Round 2 of TEBS finally got underway after a few false starts at the Daly. The big river had fallen rapidly in the last week and was nearly back to dry season levels, with the last of the runoff still coming out of the main creeks. On the back of a fantastic Wet, expectations were high. The competition was opened to an extended part of the river from well upstream and down to the mouth. Competitors were able to spread out and also hit some different ground in areas that hadn’t seen the competition traffic from Girls Gone Fishing and the Nationals. The fishing wasn’t ‘red hot’ but it was very good. 61 anglers posted a score and 26 of those managed a full bag of 5 scoring fish.

In third place was Lachlan Markey with a bag of 83, 79, 78, 77 and 75 for 930 points. This was his first time fishing the Daly so there was no set game plan. Saturday was spent looking around between the S-bends and Alligator head without much success, before returning to the S-bends for Saturday night. Parked up in a back eddie on the back of the S-bends he found the fish that were keen on smashing fizzers. From the session, he was able to pull in most of his final bag, landing 10 fish. Sunday was spent looking around and finally finding a patch of fish in an eddie of a runoff creek upstream from Clear. Lachlan said there were 30 fish at a time coming into view on the Livescope. Neva Syme who was fishing with him was able to fill out a good bag of fish, whie Lachlan concentrated on the bigger fish holding slightly deeper to score his 83.

   

In second place was Evan Dixon with a bag of 90, 84, 81, 79 and 76. In a contrast of tactics, Evan took the gamble to head all the way to the mouth in less than ideal easterly winds. Fishing was challenging but he managed to pull a quality bag. All his fish were caught in different locations or times at creek mouths. He caught one on the trip down in a creek downstream from Clear and then one out the front of Miller’s on a dropping tide, which still had good runoff flow. After this he moved out to Anson 1 which had only very little fresh still coming out. There weren’t any threadies which often frequent the creek in big numbers and the barra were few and far between. He ended up finding fish on the Livescope in pockets of clearer water out on the flats and was able to bag his 3rd scorer. He then returned to Miller’s and just on dark scored his biggest fish at 90 cm. The final scorer came on the trip back upstream at Clearskin creek. Evan noted that the fish were not turning on lures on the Livescope. He said he only managed to turn 3 fish for the whole weekend. He found the only way to get the strike was kill the lure right on the fish’s nose on the retrieve. The lure of choice was a 7 inch paddle tail plastic in GNR style colours.

In first place was Andrew Gatehouse. Many TEBSies have been saying, ‘Who is Andrew’? Well it turns out Andrew can fish but hasn’t been in TEBS or Darwin all that long. Similar to Lachlan, this was his first time fishing the Daly. Also similar to Lachlan, he found the fish at night, in a back eddie on the sand bar corners near Croc creek. At least we think that was the location.

Andrew was up late on Saturday night due to an incessantly snoring skipper in Greg Hester. With nothing else to do he sat watching the Livescope and saw big fish start cruising into view. The next few hours were spent in frustration casting a hardbody, where the fish were following all the way to the boat but not striking. In sheer frustration he shook his rod tip on a follower and got the hit! A new variation on stopping the lure dead perhaps. Hit repeat and the strikes kept coming to give Andrew a quality bag and the biggest fish, the only metery for the round.

Hard to top this story for the round but one probably does in young Ryan Higgs showing what it is to be a TEBSie. Ryan is one of our juniors that loves his fishing but has found it hard to fish TEBS without a boat. This didn’t stop him on the weekend as he fished land based and smashed a top bag of fish. Well done Ryan. We think you’re a champ!

After 2 rounds TEBS 2024 is looking very different to previous years with no angler dominating. Tristan Christie won the National’s Individual angler just a few days earlier but was a no show for TEBS, so has dropped this round. The MudSkipper’s who won the National’s team category with Ben Vidgen and Matt Bolitho who fish TEBS, found it hard to get up the leader board in this TEBS rounds. Matt did score a fantastic 98 but we suspect a little too much post Nats celebrating might have handicapped them this round. There are a couple of new names showing consistency at the top and it looks like it’s going to be fairly open comp this year.