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Fishing With Alex Julius 22nd October 2019

It’s always great to catch a metrey, but to do it in an iconic fishing competition is real icing on the cake. That’s exactly what Lucas Pel did when he a caught a 103cm barra which helped him win Champion Angler at Palmerston Game Fishing Club’s recent Corroboree Park Challenge. Lucas is 28 so it’s been at least 20 years since he last fished the Challenge. “I remember going in it with dad when I was 7 or 8 years old, and I remember it was a real family affair,” Lucas told me. Lucas’ dad, Time Pel, is actually a great old mate of mine; we’ve fished the last couple of Barra Nationals together, and are teaming up again next year. Lucas fished with his partner Yaz Cooper. “Yaz got me into comp and she signed us up as Team Hookers Lines and Dingers,” Lucas said. The pair fished down and around the mouth of the South Alligator River. “I decided to go coastal as I reckoned the bigger fish wouldn’t have moved up the river yet.” The pair caught about a dozen barra on the Saturday – all casting Reidys B52s – and Lucas caught the three biggest which is the maximum a team or an individual can enter. They measured 71cm, 74cm and the big one at 103cm. “I hooked the big girl right on sunset on Saturday. “When it first hit me, it put on an aerobatic show, went under the boat and I had to pull it out. “I didn’t think the other two fish would be enough to get us through. “If we’d caught a couple of 80s as well, I‘d have been more confident,” Lucas told me. They certainly were enough to get the pair through as not only did they win Overall Champion Angler and Biggest Barra but they also won Champion Open Team. Congratulations to Lucas; I know his dad is rightly proud of him. Other Corroboree Park Challenge results: Champion Male Angler: Brian Bates Runner-up Male: Justin Halton Champion Female Angler: Chrystalla Sackley Runner-up Female: Sharon Impey Champion Junior: Charlee Page Runner-up Junior: Addy Povey Champion Family Team: Net-Fish Biggest saratoga: Paul Spinks 69cm ……………………………………………………… Under way right now is Darwin Game Fishing Club’s annual Billfish Classic. This has become a great event in recent years, due mainly to the incredible run of sailfish and also marlin off Dundee. In fact, this year must surely be the pinnacle to date of the amazing billfish phenomenon taking place out wide of Dundee Beach. For months this year, the Dundee area has been firing up big time for billfish, and it’s given the opportunity to many anglers to hone their billfishing skills. This also means it will be heavily contested, with teams not only fishing the Dundee area, but also north to Bathurst Island and beyond. Who knows? Perhaps are truly big one will get caught this year. ………………………………………… Yet another important competition worth a mention is the recent Territory Saltwater Fly Fishing Challenge which was hosted by Darwin Flyrodders in Bynoe Harbour. There were 11 two-man teams competing this year. The ever-consistent father-and-son team of Warren and Jarryd Jeffery took out the honours for the second year in a row. By all accounts, the fishing was pretty tough with windy conditions making fly-casting even more difficult than it is already. Barra were scarce this year with only two being recorded over the two-and-a-half-day competition. There were 1141 fish caught across the seven eligible species. Results: Champion Angler 1st    7299    Jarryd Jeffery 2nd    5808    Warren Jeffery 3rd    5367    Quinten Pope Champion Team 1st    10667        Zedex    (Warren Jeffery/Jarryd Jeffery) 2nd    7836        Territory Towel-Ups (Glenn Hubble/Quinten Pope) 3rd    6832        Strippers (Tony O'Malley/George Vlazny) …………………………………………………… Million Dollar Fish Season 5 is going in a different direction to normal. Here we are more than three weeks into the new season, and not a single eligible tagged barra has been caught. Normally there’d be at least three caught by row. Even more out of the ordinary is that, since 1 October, there have been five tagged barra caught from last year’s season four: four sporting red tags and one wearing a purple charity tag. Oh well, maybe one worth the cool million will hit someone’s boat deck this season and really make the fifth year of Million Dollar Fish extraordinary.

Thanks to this chromed 103cm barra, Lucas Pel took out the Corroboree Park Challenge.

Champion Junior in the Corroboree Park Challenge was Charlee Page.

Hannah Hearn bagged a whopper 137cm mackerel wide of Dundee.


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