The Top End fishing competition scene comes to life again in a couple of weeks when the annual Spotters Secret Women’s Business Barra Challenge kicks off at Corroboree Billabong. Hosted by the Palmerston Game Fishing Club at the usual Corroboree Park Tavern venue, there are bound to be plenty of barra caught and released by the 119 anglers in 36 teams. Chrissie Hurren is one of the co-ordinators, and she told me that the competition is capped to 36 teams. “We’re mindful of the fish stocks and giving the teams plenty of space to fish,” she told me. “The reports are good, in particular in regards to saratoga – there are some very big ones in the lagoon,” Chrissie said. Although barra are the main target, with points awarded according to length, saratoga are also point scorers but at half the points of a barra the same size. “We’re hopeful of more fish than previous years. “There are lots of little barra in Corroboree this year. “The competition is fully subscribed, including one interstate team and a few people flying in from interstate dispersed amongst the teams. “We select which teams receive an invitation by the quality of their creative expressions of interest. “We choose the ones we like the most, but we take into account other factors such as competition loyalty; however, we also like to see some new faces… and of course the previous year’s winners get automatic entry. “There are no male skippers in the SWB, so the all-female teams must fend for themselves,” Chrissie explained. The SWB Barra Challenge will be held on 15 and 16 September, with lines in at 6.00am and lines out at 4.00pm both days. This year there will be more than $30,000 in prizes. About one month later, Palmerston Game Fishing Club holds its other build-up competition: the Humminbird Corroboree Park Challenge. Competition co-ordinator, Andrew Hunt, told me: “This is a really important year because we’ll be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Challenge.” “The competition is open to everyone, and we really encourage families to come and compete,” Andrew said. “Last year there were 287 competitors and we’re hopeful of even more this year. “It’s being held on 13-15 October and there are thousands of dollars in prizes to be won, including a half day helicopter fishing trip and cash prizes for tagged fish recaptures. “Of course, there’s also the chance to catch one of the tagged barra in the Million Dollar Fish season 3 competition, which will be under way from 1 October. “For this 30th anniversary, there will be bonus categories for saratoga and tarpon. “Also, there will be lucky door prizes at the presentation, with free camping, live music and a movie on a big screen for the kids at the Corroboree Park Tavern,” Andrew said. More information and registration forms are available from the Facebook event page Humminbird Corroboree Park Challenge 2017 or the club website www.palmerstongamefishing.com. Thirty years is a long time since the inaugural Corroboree Park Challenge was held. I can remember it well because even back then there were lots of kids competing. Each year I’d line them all up for a photo at the end of the competition. I suppose most would now have their own kids, and I’m sure plenty of the juniors from the past will be competing in this great family-fun event. PHOTOS: Now what are these two blokes up to? Bill Sawynok from Infofish on the left is fishing with Crownbet’s Brad Fanning, and is about to release a very-important silver barra.
Fishing guide Harry Bez was rapt with the new Shimano Curado 200XG which has just been released in Australia.