The first round of the 2020 Top End Barra Series was all the way back in March. For many this feels almost like a lifetime ago. We have since had to learn to live with the threat of Covid-19. Round 2 which was to be held at Shady Camp was considerately postponed in the best interests of the community. Thankfully, the third round of our series was given the green light, and anglers were eager to get back on the water to chase our most famous local sports fish: The Great Barramundi. This round not only provided the opportunity to try to catch a great fish, but also the pretext to catch up with mates and have a good time in the great outdoors. Of course the round was filled with laughter….

So, Where? On Bynoe Harbour. When? Last weekend. Weather Report? Just about perfect, if not on the fresh side.

The round also wasn’t without a few hiccups. Nick Hall for instance managed to set the hooks on his largest catch to date: himself! The treble went straight through the skin of his calf. To ease the pain Nick took to some refreshing beverages with the company of Josh Scanlon. After a few more ales a similar experienced was again relived. A misjudged cast by Nick’s decky sent a vibe into Josh’s back. That’s one way to tie off in a raft up?! Luckily in both cas, with the help of a side cutter, the hooks where able to be pushed through and removed. Also in true TEBS spirit, Tim who was towed out of a delicate situation in round 1, passed on the favour towing a distressed crew with outboard issues back to the ramp this round.

A nice family story was enjoyed by the Bartolo crew. 1 year old Wilton, who fished hard all morning on Sunday, had the opportunity to pose with Mum and a barra. A barra that looked nearly as big as this lucky toddler. This young man will be a force to reckoned with in the future.

 

Last years’  Bynoe Harbour round was much later in the season, with winds destroying water clarity. This year the dreaded dry season winds seemed to have taken the weekend off greatly improving fishing opportunities. When it comes to barra fishing, Bynoe Harbour is reputed for its flats/sight fishing. This approach was the plan for many. For a few this strategy was effective. One person with a different approach was Charli Syme. Charli saw a nice school of big fish on his sounder. Hiding in about 4 meters of water on the high tide, Charli tea bagged his vibe on the school’s nose. A method certainly in stark contrast to flats fishing….  You know the old saying, if at first you don’t succeed… Well, it took three hours to get one hit. One single bite which gave Charli the biggest slab of chrome for the round. For anglers, it’s great hearing of stories of when persistence is rewarded because so often it’s not.

Back on the flats, James Park bagged his five fish. He worked from the mangrove edges to the gutters as the tide slowly dropped away. James used a wide variety of lures, from small soft plastics and vibes to shallow hard bodies. Switching between these presentations to trigger a bite. His bag of 63, 63, 64, 65 and 66cm fish put James in the third position for the round. He caught a total of 11 point scorers, which was impressive considering the doughnuts delivered this round.

In second came Kevin Bochow with a bag of 63, 63, 63, 64 and 75, well done Kevin. In first place, Simon Bochow,  in the same boat, provided the biggest bag for the weekend at 65, 65, 66, 66 and another 66. The prize for the biggest Queenfish for the round went to Jame Park with a fish that measured 84 cm to the fork. The total number of barramundi recorded over the 50cm mark for this round was 74, which is an improvement over last years total. The number of full bags also went from 3 in 2019 to 5 in 2020, so this year seems better all around. Thanks to those anglers, who contributed to selecting the best tides for this round.

The next round of TEBS is scheduled for the lower Adelaide River and estuary system on the 12th & 13th September. Best wishes to everyone until then.