Hooked up

Whether you’re trolling for a big barra on the Daly, flick­ing a plas­tic into the lilies on a Kakadu bil­l­abong, or chas­ing macs on the blue wa­ter, we’ve got you cov­ered

Sunday Territorian - - FRONTIER - MATT FLYNN FISH­ING

FISH­ING was tough on the Daly River for the 2018 Club Marine Barra Na­tion­als.

In­ter­state team Edge Rods won de­ci­sively by tar­get­ing fish with sonar and mov­ing on.

The 69 teams fish­ing over a week, land­ing three me­ter­ies, with only two fish in the 90cm range.

The big­gest was 116cm, by Bar­ra­matta’s David David­son.

Rei­dys’ Col Bur­don, and Paul An­donaros, landed the other two me­ter­ies.

As usual, re­ports came in of great fish­ing in the nights be­tween the com­pe­ti­tion days.

2017 Na­tion­als win­ners Tackle World Revos, skip­pered by Shane Com­pain, placed third. Shane said the re­sults were not nec­es­sar­ily an in­di­ca­tion of fish num­bers.

“There were plenty of fish in the river, you just had to be onto them,” he said.

“We sounded the river be­fore the comp and marked snags that were loaded with fish, but on Day One those fish had dis­ap­peared.

“The river can change ev­ery day, and we had to start afresh.

“The win­ning team fine-tuned what they did, they just kept mov­ing and find­ing fish.

“We fished the same way but they fished dif­fer­ent ar­eas, places where we had no pre­vi­ous his­tory catch­ing fish.

“It was good to watch that un­fold. There is al­ways some­thing to learn. They used the sounder to its full po­ten­tial, mark­ing fish on snags and then hit­ting them with lures.

“They’d get two or three fish off a spot and move. We all learned a bit dur­ing the comp.”

Shane said there was out­board dam­age among some teams on the first day.

“There are al­ways new logs that peo­ple haven’t seen and there was a big log in the mid­dle of the river not far from where we launch,” he said. “We hit the log near Woo­lianna on Ori­en­ta­tion Day and later clipped a rock, which dam­aged the prop hub, so I had to get a new prop. On day one, we just limped back up the river, we couldn’t go run­ning around ev­ery­where as usual so we just fished our way back.

“The next day we fished out of team mate Terry Ryan’s spare boat and we found fish and got 1000 points and Terry won Cham­pion An­gler.

“On day three we got my boat Op­ti­mus back and then the hy­draulic steer­ing locked up and we went fly­ing up the river bank. For­tu­nately we just slid straight back in, and were able to fish in Terry’s boat again.

“The bait started rolling up in the last days, you had to fish dif­fer­ently this year, the fish were all down deep. The last cou­ple of days the mack trolling worked for some, but not re­ally well. Ev­ery year is dif­fer­ent on the Daly.

“It was a chal­leng­ing comp for us but we still man­aged third.”

Top End Tackle World’s Steve Com­pain fished the Nats in a sep­a­rate team called Tackle World Old School.

He said: “It was a great comp, there were plenty of fish in the river but you had to be in the right spot at the right time. The win­ning team did this re­ally well, they worked very hard”.

In other fish­ing re­ports, Tackle World’s ‘TC’ said mack­erel and tuna had moved in close to Dar­win.

“They are in the har­bour now and there are plenty of sails and lots of reefies be­ing caught off Dundee,” he said.

“Once the real cold change comes in it will be good for pelag­ics, they will come in closer.

“Lee Point is al­ready fir­ing, it is usu­ally the first Dar­win spot to go well for Span­ish mack­erel. A lot of peo­ple are try­ing for crabs, we are selling heaps of crab pots.

“Jewies are do­ing well out­side the har­bour around Charles Point and there are goldies too.

“Some of the jewies are big. The Ara­fura Blue­wa­ter Char­ters crew put a cus­tomer onto a 134cm jew­fish, that’s a stonker.

“The bil­l­abongs nor­mally kick off around now, so far there have been re­ports of only small barra, with plenty of saratoga and tar­pon.”

