The northern leg of the Daiwa ABT BARRA Tour was recently completed with three different competitions giving up some sensational barra from the impoundments fished.
A fickle early season bite greeted anglers for the opening round of the 2007 Daiwa BARRA Tour on Teemburra Dam held on 6-7 October. Twenty teams signed up for the all-night marathon Night Championship event, with victory going to Muswellbrook resident Alan McNamara with 5/5 fish for 240cm and Townsville barra addict Matt Coleman claiming the runner-up position with 3/5 fish for 227cm.
Victory for McNamara was a relief and due reward for a good pre-fish.
“It was tough fishing all week,” said McNamara.
“It was only after a lot of fishless sessions that we managed to establish some sort of pattern to the fishing.”
This pattern saw McNamara target the shallow points and leading edges in the Middle Creek reaches of the dam. The presence of submerged grass and lilies were the dominant features on the locations that produced for McNamara.
Targeting these vegetation-lined edges, McNamara downsized his lure from the 110mm plus options to a 100mm Squidgy Slick Rig Light (drop bear) to tempt his fish. Using a slow rolling retrieve McNamara got most hits when the lure was, at the most, three cranks of the reel handle out from the edge. “They were holding right to the edge and you had to get the lure in the zone and in their face to get a response”, said Al.
The tackle used by Alan included a Daiwa Procaster X rod (6’6”) and a Daiwa Procaster reel spooled with 30lb Bionic Braid and finished off with 50lb Penn 10X leader.
The Champion team honours for the event was claimed by Matt Coleman and his team mate Jason Cameron. They compiled 327cm of barra to secure the title ahead of Team Lost Bass Fishos (Alan McNamara/Brendon Horner) with 318cm.
McNamara continued to rule the roost of barra fishing as he became the first angler to win three BARRA events by claiming the second round of the 2007 Daiwa BARRA Tour on Proserpine’s Peter Faust Dam.
Continuing his winning ways from the Teemburra event McNamara showed his form with 8/10 fish for 597cm, to narrowly claim victory over second placed young-gun Cy Taylor who landed 8/10 fish for 562cm.
Targeting a large flooded weed bed in the middle reaches of the dam, McNamara used a technique he and team mate Brendon Horner cracked during the prefish. With the weedbed sitting in ten feet of water the pair focused their attention, working the hot zone, the three feet of clear water that sat above the flooded growth.
“We started by slow rolling 110mm Slick Rigs over the tops of the weeds, and while we could get bumps, we couldn't get a hook-up,” said McNamara.
“We swapped to a lift and drop jigging retrieve to give the fish more time to look at the plastic and it worked,” said McNamara.
Event runner-up, Cy Taylor, opted for a surface presentation to catch his fish. Targeting the shallow margins in the upper reaches of the dam, Taylor worked the area with a series of long searching casts and retrieves fished parallel to the weed line.
“Getting the lure close to the weed and working it through the maximum strike zone was the key,” said Taylor.
Peter Faust lived up to its reputation and produced multiple fish over the one metre mark. The Go-So Big Barra prize went to a 120cm specimen caught by Kerrin Taylor on day one. Succumbing to a Squidgy 110mm Slick Rig (evil minnow), the monster came from a weed bed in the upper reaches of the dam. Kerrin chased the fish through the timber before being landed.
Tropical thunderstorms and tough fishing was the order of the day at the final northern round of the Daiwa BARRA Tour, the Classic Lures Tinaroo two-day evening event.
Mastering the bite and tapping into all the local knowledge, 21 year old tackle store attendant Nathan Ruth caught 7/10 fish for 388cm to secure victory.
Not to be overshadowed was Ruth’s team mate Lance Richards who caught 7/10 for 360cm. Richards fished hard on the final day to nearly steal victory from his partner. However, victory belonged to Ruth who spent his tournament fishing a run of locations in the Yungaburra area of the lake.
“We hit a series of spots that ranged in depth from 1-5m,” said Ruth.
“Weed beds, lilies and discoloured water were prominent features in these locations, as was the occasional bony bream flicking about,” he added.
With the boat anchored in one of his hot spots, Ruth would work the area over with a multi-lure approach, swapping rods and presenting a different lure as the bite slowed and changed.
The choice of tackle Ruth used to present his lures included a G.Loomis CR722 rod, Shimano Curado reel, spooled with 30lb Nitlon braid, and 55lb twisted Schneider leader. While Ruth’s assortment of lures included soft plastics, fizzers and jerkbaits, it was a Reidy’s B52 (purple) that produced the bulk of the fish.
“The B52 was the money bait both days,” said Ruth.
“And the hottest bite we found when they really produced was on day one when all the thunderstorms rolled through. It was action stations up until about 7.30pm when the storms had passed through”, he added.
Tinaroo, as expected, produced its share of big fish with the Go-So Big Barra title going to a 117cm specimen caught by Matthew Wallace on day two. Tempted by a 7” Storm Wild Eye Suspending Minnow (grey ghost colour), the prize winning fish nailed the lure on the third cast at a weedy point in the upper reaches of the lake near Yungaburra. The second metre-plus fish of the night for Wallace, it was due reward following his first night when he dropped three similar sized fish.
The battle for the title of the Northern BARRA Angler of the Year came down to the wire, with one point separating the top three places. Matt Coleman (277/300 points) claimed his first AOY title, relegating defending Northern AOY champ Kerrin Taylor and Cy Taylor to second and third place, respectively. – ABT
Daiwa Teemburra Dam Night Championship Individual Results
Shimano Peter Faust BARRA Round Individual Results
Classic Lures Lake Tinaroo Evening Event Indivdual Results