Round 1 of the Top End Barra Series was held over last weekend and based out of Shady Camp. Competitors could fish the Mary River system through to the coast and from Marsh Creek to the Wildman River. Included in the competition was the Mary River Bridge lagoon and the fresh water side of the Shady Camp barrage.

Surprisingly the boat traffic was not that heavy over the weekend. It seems that the Finniss area attracted most people given the media reports of the numbers of people out there.

As usual quite a few people took the option of going to the comp early and a number travelled to the Wildman on Thursday to get in a pre-fish and camp there for the weekend. Over the weekend the wind was an issue as were the brief, but wild storms. This made travel somewhat uncomfortable even across to Tommycut. Those that made trips further afield made the most of lulls between storms to stay dry and travel more safely. The bulk of smaller boats chose to fish the Sampan system.

Fishing was quiet for most people and as is typical this time of the year, the fishing is either hot or not.

There were many stories of long hours between fish strikes and then some short periods of good action over the weekend. There are good numbers of Barra in the various systems but the lack of good schools of baitfish generally meant that fishing was tough. We have great technology on boats these days but it is frustrating to see big Barra on the sounder that are typically not feeding. Numerous lure changes to match the depth of cruising fish and different trolling speeds sometimes produced the goods but it was slow going overall.

There were the usual big schools of catfish at times and unfortunately it was a case of ‘you should have been here yesterday’ if you were looking for bigger Threadfin.

Barra were caught casting to upstream feeder creek mouths in Sampan and Tommycut. Using vibes and deep lures in back eddies proved to be effective. As usual most of the bigger fish were caught on Classic 160’s, Reidy’s Big B52’s and bigger Bombers. Even the smaller ‘rats’ took a liking to bigger lures. We spent a good few hours casting to a creek mouth in Tommycut on Sunday and after numerous lure changes found that the smallest B52 was what attracted the most attention on the falling tide.

Evan Dixon made a dash on Saturday afternoon around Point Stuart to a creek and here is an extract of what he told me.

‘We fished the drains in Sampan until midday on Saturday for a few dropped rats. After arriving at the mouth to some decent chop we decided to run the gauntlet and head to a coastal creek. After spending a couple of hours on the flats waiting for the tide to come in we eventually managed to sneak in. I landed my biggest fish for the trip after half an hour (95cm) on a Zerek Flat Shad and we were pumped. The next couple of hours got much better with sounders lighting up and fish feeding hard. The tide started to push in earnest and the four boats were regularly landing fish. The fishing slowed on dusk before shutting down completely’.

Another competitor had a case of the dropsies at one point although he still managed some quality fish over the weekend. His story went a bit like this. ‘Had the dropsies. Lost 2 big fish and got a hit that produced a Barra scale the size of a 50c piece. Also got towed around for nearly 30mins by a huge QLD Groper until the rings opened up and straightened hooks’

The biggest fish of the weekend came from Tommycut on the top of the tide. It was caught on Reidy’s Big Ass in the pump colour. The angler was Bryn Montgomery. There was only one other metre fish recorded for the weekend.

As far as stats go there were 148 fish over 50cm recorded from the weekend. Besides the metre fish there were 21 fish in the 90’s, 9 in the 80’s, 31 in the 70’s, 47 in the 60’s and 38 in the 50’s. This is a good result given the conditions, particularly considering the wind.

The results for the weekend are;

1st Stewart Odgers with 5 fish of 71,92,89,100 & 90cm (1480 points)

2nd Luke Barnes with 5 fish of 73, 96, 92,92 and 77cm (1345 points

3rd Evan Dixon with 5 fish of 95, 79, 78, 78 & 71cm (1045 points)

4th Bryn Montgomery with a 112 & 95cm (1020 points)

The highest scoring Junior was Charli Syme with 4 fish of 63, 67,63 & 64cm (390 points). A great effort.

Mitchell Reilly was close behind in 2nd with an 87 and a 66cm fish (380 points)

Round 2 of the Top End Barra Series returns to the Daly River on the 20th and 21st of May.

Evan Dixon We persisted in Clear on Saturday, catching most of our fish casting and even trolling vibes. We caught a couple early on Sunday morning and then picked up the seventy trolling near Alligator Head on the run home. For the weekend the tally included 15 point scoring fish (9 legal) and close to 30 fingerlings. It looks like it will be a good year in 2018 with the huge number of baby barra getting around.
Jon Russo I also have some great photos of a pig I got in the water if you want to see them
Hugh Raeburn Persisted through the rats over the weekend boating 60 odd undersize on the cast, troll and vibing snags with a few reaching the point scoring size.
Joe Sheridan We fished Clear creek and got the bigger Barra at dawn with plenty of small non-scoring Barra around during the day. Looks healthy down that way!
Tim Morgan Great round plenty of fish for years to come!
Jeremy Baxter Got the fish in Clear creek on Saturday combo of trolling and flicking snags. plus many Barra under 50cm.. fished till 2pm on Sunday for lots of rats but no scoring fish
Alex Felsch Heaps of rats couldnt get the bigger fish this weekend! Good times .
Nadine Taylor Great weekend down the Daly
Ben Judd Good weekend
Regis Martin Had a great weekend, with over 12 fish caught, even if just one was a point scorer. Can’t wait for the next round!
James Park Kel Ship and myself landed 29 scoring fish for the weekend and lost count of the fish under 50cm. Great weekend on the water, awsome to see the Daly so healthy!
James   Mitchell Cracking weekend
Ben Judd Hard round,   good weekend though as always,
Jon Russo 31 Barra caught – only one scorer
Nathan Land Tough barra fishin’! Toga were good fun though
Tim Morgan Made a deal to pull out at 1pm Sunday. At 12.56pm all hell broke loose!

