There are three great reasons to be fishing next weekend: Palmerston Game Fishing Club will be holding its 30th Anniversary Corroboree Park Challenge; Million Dollar Fish season three will be into its third week; and National Gone Fishing Day will be held on Sunday the 15th. It’s hard to imagine that the Corroboree Park Challenge has been going for three decades. I didn’t even realise that the Corroboree Park Tavern itself has been around that long. Right from the beginning, it has been a wonderful family-fun fishing event, with much emphasis in fostering junior anglers to get right into fishing. Competition co-ordinator, Andrew Hunt, told me: “As always, the competition is open to everyone, and we really encourage families to come and compete. “Last year there were 287 competitors and we’re confident there’ll be over 300 for the first time this year. “There are over $30,000 dollars in prizes to be won, including a half day helicopter fishing trip and cash prizes for tagged fish recaptures. “For this 30th anniversary, there will be 24 prize categories, including bonus categories for saratoga and tarpon. “Also, there will be lucky door prizes at the presentation, with free camping, live music, Reidy’s Casting Challenge for the kids, and a kids movie on a big screen at the tavern,” Andrew said. Registration will take place at Corroboree Park Tavern at 5-8.00pm next Friday and 7-10.00am Saturday. Lines-in is at 5.30pm Friday, and competitors can fish right through so long as they are queued up at the tavern with their SD card of fish photos between 12noon and 2pm Sunday, with the presentation to follow shortly thereafter. Competitors can fish anywhere east of Corroboree Park Tavern as far as, and including, the East Alligator River. More information and registration forms are available from the Facebook event page Humminbird Corroboree Park Challenge 2017 or the club website www.palmerstongamefishing.com. In respect of a chance of catching a $Million barra, the world is your oyster if you are competing in the Corroboree Park Challenge. That’s because of the vast area you can fish during the competition: all the way to the East Alligator where we know barra have been tagged because one was caught there before season three started. Gone Fishing Day will be on the Sunday, and this year AFANT is holding a photo competition to encourage people to go fishing. AFANT Executive Officer, David Ciaravolo, told me there would be three image categories: catch of the day, kids fishing and fun fishing. There’ll be some great prizes, including six winning kids going to the Humpty Doo Barra Farm to fish the ponds there. Competitors will need to post images on social media and hash tag AFANT. “We’ll be holding a media event, with lots of kids fishing, at Rapid Creek fishing platform on the morning of the 15th,” David said. Go to www.afant.com.au for more information. Darwin is blessed with some great artificial reefs, and it looks like we’re not only going to get more in new places, but we’ll also have new Fish Attraction Devices (FADs) to draw the pelagics in. Fisheries Minister, Ken Vowles, said the latest progress as part of the $50 million investment in recreational fishing is the appointment of CARDNO to provide technical recommendations regarding the development of new artificial reefs and FADs “We are investing heavily in recreational fishing because it creates jobs and supports business while enhancing the NT’s reputation as a world-class fishing destination,” Mr Vowles said. “CARDNO will work closely with fisheries scientists and key stakeholders to identify artificial reef and FAD designs to suit the Territory, and will pay particular attention to the vulnerability of certain species to over fishing, especially golden snapper and black jewfish.” After consultation takes place with key stakeholders and the community, CARDNO will compile a report for the NT Government and the Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee by early 2018. PHOTOS: 1. Wildside Sportfishing’s Jason Bettles fished with his dad Phillip and caught this ripper silver barra in 60cm of water amongst mangroves on a light spin outfit.
2. Matt Boulton and Travis McIntyre were rapt with their brace of jewies caught with Wildside Sportfishing.
3. The tripletail is a rare catch, and this one caught by Ross Whittaker lived up to its reputation as a fine table fish.