ROUND 1 Results. Shady just keeps producing and a big day out for James Ballantyne.

Round 1 of the Top End Barra Series kicked off on the weekend of March 6 and 7 out in the Mary River System with around 130 competitors taking part and what ended up being a surprisingly good fishing story for the Territory. With a very poor wet season, the first round at Shady was not expected to yield fantastic results and all competitors were geared up for a challenging weekend, but I am really pleased to announce a good news story. Shady just keeps on producing, and the results this year were a massive improvement on 2015 which is great and exciting news.

Personally I was at Sampan on Saturday and by early afternoon I had only seen one barra get caught and I was thinking that the results were going to be poor as expected. What I wasn’t aware of was the amount of quality fish that were being landed just up the coast at Tommy Cut. So basically if you were looking at these results for some information on where to go on the next set of neaps, Tommy Cut is the answer. In saying this though, Tommy Cut was the stand out system over the weekend on round 1, but we all know how quickly things can change. Tommy Cut certainly produced the majority of the fish over the weekend, but to put into perspective Shane Moon told me that he and Damien Lucas stayed in Tommy Cut for three days, did 400km and picked up four fish, so this equates to 1 fish every 100km.

Over the weekend competitors scattered themselves all over the system from the Wildman to Tommy Cut and inside the Shady system. The few that travelled to the Wildman came back disappointed with the exception of James Mitchell who picked up fish from 59cm to 90cm, and the Jones’s did well fishing the Mary River Bridge Lagoon with Steve picking up three fish in the 60’s and his son Alan a 71cm which is great news for anyone looking for a lazy weekend fishing trip. There were also quite a few threadfin Salmon around although they were all roughly being measured around the 60 to 80cm range to the fork, although Matt Johnstone managed a nice thread at 100cm to fork to be the largest registered over the weekend.

A few special mentions from the weekend that don’t show up on the scoreboard. Peter Blundell managed a 118cm Jewfish trolling out the mouth of Sampan Creek on a home made lure which was timber and looked to be of around the 25cm range, so congratulations to Peter. Also a big mention to the dedication of Stephen Pennington. Stephen travelled around from Darwin Harbour solo on the weekend picked up a 104cm which he had to obviously net by himself and then head back around to Darwin Harbour at the end of the round. Apparently his 4wd was out of action, so he drove the boat around the coast. Legend. Now this final one is something that I don’t think you will see or here of anywhere else. Saturday afternoon as the fishing got quiet a few of the boats started to get creative and get a spread of lines out. So six boats rafted up and started trolling and what do you know, Steve Muntz yells out ‘I’m on’. After some mad chaos of jumping from boat to boat, and all lines removed from the water safely in the net was a 93cm, I bet you Steve won’t forget that fish in a hurry. And finally probably the smallest boat in TEBS is Brett Warren’s Black Arrow. Well Brett had to tow a broken down boat, the broken down boat through a lure out and started trolling and ‘yep’ they hooked up. Incredible really.


Now for the statistical information, as stated after another poor wet season, we weren’t expecting a great weekend in regards to scoring, but in the end the results show that it was a great weekend and a big improvement on last year. To see the big picture I will just go back though the last few years statistics. In 2013 there were only 59 fish caught with a massive 8 meteries, in 2014 276 fish were caught with only 2 meteries and in 2015 there were 158 fish caught, although only 11 above 80cm.

In 2016 there were 142 fish caught, which is down by 16 on the previous year although in 2016 the big impressive statistic is in the amount of fish caught that were over 90cm. In 2015 we caught 3 fish over 90cm, in 2016 we caught 29 fish over 90cm with 4 of them being over the magical metre mark. There was also 12 fish in the 80cm range, 14 in the 70cm range, 34 in the 60cm range and 53 in the 50cm range.

At the end of round 1 James Ballantyne broke through for his first ever round win with a 100cm, 90cm, 86cm and a 72cm totaling 1130 points and he will be the lucky winner of our first Helifish Trip. Coming in second with 1065 points with a 96cm, 91cm, 85cm, 62cm and a 54cm is last year’s round 6 winner in Sean Anderson. And rounding out the top 3 with 1060 points is a new competitor for 2016 in Stewart Odgers. Stewart caught the Bigfish Biggest Barra for round 1 with a 108cm which he caught on the cast along with a 97cm, 59cm and a 54cm. The Champion Junior for the round was Ziggy Lynch with 260 points, who was closely followed by Charli Syme with 255 points.