19 1/2 hours on the water alone this fish costs Dan and I!

Dean Blackman A big fat Donut from myself. However, that said it was great to get out for a few hours on Sat afternoon/evening with my son on Corroboree Billabong.

We did lose one very big Barra at the net on Saturday evening, my lad needs to work on his net skills (Perhaps Juddy can provide some guidance?)

The sunset followed shortly after by the moonrise was superb. Caught up with a few fellow TEBSies for a quick chat, which is always great. Thank you again to all whom make TEBS happen.


Steve Jones Hard work at Mary River park , I ended up catching 15 Barra and a heap of black bream , only 1 scorer

I also caught a 69 cm Barra 25 minutes after lines out ( bugger )

Mark Bailey No scorers but a couple of photos
Brian Sellers Morning, Thanks for another great weekend, unfortunately for us, it was a weekend of boating. However we found the not so secret billabong, north of the boat ramp and fished the rock hole, both being the first time for us. No barra but one saratoga at 46cm, and Tania managed a tarpon which was smaller than the lure.


Jeremy Baxter Zero Points. . fished Sat and got Toga and small rat barra only.   🙁
Dwight Shepherd I have finally manged to defrost the fingers from the weekend to enable me to operate the keyboard. It was one of the coldest fishing trips ive had in the Territory, 5:30pm Saturday saw the Hoody & Trackpants removed from their mothballing to provide so much needed warmth in the fading light from the sun.

Beside the weather there isn’t much to write about, very few fish striking and even few landed, our best Barra went 40cm’s.

The only (almost) scoring fish was the 58cm Saratoga taken on the troll in Rockhole.

There will always be another round to redeem myself, one of these days I’ll be lucky enough to land a few on the Comp weekends.

Karl Boeck First things first, you need to set a set target date because you may completely quit, including 2-3 weeks from now. However, it is important to find the doctor’s opinion first before taking these oral medications because they could have negative side effects around the body.


Round 4 in Darwin Harbour has again demonstrated that the city backyard is in healthy condition. Despite the wind that turned up on the weekend there were 99 barra recorded over 50cm. The biggest fish came in at 81cm and was captured by Simon Bochow.

Numbers wise, there were 11 barra in the 70’s, 37 in the 60,s with the remainder in the 50cm bracket. The fish numbers over the past 3 years in the harbour have remained constant in the TEBS competition. We have not kept records of the sub 50cm fish that are captured but reports indicate there were plenty around again last week.

Flats fishing on the springs is certainly the preferred fishing method for barra. The best tides seem to be the dropping Springs. If you can keep out of the wind sight fishing is improved

To keep things interesting we usually have a few other species of fish that get nominated each Round. For the Darwin Harbour Round we had Queenfish and Mangrove Jack. The biggest Queenfish came in at 83cm to the fork. Jason Haack was the angler. Dustin Menke managed to bag the biggest Mangrove Jack at 44cm.

Another noteworthy catch was a big GT that Jon Russo picked up while trolling the flats near Catalina.

If trailer bearing maintenance was a prize our old mate Lumbo would have easily taken out the prize.

Congratulations to Jamie Cooper for taking out Round 4. Jamie and Peter Cooper had a blinder on the weekend and full credit to their commitment.

Bryn Montgomery is leading the charge at Round 4 in 2017 with Kai Argent and Ben Judd coming a tie for 2nd spot. Some of the competitors reckon we need to scrutinize Juddy’s boat for evidence of mullet scales and a cast net .

Evan Dixon Spent Saturday in middle arm for two dropped fish. Scooted over to Woods inlet for the push in and scored 2 point scorers bouncing vibes. Spent Sunday in Woods and picked up another three scorers, plenty of rats and other little bits and pieces. All fish were caught on Reidy’s C-Gar vibes and 90mm Slick Rigs.
Shane Moon Only managed 2 hours on the water Saturday morning. Didn’t start looking good until 20 mins before I had to leave. Managed a 58 so better than nothing. Cheers!
James Ballantyne No scorers caught.
Dean Blackman no fish



Chris Rutishauser Big fat F all for me..

