The real story of the tour happened in round 2 at the heartbreaking Lake Teemburra.  Just weeks before the Barra Tour the talk was of a change in format with the traditional opening event at Lake Kinchant to be dropped in favour of two rounds at Teemburra. A number of the teams spent time at Teemburra, winding up with some big sessions, leading to pressure to take advantage.  That, however, would mean dropping the only event that had full internet and thus live scoreboards and in the end, practicality won out over desire.  Just as well too because the gods had other plans, chances are if we did end up doing two days at Teemburra, you would have seen grown men driven to tears.

In the week before the Teemburra event, there was a large drawdown of water, dropping the levels by around a metre over a week.  At the same time, there were algal blooms in the shallows reducing the dissolved oxygen levels – this had two effects.  First, the Barra headed away from the edges in search of good water and in their more stressed state they weren’t interested in feeding at all.  Fantastic catches turned to donuts in an instant as the total catch for the round was a measly 18 fish, none bigger than 830.  It’s not often a 600,830 combination will take out an event by a solid 3kg.  Only 11 teams caught a fish, and only 5 teams managed 2 fish.

Here is the top 10:

Place Fisher #Fish Total Bag (kg)
1 Likely Lads 2 9.03
2 Tree Huggers 2 6.37
3 Venom 1 6.14
4 Edge Rods / EJ Todd 2 5.57
5 Slimy Decks 1 5.47
6 Triton Boats / Edge Rods 2 5.10
7 Dobyns Rods / Lethal Lures 1 5.07
8 Jackall 2 3.85
9 Team Garmin 1 3.60
10 Fish With Me 1 1.89

The score worm pretty much tells the story of the night. Three of the top 6 only squeaked in during the last 90 mins, and Edge Rods/EJ Todd came within a whisker of bombing out altogether. Of the teams in the round, probably only Edge Rods/EJ Todd and Likely Lads were equipped to deal with the conditions, given they had collectively spent the most time on the water during the good and bad times.

For Likely Lads, all that time on the water paid off with two fish enough to lift them to their first victory on tour.  A win in these circumstances may not seem like a game changer – but it was.  I talked to Geoff just shy of 2 am confirming their victory, and it was clear that they were on cloud nine. Possibility is a strange thing that can get the mind moving.  The next conversation we had at the next day briefing it was clear the boys were starting to think about more than one victory.

Final Scoreboard

Total Hours 8
Total Teams 26
Total Fish 18
No. Teams Caught Fish 11
No. Teams Didn’t Catch Fish 15
% Teams Caught Fish 42.3%
Most Fish Likely Lads (2)
Mins/Fish 30
Overall Catch Rate (Fish/Fisher/Day) 0.31
Average No. Fish/Fisher 0.62
Total Species 11
Total Trophy Fish 0
Total Legal Fish 12
Total Undersize Fish 6