It’s known as the King Ash Bay Easter Fishing Classic. A competition held yearly at Easter time by the King Ash Bay Fishing Club.

I also happen to live at King Ash Bay, and have done so for 5 years.

The Easter Comp at King Ash Bay has become one of the top events on the NT fishing calendar. Every year it gets bigger and better with more people and more sponsors, which means more prizes! The competition is held by the King Ash Bay Fishing Club, and all the people involved work as volunteers to organise the event. It is an event that people come from near and far to be involved.

This year (2017) the volunteers have managed to secure over 50 sponsors with a total prize pool of over $60,000!

Why Easter?

Easter is a superb time of year to go fishing. Although the actual date of Easter changes each year, it is usually some time in April. This means the weather is still warm and the Barramundi fishing is good. It also means there is a chance of rain. In recent history (I’m almost certain it was 2013) the King Ash Bay Easter Fishing Comp had to be postponed at the last minute. This was because of terrential rain, which meant it would have been near impossible for fishermen to drive in to King Ash Bay for the competition towing their boats. The last 21KM of the trip to King Ash Bay is via a dirt road. And during the wet season it can become a little messy.

But the chance of torrential rain in April is smaller than January or February. So it is a good time to hold a fishing competition.

The Rules?

Fish are measured and weighed by the weigh-masters (also volunteers!) on the Saturday and Sunday afternoon/evenings of the fishing comp. They are only measured to make sure they fit in to the length requirements of the comp. The length is not recorded. All fish are judged on weight. This is particularly to protect the big breeding female Barramundi. The maximum length Barramundi allowed to be weighed-in is 90cm. Anyone attempting to weigh-in a Barramundi over 90cm is disqualified. It’s all about how heavy they are.

This creates some excitement, as not all Barramundi are equal. An 85cm Barramundi might be skinny, and be beaten by a fat 79cm Barra.

This is a unique competition, because there are SO many categories for you to win a prize in. There are a total of 14 categories of fish you can weigh-in for the competition. They are broken up into 7 reef species and 7 river/estuary species. From each category (Reef and River) a champion and runner-up are crowned.


Each individual fish category (14 total) have winners as well as prizes for “mystery weight” for each category.

There are quite a few other rules that you can read about in the “Rules & Guidelines” you will receive when you enter the comp. They include things like how many rods you are allowed to fish with at one time, how to present your fish to the weigh-masters and other things like that.

The Event

There is plenty of stuff that goes on over the Easter Fishing Comp weekend. It all starts on the Friday night, with the annual Cane Toad Calcutta. Cane toads are auctioned off, then the race commences. The toads are dumped in the middle of a big circle with numbers strapped to their back. The first toad to exit the circle is the winner. Money from the auction is divided up for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

On all three nights of the Easter Fishing Classic, there is live music as entertainment. This year (2017) “The Little Ripper Band” are back.

Of the 5 King Ash Bay Easter Fishing Classic’s I’ve been to, The Little Ripper Band have been the live entertainment for 4 of them. Two brothers, Laurie and Shane, just love it here at King Ash Bay and enjoy playing other gigs at towns on their big drive up here.

On the Saturday and Sunday afternoons, usually 3:30pm to 6pm, is the weigh-ins. Lots of people gather at Groper’s Bar to see the fish being weighed-in and enjoy a few beers and a yarn.

The Sunday night is the big finale. With the final presentations of prizes and the Champion Anglers announced.


There are lots of options for your stay at King Ash Bay Fishing Club. If you are in a caravan, tent or swag then you are in luck, because over the fishing comp weekend, there should be plenty of powered and non-powered camping areas available. No bookings necessary.

If you are not bringing your own accommodation, then you have a few more options (NOTE: ALL of the options listed below are privately owned businesses located at King Ash Bay):

  • Hire A Houseboat – Two houseboat companies are located at King Ash Bay with 6 boats between them. You can moor the boat near the mouth of the river and be right near some of the fishing hot spots.
  • Cabins – Conveniently located next to Groper’s Bar & Grill.
  • King Ash Bay Lodge – A nice, quiet spot walking distance to the Bar. Ample parking for cars and boat trailers. Oh yea, and they have a pool!


The above 3 options are usually in high-demand over the Easter Comp weekend. Make sure to get in early to book your stay. (Reminder: No bookings necessary if you care camping).

It’s a great competition held at a great place. If this sounds like the sort of thing you would enjoy, then I would recommend you start planning your trip today.

1987 King Ash Bay (NT) ExperienceIt's known as the King Ash Bay Easter Fishing Classic. A competition held yearly at Easter time by the King Ash Bay Fishing Club. I also happen to live at King Ash Bay, and have done so for 5 years. The Easter Comp at King Ash Bay has become one of...Travelling Australia, learning things the hard way