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Home » Tournaments-and-Events » 2023 NT Barra Classic

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2023 XXXX NT Barra Classic Wrap

With everyone back safe and sound, we managed to catch up with Kord and Dicko to chat about their phenomenal efforts in the Barra Classic.

Fishing as Team Zerek with the old gun David Green, the team amassed an incredible 145 measured, tagged and released barra - roughly 50 more than any other team in the field!

So how did Team Zerek go about catching so many fish and what lessons can we learn about fishing for river barra? Read on as we stick our fingers into the minds of Dicko and Kord and extract everything we can.


Over the course of the competition the boys used two different lures: The Zerek Fish Trap (in three different sizes) and the 130mm Weedless Flat Shad X.

Colour was not of big importance however Kord did mention that on the smaller tides, natural colours such as Gold Herring and Ghost Catfish were preferred, but when the tides built towards the end of the comp, our favourite Fat Betty stood out.

The size of the Fish Traps used is worth having a few words on too. Essentially the 65mm Fish Trap was used in slower flows and in the creek mouths where the current wasn't as fierce, while the 78mm Fish Trap and 95mm Fish Trap were put to work as the tides increased in size and when the team was fishing in the river. The 130mm Weedless Flat Shad X was rigged on a loop knot with a ball sinker under the chin, otherwise the Flat Shad X was fished straight out of the packet.

Rods and reels

The techniques (which we'll talk about later) required specific tackle to firstly deliver the lures and then to work them properly.

To this end the team used an in-development Aussie built Venom rod that was rated at 10-20lb, set up as a spin stick and with a taper that was designed to work the vibes correctly. This prototype rod is being worked up to be a river vibing rod that will suit barra, threadfin and flathead anglers. The reports are very encouraging at the moment.

They also used a Bone Heartcore 611LS spin rod. At first glance this seems a very light rod to use, but everything about this rod fit the bill for the 65mm and 78mm Fish Traps and handled fish up to 70cm well.

The reels used were the soon to arrive ATC Vigilance 3000, the smaller brother of the 5000 and 16000 Vigilances already available. These reels are tough as nails and did the five-week barra trip with all the hard work, dust, salt, lack of maintenance and travel easily. Dicko said these reels are going to be fantastic and that makes us keen to see them in country.


Perhaps the most important part of the fishing was how the team fished and what they looked for.

Like all fishing, it wasn't as simple as find a creek mouth and chuck a Fish Trap in - there was far more to it.

Dicko said the fish were moving with the tides in big numbers and he could see them passing through on the side imaging sounder. From these fish, some would continue either up or down the river and others would stop off at the snags in the creeks, and in front of the creeks, presumably to have a bit of a rest up or a feed.

To target these fish the boat had to be positioned quite meticulously so that Greenie, Kord and Dicko could fish either straight up current or straight down current. Kord said if you cast across current the fish just didn't seem interested.

A standard cast would see the boys cast parallel to the current and allow the lure (whether Fish Trap or Flat Shad X) to sink to the bottom where a retrieve with subtle hops and jiggles was used to keep the lure close to or on the bottom. The casts, by necessity, travelled over underwater snags and these needed to be carefully negotiated. This is where the Flat Shad X Weedless rigged with a ball sinker under the chin really shone, easily working itself through the snags.

The choice of lure to use was wholly determined by the current speed. Casting upstream in slower currents saw the 65mm Fish Trap used and as the tidal pace increased, a jump up to the slightly heavier and larger 78mm Fish Trap was made once good contact was hard to maintain with the smaller lure.

If they were fishing downstream the 78mm Fish Trap and 95mm Fish Trap were chosen as they are heavier and easier to keep close to the bottom in the current.

The Weedless Flat Shad X 130 was used when the action slowed down and the fish were holding tight to the structure or bottom as the ball sinker weight could easily be changed to suit the situation.

Tips and Tricks

We asked Kord and Dicko for a few pointers anglers could try and they both said the most important part for them was to sit and stick. They knew the fish would be coming through with the tides so they sat and almost waited for the fish to come to them. Kord added that the faster the tide got, the more fish that moved so at no stage were they tempted to get up and go somewhere else.

Kord also said spin tackle was the right choice as it allowed you to firstly keep up with the lure as it was being worked with the current and, more importantly, you could recover line quickly if you got a bite and get tight to the barra. This is important as the barra move super quick in the fast currents when they feel something is not right.

Dicko said that many boats came and went over the course of a fishing session, some successful, some not so successful and it was their team's strict upstream or downstream casting, rather than across current casting, that allowed them to really capitalise when the fish came on.


With 145 barra measured for the five days of tourney fishing, the team had ample opportunities to really nut out their tactics and techniques and this allowed the team to take out the highest scoring team on Day 5 with a brilliant 38 barra measured for 1,715 points!

Runner Up Champion Team, Champion Angler Visitor for Dicko and almost 150 barra measured means Team Zerek had an amazing 2023 XXXX NT Barra Classic. It also showed how versatile the Fish Trap is and how much barra just love eating it in all its guises. It was also great to see the Weedless Flat Shad X doing its thing deep in harm's way and forming a vital part of the team's arsenal.

Some old things, some new things, some patience and a large dose of skill and determination - well done David Green, Troy Dixon and Kord Luckus!

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