The Rocky Barra Bounty is becoming an institution on the tournament scene in Queensland. In its ninth year, the results just proved how successful fishing around Rockhampton can be for barra and a host of other species.
Set up as a catch, tag and release tournament, the aim of the Rocky Barra Bounty was to provide valuable catch, survival, growth and movement data of the fish caught from the recreational fishery that exists in the Fitzroy River and surrounds. Accordingly, the Rocky Barra Bounty sports the proud label of having a five star rating under the Australia wide NEATfish tournament accreditation scheme – a scheme that rates, among other things, the environmentally friendliness of tournaments.
And so it was that the ninth event was organised and planned and on the Thursday night briefing, 66 anglers in 33 teams lined up for a share of the prizes and giveaways on offer.
The briefing night is a fairly intense experience for first timers as you learn all about the boundaries, the rules and how to properly tag a fish. But, presenter Kim Martin has had years of experience doing this and makes the whole process run smoothly and encourages anglers to dive into the laid back atmosphere the experienced anglers exude.
Friday morning is when everyone gets a little more serious as they head towards the start of the event, with just about everyone on the water as early as allowable. A lot of boats headed toward the rocky stretches between the two road bridges in the town reach of the river, while others snuck downstream to look for fish that weren’t so heavily pressured by anglers.
By Saturday things were getting interesting with a few big fish landed downstream and plenty of good fish landed throughout the system. Barra were the most prevalent species caught with 173 being landed, tagged and released. But like other years there was plenty of bycatch with gold spot cod and king threadfin salmon being firmly entrenched in the tournament statistics again.
But the most impressive part of this year’s tournament was the capture of five fish over the magic metre mark – the mark barramundi are judged by these days. Of these five fish, four were barramundi and included Dale Jones with a 115.5cm and 115cm barra, Brett Funch with a 111cm fish and Kev Matheson with his great 100.5cm barra. The other metre fish was caught by John Boon and was a 104cm king threadfin salmon.
The Saturday night presentation dinner was the place where the truth of the catches would come out and the winners would be announced and celebrated.
Coming in first in the teams section was Jason Stanfield and Richard Dunkley from Hookers with 14 fish. Jason also managed to snare the individual title by catching 9 barra himself. In the teams bait section Mitch Lester and Lee Jackson from Tica Strike Pro took the title landing 16 fish. Keith Stratford took out the other species title by landing eight other species.
Next year’s event already has preliminary dates of 24-25 October 2008 and as it’s the 10th Barra Bounty, it’ll be one not to miss. – Shayne McKee
|Gold spot cod:
|Black spot cod:
|Hookers – Jason Stanfield/Richard Dunkley:
|The Quiet Ones – Cameron Huff/Paul James:
|Barra Jacks Shimano – Dale Jones/Steve Pill:
|Tica Strike Pro – Mitch Lester/Lee Jackson:
|Fishing Friday – Mark Thompson/Scott Lynch:
|Team CNW – Dale Jackson/Nic Baker:
Individual Other Species