When Old Boy and former Churchie Foundation Manager, Rob Needham (1988) and current staff member, Heath Chandler (Head of Engineering Technology) started hatching plans for their fishing expedition in late 2015, neither of them anticipated what lay ahead of them.
It was on Saturday 4 December 2016 when Rob and Heath left Brisbane, with boat in tow, to commence their 6,000 kilometre round trip journey to the ‘Top End’. After two and a half days they arrived at King Ash Bay, located in the heart of the gulf and about 30 minutes drive from Borroloola, Northern Territory. Eager to wet a line, base camp was set up quickly. Within the hour and with beers at hand, Rob and Heath were trolling and flicking lures in the mighty MacArthur River. As the sun was setting, a zinging sound from Heath’s reel soon eventuated, resulting in a 6ft shark being hauled into the boat. The fishing ledger had officially started albeit only a shark.
The next day saw them travel to a place called Sharker Point where boating conditions were outstanding; except for the insane heat that engulfed them. At Sharker they lost count of how many sharks circled the boat, how many turtles and dugongs surfaced and how many hits they missed. From Sharker they travelled to another popular spot called ‘Twins’, south west from Sharker with a growing reputation for ‘big units’. It was here that Rob not only landed his first ever barramundi but the elusive holy grail of barra hunters all over – a ‘metery’! To put this in perspective; many fisho’s spend decades chasing barra before they come across the ultimate metre plus trophy. The excitement and commotion in the boat intensified as more barramundi were landed quickly.
They next travelled two and a half hours south east to a place Heath knew very well – Fat Fellows Creek (aka Fattie’s). Over the next four days, the opportunity to really savour and experience the harshness, yet spectacular beauty of the Northern Territory was on offer. Remote bush camping, insane fishing, crocodiles and good banter made for an unforgettable experience. Just in case you are wondering, yes, Rob and Heath have already started to make plans for their next fishing adventure.