Record 700 participants lured to East Kimberley’s biggest fishing competition

Stephanie SinclairThe Kimberley Echo
The Apex crew with the winner of the tinnie, Steven Burgess (centre).
Camera IconThe Apex crew with the winner of the tinnie, Steven Burgess (centre). Credit: Stephanie Sinclair/The Kimberley Echo/Stephanie Sinclair

There was a near sunken boat, a broken trailer and plenty of spat hooks, but it was all worth it for the record number of participants who took part in the 2021 Apex Kununurra Barra Bash.

More than 700 fishermen and women entered the East Kimberley’s biggest fishing competition at the weekend, with 163 juniors and 540 seniors catching close to 300 eligible barramundi, bream and catfish between them.

“We were absolutely stoked with the amount of people who entered,” Barra Bash event organiser Aaron Macnamara said.

“We smashed last year’s record of 511 entrants.”

A tinnie — valued at $13,000 — as the competition’s entry prize was partly to thank for luring the record participation levels.

After two names were drawn but failed to show for the hotly contested tinnie, Steven Burgess was declared the winner of what is likely to be Kununurra’s most highly valued door prize for the year.

Kurt McCartney was a big winner, taking home the biggest combined catch, biggest bream, runner-up biggest barramundi and biggest barramundi in Lake Kununurra.
Camera IconKurt McCartney was a big winner, taking home the biggest combined catch, biggest bream, runner-up biggest barramundi and biggest barramundi in Lake Kununurra. Credit: Stephanie Sinclair/The Kimberley Echo/Stephanie Sinclair/The Kimberley Echo

Kurt McCartney was the most successful fisherman for the event, after reeling in the biggest combined catch for his 2310mm haul of barramundi, bream and catfish. He also won biggest bream, second biggest barramundi and biggest barramundi caught in Lake Kununurra.

Billy York went home with the biggest barramundi, at 113cm, while Mark Wilson’s 970cm catch earnt him the prize for biggest catfish.

Fraser Stewart won the day’s biggest award, the Mystery Barra, and received his $15,000 stay at Kimberley Coastal Camp.

In the children’s competition, Sam Bennett and Edmond Cox Jr were jointly awarded for biggest combined catch, each hooking 1501mm worth of eligible fish.

Emma Ross caught this 70cm barramundi at Skull Rock and won the Mystery Barra prize.
Camera IconEmma Ross caught this 70cm barramundi at Skull Rock and won the Mystery Barra prize. Credit: Picture: Emma Ross

Taleyah Birch took home the biggest barramundi, Maggie Gardner caught the biggest catfish, and Hayley Goldup caught the largest catfish.

Run by Apex Kununurra with support from Kimberley Coastal Camp, Ord Mechanical Services, Recfishwest, Horizon Power and several local sponsors, all money raised from the Barra Bash will go back into the Kununurra community.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails