The Daly River was in good condition for the event at the end of May, but carrying only average fish stocks after an average wet season.
The bumper year of 2010/11, when Daly catch records fell, was still on everyone’s minds.
Fishing was fairly slow, but some big barramundi were caught by Classic competitiors.
Just like the NT Barra Nationals earlier in the month, most of the big fish were caught on the bigger tides. During the neapest tides fishing was very slow.
Catch stats were interesting: there were 116 fish from 40-49cm, 224 from 50-59cm, 92 from 60-69cm, 11 from 70-79cm, five from 80-89cm, three from 90-99cm, and 14 at a metre or more.
This data and that from the Barra Nationals earlier in the month suggest the 80cm to 100cm class seems to be almost missing from the river. It is not unusual for year classes to vary in numbers, presumably because of seasonal events that affect young fish survival, and perhaps older fish mortality in billabongs some years.
Most Meritorious Fish: Josh Ker 120cm barra (pictured below).
There were 462 fish caught and tagged over the week of the competition.
Champion Team: Reel Easy – Skev Politis, Eddie Carroll, Neil Mellon
Runner Up Local Team: Top End Tackle World – Shane and Steve Compain, Terry Ryan
Runner Up Visiting Team: Fire Fin (WA) – Jay Wheelock, Damien Bode, Adam Falkenberg
Runner Up Mixed Team: Bigfish – Josh Ker, Tom McCullough, Richard Todd
Champion Angler: Steve Compain
Champion Lady Angler: Marion Washington