosted by Darwin Game Fishing Club, so just go to its website for details. PHOTOS: Krystal Withers with her 92cm Corroboree barra which enabled her to win overall champion angler at the Humminbird Corroboree Park Challenge.
At 88cm, this was a great fish for Sam Bokes who won champion male angler.
Given recent on-water barra success by the Smith family, it was no surprise Karen Priore Smith claimed champion female angler with this beaut 87cm barra.
Deegan Sherwood won champion junior under 13 with this 74cm barra.
Hayden Oates caught this 87cm barra to win 13-17 junior champion.
The best photo of the blow-up Fusion Alien On The Water competition went to Team Colour Blind.
This photo is definitely worthy of an honourable mention in the Fusion Alien contest: Justin Forbes with the little alien.