The next round will be held down at the Daly River on May 7th and 8th.

Presentation 2pm this Saturday at the Ski Club.

Results are Provisional, they will become final on Friday at 12pm.


1st Place: James Ballantyne 1130 points: Helifishing Trip and Trophy (to be taken with Round 2 winner)

2nd Place: Sean Anderson 1065 points: Wilson Venom Rod and Reel

3rd Place: Stewart Odgers 1060 points: Wilson Venom Rod and 1 night’s accommodation at Daly River Barra Resort

4th Place: James Mitchell 945 points: Plano Tackle box and 20 mixed Killalure and Classic lures (JM Gillies)

5th Place: Ben Mclean 935 points: Go Pro courtesy of Smiley’s Rural Building

6th Place: Bryn Montgomery 745 points: $250 Retail Reidy’s Pack and Bigfish Pack

7th Place: Kyle Chin 695 points: 55 Litre Waeco Esky

8th Place: Daniel Hayes 660 points: 2 days Camper Trailer Hire with Outback & Beyond Camper Trailer Hire

9th Place: Dave Freak 650 points: $250 Go Hire Voucher

10th Place: Simon Bochow 625 points: Leatherman Courtesy of True North Surveying and NAFA voucher


Stewart Odgers: 108cm: Biggest Barra: Bigfish Pack and Trophy

Biggest Threadfin Salmon: Matt Johnstone 100cm to the fork: Craig’s Fishing Warehouse Shirt

Junior Champion Angler: Ziggi Lynch 260 points: Trophy, Buff and Lure pack


MYSTERY SIZES: Eligible to competitors outside the Top Ten, and goes to the highest placed competitor with that size fish.

56cm Mystery Fish 1: Darren Eilerson: NAFA Voucher plus Plano Tray

67cm Mystery Fish 2: Mick Upton: Roma Bar Voucher plus Plano Tray

82cm Mystery Fish 3: Cale Foster- Blyth: Shenannigans Voucher plus Plano Tray


Please visit Results page for full results

Results Round 1 Position Total Points for Round
James Ballantyne 1 1130
Sean Anderson 2 1065
Stewart Odgers 3 1060
James Mitchell 4 945
Ben Maclean 5 935
Bryn Montomery 6 745
Kyle Chin 7 695
Daniel Hayes 8 660
Dave Freak 9 650
Simon Bochow 10 625
Shane Moon 11 515
Stephen Pennington 12 480
Mick Upton 13 470
Barney Rae 13 470
Darren Eilersen 15 440
John Langdon 16 435
Travis Baehnisch 17 430
Kevin Bochow 18 425
Jakeb Leahy 19 400
Mark Allcorn 20 380
Sindy Srhoj 20 380
Jeromie Edwards 22 375
Jason Reynhout 23 370
Kel Shipp 24 360
James Park 25 355
Kai Argent 26 345
Trent Page 27 340
Leigh Jefferies 27 340
Sy Howell 29 335
Steve Muntz 29 335
Leonie Cooper 31 315
Eric Gordon 32 290
Cale Foster-Blyth 33 280
Steve Jones 34 270
Ziggi Lynch 35 260
Charli Syme 36 255
Glenn Dinwoodie 37 250
Andrew Pollard 38 240
Kel Payne 39 220
Peter Blundell 39 220
Evan Dixon 41 190
Kieran Gillespie 42 185
Damien Lucas 42 185
Mick Housley 44 180
Ainslie Jones 45 140
Joe Sheridan 46 125
Luke Carling 47 115
Andrew Dutton 48 110
Daniel Burton 49 105
Ashley Idsenga 49 105
Brenton Jefferies 51 100
Helen Stuart 52 90
Karl Boeck 53 85
George Larner 54 80
Marcus Dixon 55 75
Mitchell Reilly 55 75
Daniel Hulbert 57 70
Liam Mcdonnell 58 55
Clinton Housley 58 55
Brett Warren 60 50
Bailey Baker 60 50
Chris Stewart 60 50
Grant Diery 60 50
Regis Martin 64 45
Chris Rutishauser 64 45
Barry Johnson 64 45
Michael Henderson 67 30
Dean Corner 67 30
Sandie Dean 67 30
Alex Felsch 70 25
Kieran Shaw 70 25