BARRA Tour 2013 – Kinchant Night Championship – Final Results and Story

Kinchant Dam hosted the second event of the 2013 BARRA Tour, the Kinchant Night Championship. This was the first time Kinchant Dam had been used for an ABT BARRA event. Add to this that Kinchant Dam was recently used for series 10 of the Australian Fishing Championships (AFC) BARRA rounds and all anglers were excited about what lay in store.
Kinchant Shines For Night Championship  

Kinchant Dam hosted the second event of the 2013 BARRA Tour, the Kinchant Night Championship. This was the first time Kinchant Dam had been used for an ABT BARRA event. Add to this that Kinchant Dam was recently used for series 10 of the Australian Fishing Championships (AFC) BARRA rounds and all anglers were excited about what lay in store.

  The Night Championship format tests angler’s skill and stamina in equal measure. Teams fish one session from 4pm through to 7am the next morning. This maximises the opportunity to catch barramundi during the prime twilight and early morning periods. Unfortunately the weather decided to play its part during the tournament and teams had to battle the elements in addition to trying to catch the barramundi on offer.

  Let’s take a look at the teams that reigned supreme;

    Team BTD Lures/McArthur Custom Rods (Benn Durkin/Matt McArthur) 5/5, 513cm

    Team BTD Lures/McArthur Custom Rods decided not to prefish for the event. Benn Durkin explains, “We felt we had enough experience from social fishing on the dam. Also we were concerned how the extra traffic would affect what is essentially a small dam.

  We had decided on our location prior to the event. It was a rock bar located at the entrance to a feeder creek. We would sit in around 25 feet of water and cast up onto a weed flat of around 10 feet deep. Our location gave us access to both deep and shallow water without needing to move the boat”.

  At the start of the tournament the team went straight to their chosen location. Using Humminbird Side Imaging the anglers noted that there was good fish traffic moving through the area and used Jackall Transams and 130mm Squidgy slick rigs in black/gold colour to entice any bites on offer.

  Durkin dissects the location, “There was a v-shaped channel through the weed that was like a natural highway for the fish. Barramundi were continuously moving through this channel”.

  The team experienced an initial flurry of activity once they arrived at their chosen location, boating five fish within a hectic 45 minutes. This was followed by a quiet patch till 12pm when near the high tide window two fish were caught.

  The weather throughout the session was challenging for all the anglers. The storm that hit during the event briefing quickly dissipated, but rainstorms and high wind continued throughout the night. Team BTD Lures/McArthur Custom Rods attempted to spotlock with their electric motor, but in the end the conditions decreed that they required the anchor.

  At 3am another storm hit albeit for a short time. The team hadn’t had a bite since 12am, but as the sun slowly began to light the morning another bite window opened. A change in lure colour (130mm Squidgy slick Rig in pilly colour) prompted bites and saw the team land a further two fish before finishing the session.

  Durkin discusses the team’s key technique, “We made long casts then we let the lure sink to the bottom. Using vicious rips of the rod we would lift the lure off the bottom before letting it sink back with a few turns of the reel. This would be repeated back to the boat. Most of the bites came as the lure was sitting on the bottom”.

  The team made special mention of the fellow anglers competing at the event, “It was great to see so many young, keen anglers attend the BARRA Tour this year. These are anglers who quickly cotton on to what is happening and perform well across all the events. It pushes everyone to become better and has made the tour dynamic and competitive, whilst still retaining the great social element that is the BARRA Tour”.

    Dobyns/Rapala Street Team take second and Big Barra  

Team Dobyns/Rapala Street Team (Karin De Ridder/Luke Katsaros) caught 5/5, 495cm to finish in second place. Their limit was anchored by the event Big Barra, a whopping 122cm fish. Karim De Ridder shares the eventful session, “Leading up to the event and the day before we prefished the dam. We had one location in the deep with an adjacent weededge. The barramundi were showing on the sidescan unit and we were confident of finding some fish”.

  Team Dobyns/Rapala Street Team fished a location near to where the winning team found their fish. The back of the bay where they were located was in 14-15 feet of water with the adjacent weed edge shallowing out into 2 feet of water. A channel through the weed was a key transitional area for the barramundi in the location.

