HI all, it was a few years ago I got a phone call asking if I would like to sponsor an event.
It was Shara Vanhaeren from the WTF Women That Fish Barra Classic who called and outlined what they were trying to do and where they wanted to go with the competition, and I agreed to giving away a free charter and some rods.
We got updates on how things were getting done and how many women entered the comp. The idea is great. You can have one to four women per boat along with a male skipper if desired to tie lures, do the leaders, net the fish and give tips.
The skipper drives the boat and tries to find the fish for the crew, as well as thinking about what lures are needed to catch the fish. As a barra guide, I have seen an increase in the number of women taking up the sport of fishing, and not just for barra but across the board, which is great. We went up to the WTF comp for the first time in 2017 and it was wonderful meeting so many people who love fishing as much as I do, with many competitors wearing customised shirts sporting their team’s name.
Rockhampton has the best river system in which to run this sort of event because the netting has been stopped and the river has returned to its former glory. You can catch big barra, threadfin salmon, grunter bream and so on as well as lots of prawns. Over time, the WTF comp has grown and that means more prizes. I can’t believe how much they give away each year – it must amount to many thousands of dollars, which is just unreal.
It would be the best-run comp I have seen in many years. Everyone has a good time and I’ve never seen anyone get upset with their prizes. I have had the winners of the charters I donate come to Lake Monduran to fish with me. People just can’t get over how big the dam is and how much timber is in the water. Recently I had Shae and Steve come and use their voucher and it was a very tough bite but Steve got his first barra and he was over the moon.
The smile says it all. Shae has got a few barra in the comps over the years and I think 82cm was her biggest. Steve’s first barra went 63cm. I also had Aaron and Lisa out for a charter. These two are also from Rockhampton and fish the WTF Barra Classic. Again it was a tough time getting the barra to chew but we got two in the boat very late in the day.
The weather was bloody terrible, with a low barometer, showers and the wind never staying in one quarter. All these things make it very hard to get the barra to bite. In this instance, I find the barra with the sounder, tie up to a tree and keep throwing lures at them. This is where I like having four rods rigged with different lures and continuing to rotate them after a few casts.
Then if no good I’ll tie on new lures or colours. They will take something once things are right for them to feed. But when they are feeding, if you just put a lure in the path of a barra, it will take it. I remain a strong supporter of the WTF Women That Fish Barra Classic. The comp was established in 2012 and has been running every year since.
The 2020 event will be held in September, so get in early. In the next edition I will be talking about Rollashocks protection for your hull.
Until then, tight lines.