Last weekend was the second round of the Top End Barra Series for the season 2022. All the action took place in the vast expanse of fishing expectations that Shady Camp & Coastal Creeks can offer. The area for fishing was from the famous Shady Camp’s barrage, too Marsh creek on the Western boundary and Wildman River to the East.

Coming into the weekend the rumour was that the Threadies were so thick, that it would be hard to pass through them to find the Barra… Well, they must have known we were comin’, as it was in fact much easier to find a nice fat Barra than a Salmon of any kind. And when I say a nice fat Barramundi, this is because indeed, most of the Barra caught were in extremely good health, very healthy and fat as happy piglets.

The wet season was just a bit better than average in the coastal regions, yet it seems to have been a rather good for the Barra, food wise. The Wildman River, which in the previous year’s has proven to be the place to be if you wanted to catch a few big fish, was this year a bit on the nose, with reportedly dirty water and few fish on the chew in the river. It looks like more reasonable fish were caught in Tommy Cut in this very round where the water was rather clean.

Weather wise it was from hot, too really hot, nearly build up weather, minus the humidity. Wind wasn’t as bad as it had been said it would be, and that was a welcome relief. Still a bit of breeze would have been refreshing… Ah, the never happy fisho!

Many different types of lures were used during this round. And once again trolling was mostly done with hard bodies lures, while most of the casting were with soft plastics tied on. This seems to become the norm for many anglers now. 42 competitors from the TEBS have entered one or more scoring fish on the board, 20 of those with a full bag of 5 fish and a grand total of 150 Barramundi registered for the round. Making for a very nice scoring board. This is despite many anglers saying that they could see big schools of Barramundi on their sounders, but were unable to get them to open their locked jaws.

Windows of opportunities, were small and one had to be Johnny on the spot to take full advantage of them. Interestingly some had trouble finding a single fish, while others managed to put between 40 to 50 fish onboard. The biggest fish of the round went to Jack Oswald at a very respectable size of 103cm. Now that is one fish I would have loved to get on my line.

A big part of the TEBS, to try to be a friendly competition where competitor try to help and teach others trick on how to catch more fish. And in this round saw several acts of goodwill and knowledge transfer to help fellow fishers out. One of the act of good heart was done by Dwight Shepherd who brought a couple of litres of steering fluid to a pro Jewie boat that had broken down at the mouth of Sampan. A shout out from Robert Parslow to Tristan Christie who shared some hot Goss on the location and technique that helped fill Rob’s bag. Another crew quite simply forgot to bring drinking water with them. They had all sort of beverages but forgot the water. Lucky for them Mitch and Wade were able to share a 10 litre water esky.

Another notable event was a poor fisho whose three treble lure hooked on a very large Hydrophis Elegans, also known as the Elegant Sea Snake. It is worth remembering that this is a highly venomous snake with a potentially fatal bite, who need to be treated with a healthy dose of respect and precaution when encountered.

Now who did well over the weekend? Well in third position we have Craig Latimore with a bag of 66, 69, 76, 80 and 88 cm. Not a bad catch. The second place was taken by Tristan Christie with a nice catch of 64, 70, 75, 76 and 93cm. Tristan got his 93 cm on the troll, but all of his other fish on a Reidy’s Fish Snakz Vibes all in the same little creek mouth. Saying that each hot bit would see at least 15 fish in the boat! On the highest step of the podium we found Jack Oswald for his first top spot, with a great bag full with 77, 80, 95, 99 and 103cm! Everyone would have to agree that this is a pretty impressive result, congratulations to Jack on not only your first position, But also the biggest Barra of the round! Well done on all levels. There is a bit of time to get ready for the next round, in July on Bynoe Harbour. Great for practice and pre-fish.