Daly River The long awaited round two of the 2021 Top End Barra Series Gap Year, took place last weekend on the famous Daly River. A river famous for all the big competitions that take place on it, and the sometimes very big Barramundi caught in its waters. First let me tell you that the dry season as started in earnest, and the nights and mornings on the river, are now, really fresh! Beanies and socks are at this time of the year a welcome addition to any overnight fishing tackle bag.

The competitors were eager to get on the water and try their luck and skills in what was to become a weekend of difficult fishing. I do not know if it was due to a cold snap in the weather, or a month of intense fishing due to three big comps taking place just before the Top End Barra Series descended on the river… But big Barra were a bit shy. The offspring on the other hand were fat and keen to eat whatever swam past their noses. They may have a mouse plague down south, but we had a rats plague on the Daly. At one stage Craig Grose invited my skipper, Mark Grosser and I to join him flicking lures at the mouth of No Fish Creek… There for a little while it was not uncommon to have double or triple hook-ups. We might have pulled over twenty fish out of the mouth of this tinny creek in a very short time. Alas, the biggest one was just under 51cm. It was great fun nonetheless, as they were fat and aggressive little fish. Not fuzzy eaters either, we fished four different lures at the same time and all of us had a great success rate. This bodes well for next year.

To give you an idea of how the fishing was, last year in the Daly round, competitors recorded 81 Barramundi. This year, at the time of writing, only 42 fish have been recorded… That is a fall of about half the number of barramundi compared to one year ago… Last year six anglers had a full bag of five fish. This year only one competitor managed to get a full bag. Yes it was hard fishing, but still better than a day at the office… Yet most had a good time on the water, with time spend catching up with mates, fishing with the family, and trying to find an elusive fish.

 

By evening, the river started to fill with the smells of many on board cooking chef’s practicing mastery in the culinary act. With odours of sizzling sausages & even roast pork filling the air, the laughter becoming louder and louder at the raft-up in front of No Fish Creek it certainly had the feel of a very social competition. Yes it seems that a lot of the action took place around that little creek near the S-bends over the weekend.

One notable capture for the weekend was one made by Evan Dixon. His fourth cast after losing a fish in the 90s due to a poor hook set… his excuse was a broken hand… finally hooked on a beautiful 88cm slab of chrome, which ended up being the biggest fish of the round! All with a broken hand! Well done Evan.

And now, who won the round? Well in third position came Cameron Kahl with a nice little bag of three Barra at 65, 72 and 72 cm. In second place came Michael Henderson with a 4 fish bag of 55, 62, 72 and 72 cm. 72 seems to be the number with 4 of them in the two runner ups! Well done. The round champion is Dwight Shepherd with the only bag of five fish measuring at 54, 65, 66, 68 and 83cm. Congratulations Dwight on the round win, his first in the Top End Barra Series! The next round will be in August and take place at Bynoe Harbour. Plenty of time for every Tebsie to sharpen a few hooks and come up with a game plan to take revenge on all these pesky Barramundi and try to settle some old scores.