Craig’s Fish­ing Ware­house’s Mal Strong con­grat­u­lated the win­ning Barra Na­tion­als team.

“In­ter­staters have won this year’s Na­tion­als, and in­ter­staters flogged us in the Kakadu Klash, what’s go­ing on?” he quipped.

“The NT Barra Clas­sic is com­ing up, we’ll see what hap­pens.

“And the Reel Women comp is on at the Fin­niss River this week­end.

“Else­where, Shady Camp has been fish­ing well for plenty of barra, but they are get­ting them where the tim­ber boat is up top, with plenty of small barra off the bar­rage.

“It is back to tides only now at Shady, there is very lit­tle fresh flow­ing.

“The East Al­li­ga­tor River is fish­ing well down the bot­tom end.

“Our staffer Trevor Robb hooked three sails and also lost a black mar­lin at Dundee on Wed­nes­day.

“They had a triple hook-up at one stage and lost two of the fish. “They also got co­bia and snap­per. “Craig Grosvenor re­ports plenty of rain out Humpty Doo way last week but it is oth­er­wise cool­ing down to dry sea­son weather.

“There have been many saratoga and some small barra at Cor­ro­boree Bil­l­abong and heaps of tar­pon and sleepy cod.

“Shoal Bay and Woods In­let have been pro­duc­ing mud crabs, with a few also from West Arm.

“Six Miles and Charles Point grounds are pro­duc­ing snap­per and jew­fish.

“There are schools of long tail tuna around Lee Point.

“I hear the Barra Na­tion­als was hard work, one team didn’t get fish un­til the last day, and then they got some nice ones to fin­ish around 10th place.

“Even the blokes who fished right down near Clear Creek did not do any good.”

Fish­ing and Out­door World’s Ron­ald Vouko­los said peo­ple would be look­ing closely at how the in­ter­staters won the Na­tion­als.

“They may have alerted a few peo­ple to dif­fer­ent ways of fish­ing, us­ing dif­fer­ent vibes and tech­niques,” he said.

“The fish­ing was chal­leng­ing for many teams but good fish were caught.

“The South Al­li­ga­tor River has been fish­ing quite well, our staffer Matt West fished there on Sun­day and Mon­day and got fish into the high 80s, with lots of ac­tion around Nourlangie Creek.

“Dar­win Har­bour is start­ing to pro­duce good barra re­ports.

“One bloke fished El­iz­a­beth River and got half a dozen barra and some thread­ies.

“An­other cus­tomer was up the top of Scrubby Creek in Shoal Bay and the fish were boof­ing like crazy but were very hard to get.

“There have been good re­ports from out on the blue­wa­ter, with heaps of tuna.

“One cus­tomer said it was the best pelagic fish­ing off Dar­win he had seen in six or seven years.

“One bloke even melted his drags on long­tails, and said there were very big queen­fish around the Six Mile.

“There are plenty of jewies be­ing caught at Charles Point and peo­ple are get­ting bag lim­its and then go­ing off­shore to find other fish.

“One crew went to the Fen­ton Patches and caught goldies and jewies.

“There seems to be con­gre­ga­tions of reef fish around at this time un­til the weather gets cold.

“I am not hear­ing a lot from Cor­ro­boree Bil­l­abong but it has been cleared out of weed.

“The Ade­laide River seems qui­eter now, although the up­stream rock­bars have been good at night for barra.”

On the www.fish­ingter­ri­tory.com fo­rums Michael “Bar­raMick” Rutishauer won the April FFF Seadogs round with a cracker 110cm bar­ra­mundi from the Ade­laide River. The May round is now un­der way.

Pic­ture: Sup­plied

Trevor ‘OzDodge’ Durl­ing hooked this 92cm barra at the South Al­li­ga­tor River, trolling a big green Bomber lure

Michael ‘Bar­raMick’ Rutishauer with his FFF Seadogs April win­ner, a 116cm barra caught in the Ade­laide River

Trent Mil­gate with a 96cm bar­ra­mundi caught on Rei­dys B52 lure trolled at the Wild­man River

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