A weekend on our doorstep…

Last weekend was a hot weekend for a fish, even by our Darwinites standards. Some might have called it nice and warm, but I would have described it as stinking hot. Last weekend, Top End Barra Series’ Darwin Harbour Round took place just on the doorstep of our beautiful city. So how did it go? Well did I say that it was real hot? Anglers did get some reprieve with a refreshing storm crossing the harbour between 5:00 and 6:00pm on the Saturday. A few fishos were soaked not long before sundown. The harbour being a rather large expanse of water with copious mangrove habitats saw competitors fairly distant from one another during this round. During the rare encounters, where anglers met a similar narrative unfolded… For most, fish were either nonexistent or as rare as hen’s teeth. There were also the all too familiar tales of dropsies, for those who managed to find fish but couldn’t stay connected. Even the angler who ended up with the biggest bag of the round, told me that he dropped many more fish than he boated. Who you may ask? Well it won’t came as a surprise for many, as the guy has been showing a very consistent form for the past few rounds. You will need to read on to find out. Many fishing styles and lures were used by anglers throughout the tropical roasting. Lures ranged from all sort of local and exotics hard body, to all kinds of soft and wiggly plastics. But it is interesting to note, that all the fish in the bags of our three winners over the weekend feel victim to soft plastics. Certainly a tip for targeting fish in the harbour.

One angler who snared a decent fish on a hard body lure however was, James Mitchell. James had sounded up a nice school of barramundi, and decided to troll a Reidy’s Junior B52 in the Kryptonite colour to target these desired fish. The hit was brutal and without mercy, and resulted in an eight kilo fish. Alas it wasn’t one of the target species that chewed down on his little lure… it was in fact nice fat trevally, measuring 70cm to the fork. To add injury to the wound, James broke his trusted G-Loomis GLX while netting the beast solo. Another great catch on a hard body lure was a thumper of a golden snapper caught by Mark Grosser. Like most years, the harbor once again provided lots of different species to keep anglers entertained.

So who took out the top three? Well in third place, Craig Latimore bagged four barramundi at 62, 63, 67 and 69cm. It is worthy to note that Craig managed to also catch a couple of blue bones and a coral trout. Despite fishing solo and suffering from a mild heat stroke on Saturday, Craig had a ripper weekend. Craig fished in Middle Arm and once again employing a ladder platform to provide a height advantage. We might soon see more contraptions like these sailing our waters. In second place, we have someone who successfully filled his bag with five fish, Simon Bochow. Simon had a bag of 56, 60, 63, 72 and 80cm fish. Simon caught all his fish on soft plastic with many of them captured land based near the wharf. His 80cm piscatorial piece of chrome, was the biggest fish captured for the round. Well done Simon! Now for the guy in first place… and it is becoming a bit like a well rehearsed song, the mighty Peter Cooper. Peter had another full bag of 65, 65, 66, 70 and 70cm fish. Now this man’s consistency is ridiculous. Peter hooked all his barra on soft plastic too, fishing mostly in West Arm. Congratulations on yet another win Peter! It is interesting here to consider that the three podium place holders, snatched their targeted fish in three very different locations in our vast Harbour. Proof that the fish are there, and not congregated in just one particular spot.

There is just one round left to finish the tenth anniversary of the Top End Barra Series. This is the round that should have been the second of the season, and which had to be postponed due to Covid-19. The Shady Camp round. I am pretty sure that many of the Tebsies are now waiting this round with great impatience, as it is renowned for adventure and trophy captures…