Colin lands the 'Holy Grail' for barra fishermen
WHAT for most fishermen would be the catch of a lifetime proved to be just another successful day on the water for Colin Brett.
The Rockhampton angler reeled in a 1.19m barramundi at Teemburra Dam near Mackay on Saturday, the biggest caught in the elite Sunline and Lucky Craft Barra Nation Tour which involves the best barra teams in Australia.
While the monster catch left his fellow fishos and tour organisers in awe, a laid-back Colin revealed it was not the largest he has landed.
"I've caught bigger ones than that before,” he said. "My personal best is a 1.22m barra which I caught at Peter Faust Dam (near Proserpine) about two years ago. The biggest salt water barra I caught was 1.20m in the Fitzroy River about 10 years ago.”
That's not to say Colin was downplaying his latest catch, which won him a $600 custom rod and a $200 lure pack.
"This is right up there. The metre-long barra is the Holy Grail for the barra fisherman so once you get over that mark they're all pretty special fish,” he said.
It took Colin about 10 minutes to land the fish on Saturday - and he clearly remembers the first thing that flashed through his mind when he knew he had something big on the end of his 30-pound line.
"Don't lose it. That's what I thought when it first jumped,” he said.
"I hooked into it on my fifth cast. It jumped a lot and did lots of runs. It fought pretty hard.”
He and fellow Rocky fisherman Steve Lill were competing together in the fourth and final round of the prestigious tour series and Teemburra Dam proved a happy hunting ground for Rockhampton teams.
They finished fourth overall in the inaugural series.
Nathan Anderson and Quintin Maclean won the weekend with the largest limit of the tournament, catching 11 barra from the 15-fish limit with a total length of 7.68m.
Rockhampton's Craig Griffiths, who is recognised as one of the leading barra fisherman in the country, and Karrim De Ridder from Cairns were crowned the winning team of the year after consistent performances across the four rounds.
Colin said it was a great result for Rockhampton, which he predicts will become a "barra mecca” in the next couple of years.
"The fishing here is really picking up a lot; the net-free zones are definitely helping out a lot,” he said.
"Rocky will be a barra mecca in the next couple of years, it will be unbelievable.”
A self-confessed "barra addict”, Colin says nothing compares to the moment that the prized catch bites.
"When they hit the lure, that's the best part. There's nothing like it.
"I've been fishing since I could walk. I come from a fishing family and mum and dad got me into it.
"I've made a lot of good friends over the years and it kept me out of trouble in my younger days. I owe a lot to fishing.
"That 1.2m barra was definitely my favourite fish; 1.3m is the next goal.”