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Home » Tournaments-and-Events » 2017 Zerek Barra Tour

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Zerek BARRA Tour

This is the second year that we have been naming sponsors of ABT's Zerek BARRA Tour.

The Zerek BARRA Tour is designed as a team's event where two anglers fish together to catch the most weight of fish they are able to in the session times. Weight is assigned to fish by their length using a formula developed by Fisheries to give a reasonably accurate weight.

ABT was always at the front of the pack for catch and release fishing tournaments and the BARRA Tour exemplifies that heritage. The other part we like about the ABT events is their willingness to share information. Competitors are encouraged to share knowledge and grow the sport, rather than play secret squirrels and keep all the information to themselves. It is their belief that secret squirrels do nothing to grow the industry and we firmly believe in that ethos.

The Tour visits three location in northern Queensland, the magical Kinchant and Teemburra dams near Mackay and the world class Peter Faust Dam near Proserpine. All three lakes have produced and continue to produce trophy barramundi over the metre mark and these are the fish the competitors are chasing.

This year we had three teams involved in the tournament circuit. There were:

Venom Rods: Troy Dixon and Rob Payne

Wilson Fishing: Jono Clark and Talin Pain

Mustad: Lochie Reed and Jeremy Cornelius

The Tour started at Kinchant with a bang!

The rookies drew first blood on the 2017 Zerek BARRA Tour with Brett Turner and Dean Jackson claiming a comprehensive win in the opening round of the series, the Mustad Kinchant Dam Evening Event.

Armed with the Zerek lures they received in the Rookie Pack at the event briefing, Team Flattop Fishing caught their limit on a Zerek Fish Trap fishing just wide of a flooded hump.

"We fished a little deeper than most of the other teams in the area at the start of the session and as the night wore on we moved in closer to the shallows," explained Jackson.

Late in the session the pair would cast tight up into the shallows landing their lures in about 3ft of water. They would then burn them back fast to keep the lures above the weed and it was on the burn that the fish would bite.

The biggest fish for the tournament was also caught on a Zerek Fish Trap. Team Flattop Fishing picked up the Zerek Big Barra prize at Kinchant with the prize winning fish measuring 124cm. Tempted by the black jack coloured Zerek Fish Trap they received in their briefing kit, the fish found sanctuary in the weed before sufficient rod pressure extracted it and into the waiting net.

Team Venom (Troy and Robbie) managed to land in 5th place for the event, while Team Mustad (Lochie and Jeremy) finished in 8th place for the event.

The tour then moved onto Teemburra Dam for Round 2.

Just about all the anglers said Teemburra was a tougher bite than Kinchant, and so it proved with the final fish weights being significantly lower than the weights at Kinchant. This didn't mean big barra weren't caught by the anglers as the biggest fish of the round was a 126cm behemoth, just that the average fish were significantly smaller.

Our boys worked hard for few results with missed opportunities and some game plans thrown out the window because of the slow bite.

All our teams chopped and changed their lures and locations and were generally not very settled as Teemburra proved a fickle mistress and its barra proved tough to tame.

After Teemburra, the teams were all looking forward to locking horns with the barra at Peter Faust, with the final two rounds to decide the eventual champions.

Round 3 was the Peter Faust 2-day event with this event requiring anglers to back up in the second session to secure their fish. After the first session Team Venom was in the lead and being chased hard by the other teams, but a tougher bite in the second session saw the team drop down to sixth overall.

The bright note for the event was Dicko taking out the Big Barra prize with a 119cm barra caught on a Zerek 110mm Fish Trap in baby barra colour (black and white). The lure was fished on the newly released Bone Voyage spin rod (4-piece BVS704XH) matched to the ATC Vigour 5000 reel spooled with 30lb Zerek Hy-Braid topped with 40lb Wilson fluorocarbon leader. The lure was attached with a loop knot and the Fish Trap was fished vertically in 20ft of water to treetops on the windward side of the lake.

And with the penultimate event out of the way, the final round drew closer - the Peter Faust All Night Event!

Team Barratrauma made it two wins for the 2017 tour with Laine and Hunt bagging a big bag of barra to claim the Venom Rods Peter Faust Night Championship win.

They used a variety of big barra swimbaits that included the Zerek 9" Flat Shad, a proven big barra lure in the lakes and impoundments. Their effort showed a lot of anglers that fishing big was a serious tournament option and one that social anglers should investigate seriously.

Dicko and Robbie managed to land 4 of their five barra for the night session and finished up in 7th place overall for the event, with some horror tales of being ripped through the sticks they were fishing vertically to with their Fish Traps.

All in all, the Zerek BARRA Tour was a great success for Wilson Fishing. Many of the barra anglers used our lures, rods and reels and our products are now well and truly entrenched in the barra impoundment scene. It's at events like this that we are able to talk to the anglers direct and get feedback and ideas on exactly what is necessary going forward for these brilliant fisheries.

We are all looking forward to the 2018 Zerek BARRA Tour. Bring it on!


ABT Zerek BARRA Tour


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