  De Ridder talks us through the session, “We had some early nudges when we arrived at the location. At round 4.45pm we had our first fish via a double hookup. The bites continued through to twilight”.   The teams key lures were a 130mm Squidgy slick rig in black/gold colour, a Jackall Transam and a custom white 7″ swimbait rigged on a 3/8th oz TT jighead.

  Bites continued to come through the session. Shortly after a rain squall came through the team hooked a fish that was to be the event Big Barra. De Ridder explains what then unfolded, “It was a good fish. When we finally landed it we attempted to move it from the back of the boat to the front. In the process the spine of the fish hit a knee and after the fish was photographed and released we realised the spine had broken off in the contact and was in the knee”.

  A trip to Mackay hospital ensued with the anglers then returning to Kinchant Dam around 2pm. Fishing was slow until the daylight brought the fish on the bite. A further two fish were caught before the session ended a long night for the team.

  The team used Dobyns/ACM rods paired with quality baitcaster and spin reels spooled with 10-20lb braid and 40-60lb Sunline FC 100 leader.

  De Ridder wraps it up, “Key for us was the location. The number and size of the fish demanded we stay in the area. Also keeping the lure in the zone near the edge of the weed was important. We changed our jighead weights (3/8th oz – ¾ oz) depending on the depth of the area we were fishing. The technique was to cast to the edge, hop the lure out of the weed and have it swimming into deeper water. This attracted both deeper barra and those willing to follow the lure out from the weed edge”.

  Whilst the wild and woolly weather made things uncomfortable for the anglers the fishing fired with 70 fish being caught and released. The overall average size was an impressive 89cm. In all nineteen teams boated fish during the tournament. If these figures are anything to go by Kinchant Dam is set to go for BARRA 2014.

Winning Notes  

Winning Tackle   7′ McArthur Custom rods (built on a G. Loomis 4 weight IMX 12-20lb blank) 3000 Daiwa Branzino/3000 Daiwa Sol reels 20lb/30lb PE 50lb/80lb Jinkai leader

Winning Edge

“Experience on the water and belief in the locations we were fishing. The bigger fish were coming from deeper water so we focused on those areas and found the fish we needed”.

Place Team Angler 1 Angler 2 Fish Total Length Total Big Barra
1 BTD Lures McArthur Custom Rods Benn Durkin Mat McArthur  5 513  
2 Dobyns/Rapala Street Team Karim De Ridder Luke Katsaros 5 495 122
3 Team Lowrance/Reidy’s Lures Peter Price Rex Berry 5 467  
4 EJ Todd Craig Griffiths Trent Short 5 450  
5 Dobyns/ Lucky Craft Lures Colin Brett Steve Lill 5 434  
6 EnS Shane Sanderson Elaine Sanderson 5 430  
7 Rapala  Dan Grech Jon Millard 5 423  
8 Team Power Donovan Power Trent Power 4 408  
9 Fishin Magician Ash Sims Georgette Elkins 5 372  
10 Snap-Dog Aaron Dial Cameron Johnson 4 317  
11 Swamp Donkeys Martin Brennan Ryce Bullimore 4 302  
12 Tree Hugger’s Michael Weick Brendan Barnet 3 269  
13 Evolution Greg Thomas Jono Clark 3 267  
14 Old Fellas Phill Lyons Clinton Honour 2 201  
15 Whopper Stoppers Keegan Hayden Daniel Hurt 2 191  
16 Team Triton Rick Napier Dustin Sippel 2 183  
17 Nomad Tackle/Hydrowave Willem Reichard Ken Elliot 2 172  
18 MTA Blue Geoff Newby Neil Wilson 2 165  
19 Barra Fever Glen Smith Keith Stanford 2 159  
20 We Fish Grant Murray Wayne Jones      
21 Second Chance Justin Land Curtis Land      
22 Master Cabinets Glen Boys Mark Lochwood      
23 13 Fishing/Sebile Peter Behrens Nicholas Moore      
70 6218
Ave 89