Ziggi little shit got all the fish in my boat

Evan Dixon On Saturday, we came across a school of around 15 barramundi. Using Reidy’s C-Gar vibes, I picked up two of them and my deckie got another two. Sadly, we missed several chances with quality fish spitting our lures mid jump. It was a good day on by-catch. Between my deckie and I, the species list included: mangrove jack, golden snapper, trevally, flat head, cod, threadfin and queenfish. Sunday, was the opposite, we barely raised a scale and I couldn’t add to the score board. That’s fishing!
Jason Reynhout Had a blinder of a day on Saturday, followed by a slow Sunday.
Steve Jones Had a ball this week end , caught 13 legal Barra plus a couple of rats and 2 salmon

Mark Bailey finally caught his first Barra in TEBS

How good is that !!!

Peter Washington Saturday was a great day but today was a tough gig
Mark Bailey First ever scoring fish for TEBS ,

How good is that !!!

Dustin Breyer Menke We had a great day on the water, but finding Barra that weren’t fat on jelly prawns was tough.

Our day saw us catch 11 different spiceis in what is  clearly a very helathy system.

Dwight Shepherd It was a hot weekend at Bynoe Harbor with huge tides to contend with also. This made fishing tough in that no one bit window lasted more than 20 minutes. We managed to get a few on the board by Saturday afternoon which took the pressure off for Sunday.

Anthony Dent finally got his first scoring fish of the series which was a long time coming. He ended the weekend with e respectable score and put us onto the fish everywhere we went.

Number were up and the variety of species caught was great. Mostly small Barra, we caught about a dozen 48cm fish and plenty just not legal.

All in all a great weekend, even though we both got roasted under the scorching sun, 5 good scoring fish all but made up for the dehydration and sunburn.

Kieran Shaw Great weekend away as I haven’t done enough of it this year , no worries hooking fish , getting them to the boat was a different story tho 😢
Ben Maclean Good weather for cold beers and Barra
Dave Freak maintaining this years standard, another donut.


Ben Judd Cheers for another great year of tebs, to all involved
Evan Dixon My deckie was giving me an absolute hiding with a 68, 70, 74, 75 before I could even get on the board. I made a late charge at the end and was happy to land four fish in quick succession. We trolled the incoming tide in Wilshires Two. The stand out lures for us were dark F18s and Cherabin Classics. We also had a good session, bagging our on jewies on the Saturday high tide around Cape Hotham.
Regis Martin Caught on a F18 in Purple dazzler, as once recommended to me by Rossco.
Danny Morgan Danny’s new PB
Tim Morgan Hi All,  thanks for the great work again this season.  enjoy a break see you all next year!
Joe Sheridan Hey guys we forgot a score card and you can’t quite make it out on the phone because of the glare so I’ll take it on the chin if you don’t count it. For the record this is my first metery!
Ross Abraham Had a great 2nd day in number 2. Lots of barra, threadies and goldies.

Found a school of barra that were around 18 – 20cm hiding in some trees early Sunday morning. Caught heaps before a 69cm popped up and grabbed the soft plastic. Better water colour and more tide push on Sunday in No.2 No.3 on Saturday okay but only rats and a couple of Goldies.

Kieran Shaw first scoring fish, went to take photos when I found that I had packed a some forms from work instead 😞Luckily it was big enough to go on ice for later , spent a while towing a nine tebsie back to boat ramp where I caught my second fish with good timing of a another boat coming which I got a score card off .. an interesting but enjoyable weekend , thanks for another great season .
Peter Blundell Nice to get a few fish for a change
Dwight Shepherd Fishing was tough on day 1 for us, we had some boat trouble which saw a quick run back to Darwin and a blast down the Elizabeth river before returning to leaders, only to find the problem still not solved. A trek home saw the spirts lifted after a night of aircon and we solved the problems enough to have a better crack on day 2.

A run to the Wiltshire’s saw a few fish into the boat, then a few more troubles struck the boat. This time round was the electric which ran flat out and wouldn’t turn off, it can make for difficult times fighting fish and a very health 80+ was lost as a result. Plenty of smaller fish down to 21cm (Denty’s finest catch) in the system we landed about 20 under size for the day.

All in all a tough round both fishing & boating wise. Still a great series overall, already looking forward and planning ahead of the 2018 series.

Thanks for a great comp and bring on the 2018 series.

Congratulations to the following for their achievements throughout TEBS in 2017.

Champion Angler 2017          Kai Argent

Runner Up 2017                     James Park

3rd                                         Jamie Cooper

4th                                         Bryn Montgomery

5th                                         Evan Dixon

6th                                         Simon Bochow

7th                                         Peter Cooper

8th                                         Kel Shipp

9th                                         Ben Judd

10th                                       Dwight Shepherd


Champion Junior 2017            Charli Syme

Runner Up Junior 2017            Laurence Russo

3rd                                            Danny Morgan


Champion Female 2017          Nadine Taylor

Biggest Barra 2017                 Bryn Montgomery    112cm