TOP CATCH: Sunshine Coast fisher Melanie Ottaway proudly holds an 86cm ripper she hauled in during the Club Marine Insurance Barra Nationals in the Northern Territory.
TOP CATCH: Sunshine Coast fisher Melanie Ottaway proudly holds an 86cm ripper she hauled in during the Club Marine Insurance Barra Nationals in the Northern Territory.

Monster 90cm barra snared by Coolum fishing guru

A SUNSHINE Coast woman has made her mark chasing monster barramundi in the Northern Territory.

Coolum's Melanie Ottaway was one of a few women who competed in the Barra Nationals.

She landed a "magnificent" 90cm barra, which she said smacked her line and exploded out of the water, getting more than two metres of air.

Her teammates said it was a "gold nugget" of a catch.

Ms Ottaway's whopper catch helped her team place fourth out of 71 teams and claim the mixed team honours.

She finished fifth out of 213 anglers.

But she still wasn't completely satisfied.

"It was really tough," Ms Ottaway said.

"They said it was the toughest conditions in several years.

"I was hoping to get a metre, but considering the conditions I'll take it."

Her teammate and NT News' fishing columnist Alex Julian said so challenging were the Daly River conditions, 28 of the 71 teams didn't catch the elusive barra.

He said 155 of the 213 total anglers left with nothing.

"What was immediately apparent to me was that so much of the river was so shallow," Mr Julian said.

"Apart from the hazardous sections where logs and rocks stalked boat hulls with menacing intent, long stretches were down to 3m deep.

"Melanie's barra rocketed us from 10th to 2nd. It was that good."

 

One of the barras caught by Coolum's Melanie Ottaway.
One of the barras caught by Coolum's Melanie Ottaway. Alex Julian