Results are provisional and will become final at 3pm Friday 13th May
Alex is the King of the Daly
Round 2 of the Top End Barra Series was held last weekend Saturday May 7th and Sunday May 8th on the iconic Daly River. The Daly River was once a go to river to score yourself a barramundi during the dry season period, although over the past few years it has been a big challenge. In a weekend in May you would expect nice cool mornings and lovely dry season days out on the water, but nothing could be further from the truth. The weather on the weekend was indicative of the Top End’s wet season, not the Territory’s dry season with Tropical Storms rolling over the Daly River both Saturday and Sunday afternoon’s and into the night with big cracks of thunder echoing along the river, flashes of lightening and even a visible rise in the water down at the crossing on Sunday afternoon. Certainly not what you would expect on the Daly during the dry season.
The good thing to report is the big tides pushed up the water and negotiating Browns was fine over the weekend, and beside the odd dented prop, everyone appeared to have a safe weekend down on the river to my knowledge. But I must say that can’t be said for Craig Grose who broke and axle on his trailer on the way down on Friday along Dorat Road. Craig had plenty of help from TEBSies on the way down and Paul of Swagman Tours from Merimbula who stopped and lent a hand with all of his on board tools. Luckily Craig was able to get back on the road after a trip back into Darwin for a new axle and made it down the Daly Friday night. I am sure you have heard of Guns n Roses lead singer Axle Rose, well I think Craig Grose shall now be know as Axle Grose around the circle of TEBS.
So now to the fishing. There is no secret that the Daly has been tough since 2012 through all the capture rates of the Barra Nationals, Barra Classic and Top End Barra Series, although there is always one common statistic that keeps popping up and bringing hordes of both local and interstate anglers back to the Daly year after year, and that is that metre barra are regularly caught in these competitions year after year. It does not matter how tough the fishing is, when you have a lure in the water on the Daly, you know you have a genuine chance of hooking onto a big barra, and that is what barra fishing is all about. You see it all over the media and social media, everyone talks about that one photo of a big metre plus barra, no one talks about how many people headed home with the dreaded doughnut next to their name. Thankfully after another tough year on the Daly there was not just one, but two metre barra caught in 2016. Clinton Housley with a 104cm who picked up the Bigfish Gear Biggest Barra, and Ben Mclean with a 100cm on the dot whilst fishing with his 2 year old son Luka, What a great father son moment that would have been.
I will let the following statistics tell the story, we have improved on last year with a similar amount of anglers, but it really shows how tough it has been over the past 4 years. Every year we have been to the Daly, we have managed to get at least one metery and this is why we keep returning year after year, although numbers in general have been our lowest each year. Interestingly over the past three years we have had very few 80 and 90cm fish. This year was no different with not one single fish in this bracket caught, and we had the same result last year with only one fish over a metre, and none in the 80’s and 90s.
2016 26 anglers scored a total of 45 fish (Big Tides)
2015 18 anglers scored a total of 36 fish (Big Tides)
2014 28 anglers picked up 51 fish (Neaps)
2013 17 anglers picked up a total of 27 fish (Neaps)
Alex Felsch came back from 70th in round one to smash the Daly and took out the win with 540 points racking up a 74cm, 68cm, 65cm, 53cm and a 68cm to total 540 points and will be off Helifishing with round 1 winner James Ballantyne.
How did Alex do what most found difficult? In one word, I would say persistence. Alex usually fishes with his misses, although she was away so he fished solo this round. I spoke to him on Sunday at the ramp where he was pretty happy how his night went and said he as off to the crossing to try and get one more. I asked Alex tonight ( Monday) how he did it, and this was his response.
‘After a slow start and watching the ‘sliver bullet’ pin a metery at the rockbar hopes lifted. With no fish on my boat i decided to head towards alligator head, on the way i was caught out by a hidden snag which did some real damage to my prop/gearbox, i drifted to the bank and started the repair work, the daly river bank is not the best place for gearbox repairs!! Up and running again i set off for some fishing. At the bottom of the tide i was fishing the sharp bend at alligator in the snags, 2 fish on the vibes had me feeling a bit better. Then headed for the main rockbar to spend the night.
Just after dark anchored up on the rockbar 4 fish fell for the fizzers with one scorer.
I needed a sleep so i hit the deck until 3am wen i woke to the sound of boofing barra i was up dragging 180mm bazza baits over the rocks with some success! The first fish was in the 80s but my SOLO luck was on again, with the fish on the brag mat and me reaching for the board with score card the barra flicked itself and my brag mat off the casting deck!!!!!!! NO SCORE for that one…. I got one more good fish then had a troll on the in morning as the tide rolled in. At this time my gearbox trouble was back so i headed fir the ramp and was out by 9.30am Sunday. With plenty of time i went for a flick off the crossing and got one scoring fish with a vibe.’ Thanks Alex
Clinton Housley had a memorable weekend by not only catching the biggest barramundi of the weekend at 104cm, but also coming in second with 480 points. Coming in third with 420 points with a 100cm was Ben Mclean, fourth with 415 points was Bryn Montgomery with a full bag of five fish and rounding out the top 5 was last year’s Daly winner Peter Cooper with 385 points.
Leading the series now with 350 points is Ben Mclean, in 2nd is Bryn Montgomery with 341 points, 3rd is Kyle Chin with 328 points, 4th is Shane Moon with 277 points and rounding out the top 5 is James Park with 266 points.
Next round will be held Bynoe Harbour on June 4th and 5th.
Presentation for Rounds 1 and 2 will be announce shortly for late June.
1st Place: Alex Felsch 540 points: Helifishing Trip and Trophy (to be taken with Round 1 winner)
2nd Place: Clinton Housley: 480 points: Wilson Venom Rod and Daiwa Zillion Reel
3rd Place: Ben Mclean 420 points: Wilson Venom Rod and 1 night’s accommodation at Daly River Barra Resort
4th Place: Bryn Montgomery 415 points: Plano Tackle box and 20 mixed Killalure and Classic lures (JM Gillies)
5th Place: Peter Cooper 385 points: Go Pro courtesy of Smiley’s Rural Building
6th Place: Kyle Chin 260 points: $250 Retail Reidy’s Pack and Bigfish Pack
7th Place: James Park 175 points 55 Litre Waeco Esky
8th Place: Chris Stewart 145 points: 2 days Camper Trailer Hire with Outback & Beyond Camper Trailer Hire
= 9th Place: Andrew Veal 140 points: $250 Go Hire Voucher
= 9th Place: Regis Martin 140 points: Leatherman Courtesy of True North Surveying and NAFA voucher
Bigfish Biggest Barra Clinton Housley 104cm: Bigfish Pack and Trophy
Junior Champion Angler: No One: Craig’s Fishing Warehouse Shirt (we will have this a runner up junior in round 3)
MYSTERY SIZES: Eligible to competitors outside the Top Ten, and goes to the highest placed competitor with that size fish.
Mystery Fish 1: Damien Lucas 67cm: NAFA Voucher plus Plano Tray
Mystery Fish 2: Chris Wojtowicz 65cm: Roma Bar Voucher plus Plano Tray
Mystery Fish 3: Craig Grose 53cm: Shenannigans Voucher plus Plano Tray
|First Name||Last Name||Total Points||Place||Series Points|