I can’t tell you if these were the biggest barra caught in the Top End during the last week or so of 2016, but 109cm, 114cm, 117cm and 127cm must surely rattle the tin. It was Thursday 22 December when I received a text from old mate George Voukolos Junior. On that day, he fished land-based at the mouth of Bamboo Creek on the Daly River and landed more than 40 barra, including a 117cm fish and a massive 127cm barra. Really, it’s not surprising as Georgie catches 30 to 40 metreys every year, and nearly all of them land-based at the Daly. “I was going down to Bamboo every Monday and Wednesday for three weeks,” Georgie told me. “When the water came up and then settled… that’s when they came on. “The bony bream were boiling, like the sardines you see from the wharf. “Barra were hammering them, even out in the middle of the river. “Unless you were a bony bream, you were safe on the water. “There were mullet around but the barra were only interested in the bony bream,” Georgie said. Apparently, every time it rained, the fish stopped biting, but they would start again within half an hour. Georgie caught the 117cm barra at about 9.30am and the 127cm whopper a couple of hours after that. “The bigger fish didn’t really come out of the water,” he said. “I didn’t even see it until I dragged it into the creek and it showed its head. “I nearly ‘soiled’ my pants then. “It was so slippery getting down the bank and I nearly went arse over twice. “But my rock-hopper shoes helped and I got a hand onto its bottom jaw and was able to cradle it up. “Actually the 117cm fish went much harder,” Georgie told me. “I had to swim them both for a while before they were strong enough to release,” he said. Georgie works at Fishing and Outdoor World, and so too does Alex Patsalides who caught the other two big barra – 109cm and 114cm – on Christmas Day also at the mouth of Bamboo Creek. “You couldn’t do a thing wrong,” he said. “I had the creek to myself and easily caught 40 barra, including the two big ones. “Where I fished, I was able to slide barras up the bank on the leader. “It was non-stop action,” Alex said. For the record, both Georgie and Alex are big fans of the larger D.O.A lure which is a weird soft plastic that has bugger-all action. They fish it either with a slow retrieve and jiggle or with a full wind-and-drop retrieve. I’m sure they’ll happily tell you all about it when next you call in. ……………………………………………………………. The heavy monsoonal rainfalls continued this week, and we’re all feeling good about that. However, the low pressure system around Katherine was predicted to move north and spread major rain over the whole Top End. Unfortunately, it’s slipped away to the north-west and the rivers south west of Darwin – in particular, the Daly – copped most of the rain. Hopefully, the ongoing monsoonal activity will sort out the big rivers to the east of Darwin soon enough. They’ve all had plenty of rain, but much more would be great for a bumper Runoff this year. If you’re looking for somewhere to go this weekend, you can forget about the Daly as it’s not even accessible after all the recent rain. Best shot on the neap tides will be either the South Alligator, Mary or Adelaide Rivers. PHOTOS: George Voukolos Junior with the 127cm whale of a barra he caught at the mouth of Bamboo Creek on the Daly River.
This 117cm barra was the other big one Georgie Voukolos caught on the same day at Bamboo Creek.
Alex Patsalides spent Christmas Day ripping in barra at Bamboo Creek, including two big metreys.
Robbo Robinson was happy with his Christmas Day present when this 107cm barra came aboard.