Late in October Darwin’s Barra Base Fishing Safaris’ Allan Beale guided David Boon, Declan Armitage and John Sharpe to land a fantastic Finniss River metrey. Remarkably it was Darwin’s Barra Base’s 33rd fish over
this magic mark for 2014.
Allan advised it was really a fantastic team effort to land this barra. Declan was trolling with David’s rod, a left-handed Calcutta reel, whilst David had his turn at eating lunch. It was then that the barra hooked up.
“After a reasonable fight without this big fish jumping, we were starting to think it was another large estuary cod, like the 125cm 74lb Queensland groper that we caught in the same area on the 20th of September,” said Allan.
“Anyway, the fish was not coming in without a tremendous fight, and pulled Declan around the front of the guide boat. Then it powered towards the bank and the stumps and snags there. Declan tried extremely hard to hold the rod and wind the reel to get the barra back and turn her head, but the big girl was winning – and the left handed reel’s braid was cutting into Declan’s finger.
“In a last minute ditch effort to save the barra from getting into the snags, Declan handed the rod to me. I immediately let the power off the line, moved forward, took the line quickly around the front of the boat with a flick of the line, put the reel and rod into a pulling position and heaved on the barra, turning her head slightly.
“In feeling the line hit snags and stumps I had John Sharpe reverse the boat up.”
Allan reports that the line nearly snapped, as well as the rod. “I lifted up the rod and heaved on it again. I felt the barra lift up from the snags and with the help of John driving the boat we pulled her out of the snags. We still had not seen the barra as yet, so we still thought it might be a large groper.”
Being right handed, Allan sought out David, who was the lefty on the boat, to take over and wind in the fish for netting. After another couple of smaller runs – and still no jumps – the fish came in closer to the boat, and with a slow lift and wind technique on the rod, the fish showed its large silver side and was revealed as a big barra. While everyone signed with relief, the fish went for its last power run to try to get around the prop and motor.
However, Allan instructed David to ensure the rod was held low with two thirds of the rod under water. “With a slow, heavy wind action; and with me turning the boat in reverse away from the barra’s direction, we slowly brought the fish back out from under the boat, back to the side of the boat to prepare for netting,” he recounts. “Again the barra came up, and we gained the first real sight of its size. I cautioned all to stay focussed and within a couple more minutes the barra was netted and landed.” What a great barra catch and a great team effort. Well done to Declan Armitage on the hook-up and for initially controlling the barra, and David in the finishing. Very rare is three handovers of a rod with a big metre barra on it successful; but Allan is a determined barra guide, and this fish was not getting away. Huge cheers, high fives and slaps on the back were warranted with this one.
If you would like the opportunity to land a barra like this please call Darwin’s Barra Base on (08) 89450376 and enquire about their three to six day Barra Run Off Fishing Safaris for the 2015 Season.
(All images compliments of Darwin’s Barra Base, 2014 Barra Run Off at Shady Camp)