Casting a line for Bounty chasers
By DARRYN NUFER
THE BIG barramundi hunt is on.
With Rockhampton's premier fishing competition just 57 days away, angler Ben Platten has thrown out a challenge of monster proportions.
The 55kg man struggled for 20 minutes last week to land a 29kg, 130cm, barra from Gladstone's Awoonga Dam.
The question is ? can someone better that catch in this year's tag-and-release Rocky Barra Bounty, to be held on the Fitzroy River from October 7-8?
The Morning Bulletin's fishing guru Scott Lynch doubts there will be a catch of that weight in this year's competition for a couple of reasons.
Freshwater fish (like those at Awoonga) tend to be heavier as they are impounded.
"There's running water in the Fitzroy and that means the fish get a bit more exercise when feeding,'' Mr Lynch said.
Only two anglers have reeled in lengthier barra during the Bounty.
Last year Richard Dunkley landed a 136cm specimen (estimated 25kg) on a live prawn.
Yeppoon lure-maker and renowned fisherman Ken Richardson holds the Bounty record with his monster 150cm catch (estimated 30kg) in 2000.
Mr Lynch said the fact commercial netting was still legal in parts of the Fitzroy stacked the odds against a monster catch.
"But having said that, you never can tell with fishing. "There are a few barra around already and if they follow the (current) pattern of other species, it will be a bloody beauty.''
There is a limit of 70 teams of two fishers for the Bounty. Register your interest as early as possible by calling 4922 2855.