Judging by how tough the fishing was on the Daly River for competitors in the annual NT Barra Classic last week, it’s a fair bet that next week’s Club Marine Insurance Barra Nationals will see more of the same. What unfolded down the river was not really a surprise. For months now we’ve all been talking about the poor wet season and lack of runoff. The Daly River suffered more than most in that regard, and competitors last week were faced with changing conditions and very few fish caught. According to Tony Halikos, who fished with Nick and Tommy Trikilis in third-placed Team Iron Men, the river was ridiculously low. “We hit the sandbar hard at Woolianna on the first day, but surprisingly Brown’s Creek was no problem at all,” Tony told me. “On day three there was heavy rain and we had 100mm through the tent. “It destroyed the river and there was no green water below the Rockbar. “Every single nomad who’s been coming to the Daly for 20 years reckoned they’d never seen the river so dirty at this time of year. “I believe the barra were there, but they were just not interested. “You could see them on the sounder – yes, there were catfish, there were sharks, but there were barra too,” Tony explained. “I believe they were feeding at night because the three fish we caught were all fat. “Basically, you had to aggravate the fish, and we flicked and flicked; we flogged it to foam. “I know how tough it was because one bloke caught a 120 right under the boat and they didn’t catch another fish yet the team still came second. “We caught an 81cm barra trolling and a 91 and 69 casting, so three fish and we came third. “It was probably the first year anyone followed us,” Tony joked. “When we came third, we felt like we’d won because we were the best all-local team, and the crowd loved it.” Tony reckoned the Darwin Game Fishing Club did a great job this year. “Everyone was happy and the club should be commended for bringing down two older blokes who told stories of fishing the Daly in the ‘70s,” Tony said.
Those older blokes were Mike Rasmussen and Yogi Griesbach, two mates of mine whom I was lucky enough to fish alongside in the late ‘70s.
Champion Team – Pilbarians (Mark Cotteral, Justin Leech, Rob Skwirowski) - 880 points Second Placed Team – Hullbilly (Stephen Mackie, Michael Mackie, Ty Grimley) - 745 points Third Placed Team - Iron Men (Tony Halikos, Nick Trikilis, Tommy Trikilis) - 525 points Col Cordingley Champion Angler - Ty Grimley - 735 points Runner Up Angler Visitor - Justin Leech - 610 points Runner Up Angler Local - Steve Jose - 335 points Tony Hare Most Meritorious Capture - Ty Grimley - 120cm Zerek Cup - Ty Grimley - 735 points As the Federal Election nears, hopefully many of you will, like myself, examine the policies of both major parties that will impact on recreational fishing.
The good thing is that Australia’s millions of recreational fishers are now taken seriously by all governments.
Unfortunately, we are constantly facing a strong lock-up mentality whereby a rabid non-fishing sector of the conservationist movement reckons the only way to protect our coastal waters is to lock them up and throw the key away.
I’m not about to tell you which way to vote, but I do urge you to Google the following two subjects: Labor’s Marine Park Policy and Prime Minister’s Recreational Fishing Video. At least you will have a better understanding of the way our major parties are relating to recreational fishing nationally.
Ty Grimley’s 120cm monster barra – the biggest caught in the Barra Classic – took a lure right off the back of the boat.
Justin Leech’s 113cm barra helped The Pilbarians win the Barra Classic by a nose.
At 91cm, Nick Trikilis’ 91cm fish was one of the few quality barra caught in the Classic.