In this guest post, Rocky Edwards shares her experience while fishing the Secret Womens Business Barramundi Fishing Challenge.
I recently fished in a ladies-only fishing tournament called Secret Womens Business (SWB) Barramundi Challenge. Every competitor and team managed their own boat, gear and fishing. This tournament is held on a billabong (small lake) that is located on the edge of the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia. Thirty seven boats and 123 competitors descended on the lily-lined waterway that is bursting with birds, fish and menacing saltwater crocodiles. It’s a semi-tropical climate, and at this time of year, it is hot and the conditions are extremely humid. It is a hard slog for any angler.
When I signed up to fish this event, I suspected it would be a tough fish. I based this on reports filed from right across the top end of Australia that indicated that the normal abundance of Barramundi have quite simply been deficient this year in every waterway. There have been many theories already in print as to why, but a lack of a good wet season and a drenching from monsoonal rains clearly plays a major part in Barramundi movements in our top end waterways.
The competition kicked off well and the had a good vibe. These ladies’ teams sported big boats, bright apparel and had bucket loads of excitement. It rained the night before, and it became a hard call for any skipper tossing up whether to troll or cast for the morning bite. Some opting to troll were rewarded with few very small Barramundi. With the resident Barramundi being so elusive, some strategically targeted the seemingly abundant Saratoga. You were certainly in the game if you could land enough Saratoga to out score the almost double points awarded for an equal sized Barra.
Experienced and novice anglers alike, these ladies teams impressively toughed it out until “lines out” on day 2, landing 66 fish in total with only 18 of these being Barramundi. A really tough few days of fishing in comparison to last year’s tally of 178 Barra and 24 Saratoga captured.
Despite the lack of fish numbers, this is a stand out fishing event for women in the top end of Australia, and is elevating the levels of fishing and boating for many of the women were are involved in this event.