The 11th Rocky Barra Bounty has once again graced the banks of the Fitzroy River at Rockhampton. The event was held 30-31 October and was contested by 59 two-person teams.
Weather conditions could have been kinder for the 118 anglers with strong southeast to easterly winds gusting straight up the river for the two days of competition. There were a lot of undersized barra in the system, thanks to two consecutive recruitment years in 2007/8 and 2008/9, however, competitors knuckled down and managed to tag and release 131 barra, plus 67 other fish, including 21 king threadfin.
As always the Team Lure section was the most hotly contested with the lead changed three times on the final day. Eventually, The Boof Brothers Team (Daniel Powell and Steve Lill) found a patch of fish near Central Island well downstream in the last couple of hours that leap-frogged them ahead of The Beer & Bundy Boys Team and Ninjas Team to take the coveted title.
In contrast, Team Piranha (Mitch Lester and Lee Jackson) took out the title in the bait section comfortably.
The Individual Champion Angler in the lure category was a close affair, but in the end Daniel Powell triumphed over Craig Griffith and teammate Steve Lill to take the prestigious trophy home. In the bait category, Lee Jackson took the tile from teammate Mitch Lester.
The event also has a trophy for the angler who tags the most metres of fish other than barra, and this year that title went to none other than 11 year event stalwart from Bundaberg, Rosscoe James.
Every year all competitors hope to catch the biggest barra during the tournament for bragging rights, and this year that goal was achieved by Ian Collins with an impressive 945mm barra. Ian caught his trophy fish right in the centre of Rockhampton in full view of all the traffic crossing the two bridges. The fish narrowly pipped Gene Pointon’s 910mm specimen.
Also worth recognising is Dan Frankish as the king threadfin expert for two of his four kings that went 970mm and 800mm respectively.
The last prize of the gala presentation night was the coveted boat and Evinrude E-TEC package from Gold event sponsors, Terry’s Marine Centre in North Rockhampton and Evinrude E-TEC BRP. This prize is by random draw and can be taken home by any of the event competitors, whether they managed to trouble the scorer or not. The suspense gathered as the number was drawn. Competitor number 18 was revealed and a very excited Quintin McLean from the Beer & Bundy Boys team jumped in the air when he realised he had just become the proud owner of a brand new boating package.
Despite the lack of larger fish and the difficult conditions, feedback from competitors was positive and just about everyone vowed they’d be back in 2010 for another tilt at the title. The Rocky Barra Bounty next year is locked in for 14-16 October, so mark it off in your diary now. The full results of this year’s event are available on the internet at: www.info-fish.net
TEAM BARRA SCORE ON LURE
BOOF BROTHERS (Daniel Powell/Stephen Lill)Barra179710mm
BEER N BUNDY BOYS (Quintin MacLean/Aaron Dial)Barra156745mm
NINJAS (Colin Brett/Joel Fox)Barra177085mm
TEAM BARRA SCORE ON BAIT
PIRANHA (Mitch Lester/Lee Jackson)Barra115820mm
THE BAKER BOYS (Nick Baker/Garry Baker)Barra1600mm
NANKIN FERALS (DanFrankish/Warren Johnson)Barra1500mmReads: 2240