The sixth and final round of this year’s series was eagerly awaited by many. It was the round that would crown this year’s champion and crush the hearts of many. Well it did not disappoint, with joy and tales of the big ones that got away, it had it all.
Weather wise, it was nice and warm, or as other like to say, Bloody Hot! But luck was still on the side of the TEBS participants, as no big storm came to ruin the weekend. A bit of breeze and a drizzle of rain on Saturday was even a welcome refreshment for sweaty anglers. This round I also witnessed one of the biggest raft for the year, well and truly in the TEBS spirit.
From what I heard, the three Wilkshires creeks and The Narrows were the places to be. Only a handful of fish came in from Leader’s Creek and Saltwater Arm. Lots of fish were caught trolling hard bodies, but one team got lucky by dropping large soft plastic lures on schools of fish that were on the bottom and didn’t respond to the trolled lures. Proving once again that adaptation is the key to success.
About the big fish during this very round… I have seen with my own eyes, a lure owned by Chris Rutishauser that had the tail anchor torn out the back of it… Easy to guess that this hardware failure allowed a trophy fish to escape. Another team who found the big ones was Tim Morgan and his young daughter Hannah. They had a great start to the weekend with the first trawl producing a double hook up with the fish coming in at 78 and 82 cm. Not a bad pair…and then as if this wasn’t enough, they hit a purple patch from here on and Tim plucked a 101 cm Barra from the Narrows, the biggest fish for the round. He nearly fell in the drink when his daughter hit the throttle with a bit too much enthusiasm, trying to regain some line, as his reel was almost spooled. Yet in the end the beast was netted, boated, photographed and measured before being carefully released. Well done. Dwight Shepherd had a worthy catch too, snagging a 92 cm fish, at Leaders on a Reidy’s Judge in TEBS Green, proof that the TEBS lure works.
Now for the fishing nerds among us, who love statistics: 89 scoring barramundi were caught over the weekend. 21 in the 70 cm range, 11 in the 80 cm range, 1 in the 90 cm range. and one in the 100 cm range. This is about a third of the catch being at 70 cm or over, which is a really good ratio of mature fish.
The third place winner for the round was Kai Argent with a 58, 62, 71, 77 and 82 cm Barra. Coming second, was Tim Morgan with a 78, 82 and 101 cm fish and the winner of the round was Peter Cooper with a full and very consistent bag of 73, 75, 76, 78 and 81 cm fish. An impressive round result once again helped ‘Cuddles’ retain the lead and be crowned once again the series champion. Congratulations!
Being the last round of the year, we would also like to congratulate the 2018 Series top ten (no easy feat):
- Peter Cooper
- Simon Bochow
- Shane Moon
- Kai Argent
- Kel Shipp
- James Mitchell
- Wade Johnstone
- James Park
- Josh Scanlon
- Dwight Shepherd
Thank you to all the participants, volunteers and obviously Rossco, who have put in the hours and effort in this 7th year of the Top End Barra Series to make it special. We are also truly grateful of our supportive and generous sponsors.
The date and location for the final presentation will be advised in the coming weeks. We look forward now to next year and the 8th edition of your favourite social fishing tournament. If you are like me, it will be a long wait for it all to start over again! Salute, Regis
(Reminder: Entry forms for 2019 are now overdue and the Bigfish order will be placed shortly)