Team EJ Todd (Craig Griffith and Trent Short) 10/10, 623cm claimed victory in the final round of the 2013 BARRA Tour at Teemburra Dam using a combination of hardbody lures and soft plastics. Fishing points and the backs of bays, the pair focused much of their attention at the mouth of Teemburra Creek.
"We'd fish Teemburra Creek before sunset, then we'd move to Middle Creek," explained Griffiths. "The thick, lush, bright green weed was the key. The fish seemed to really home in on this."
Griffith threw a Lucky Craft DD Pointer 100 most of the time and Short used a 5" Castaic swimbait. The retrieve for Griffith using the Lucky Craft involved casting the Pointer tight to the edge then slowing twitching and pausing it out from the edge. Once the lure was 2m out from the edge he cranked the lure back and repeated the process.
For Short the retrieve was slower and more direct – he cast the lure into the weed edge then slowly drew it through the weed so it didn't get hung up.
The tandem approach paid dividends with the pair catching five fish on day one and another six on day two. The only team to catch their full limit for the event, they said their switch bait approach was the key to their success.
"If I got a bite on my hardbody, Trent threw his soft plastic straight in there, and vice versa," Griffiths explained. "As long as we didn't throw the same lure, in most cases we'd catch the fish."
It was a calculated approach that delivered not only the Teemburra event win but the 2013 BARRA Tour Team of the Year (TOY) crown.
"I was a little disappointed with my barra tour last year, so to do well this year and to win the title fishing with Trent was very satisfying," Griffiths said. "I couldn't have done it without the support of Trent and the guys at EJ Todd."
Willem Reichard and Ken Elliot from Team Nomad Tackle/Hydrowave (9/10, 496cm) finished second at Teemburra with the pair fishing a lily point near the mouth of Teemburra Creek to catch the majority of their fish.
"We caught some fish in other areas, but it was definitely the point that gave us most of or fish," explained Elliot.
Anchored up in 5m of water and a cast length out from the point, the pair cast their lorikeet colour Squidgy Slick Rig 110 and 130 to the edge, then flicked it and ripped it out of the lilies to get the attention of any barra. Day one was the standout at day for this approach, with the pair catching a seven fish for the session. This included a 30-minute bite period when the fish were really active.
"They really bit their heads off just on dark," Elliot said.
Day two proved to be a lot tougher during the daylight hours, but an increase in activity just on dark got things moving.
"They bit once again as it got dark,” Elliot said. “Five minutes before the end of the session we lost a 75cm fish that would have given us our full limit for the tournament."
Falling one fish shy of their full bag, the pair finished in second place, their second runner-up position for the 2013 BARRA Tour. Their consistency saw them finish in third place in the Team of the Year points race for the year. One of the most consistent teams on the BARRA Tour in 2013, Reichard and Elliot will definitely be a team to watch in 2014.
Team Swamp Donkey claimed the Big Barra Prize at Teemburra with a 97cm fish caught on a bright yellow coloured Squidgy Slick Rig 130 at 4:30pm on day two of competition. Caught from a lily-lined weed point 700m from the boat ramp, it was the standout fish on the team's catch card, which also included a 94cm fish from the same weed point.
Rod: Dobyns Champion 705SF
Reel: Daiwa 3000 Branzino
Line: 30lb Sunline Momentum PE
Leader: 35lb FC 100 fluorocarbon
Lure: French blue 5" Castaic Jerky J Swim rigged on a Hypohead with a Trokar size 5 worm hook
Rod: Dobyns Champion 705SF
Reel: Shimano Calais
Line: 30lb PE
Leader: 30lb FC fluorocarbon
Lure: Lucky Craft DD Pointer
Team EJ Todd saw two things as integral to their success: switching lures when they got a bite and using their Hydrowave to keep fish active and draw them out of the weed beds.
|Place||Team||Anglers||TF||TL (cm)||Cash||Prize packs|
|1||EJ Todd||Craig Griffiths, Trent Short||10||623||94||$800||Spotters, Austackle, OSP/Squidgy|
|2||Nomad Tackle/Hydrowave||Willem Reichard, Ken Elliot||9||496||$700||OSP/Squidgy|
|3||Swamp Donkeys||Martin Brennan, Ryce Bullimore||6||447||$500||OSP/Squidgy|
|4||Triton||Rick Napier, Dustin Sippel||7||442||$300||Squidgy|
|5||Power||Trent Power, Donovan Power||8||409|
|6||Rapala||Dan Grech, Jon Millard||6||397|
|7||EnS||Shane and Elaine Sanderson||6||369|
|8||Dobyns/Rapala Street Team||Karim De Ridder, Luke Katsaros||5||341|
|9||Dobyns/ Lucky Craft Lures||Colin Brett, Steve Lill||3||218|
|10||MTA Blue||Geoff Newby, Neil Wilson||3||211|
EJ Todd: 94cm, Swamp Donkeys: 97cm