We really can’t complain about the fishing can we? Ok, March has been dry but still there’s plenty of fish about. If predictions prove correct, a monsoon early April will be just the ticket to round out the wet season so here’s hoping. Lots of ‘metrey’ and ‘high 90’ reports every week now. Shady and Daly mouths mainly, but just now the fish are moving up and reports are just starting from upstream locations. Looking forward to this year! The Bluewater has been damn strong too…Goldies and Jew pretty thick from Dundee to Chambers Bay. Come in and see us folks…we will keep you up to date, that’s a promise!
Why do I have twinging stomach cramps? Why am I not sleeping well? Why do I have the runs? Why am I forgetting everything?
Welcome to the anticipation of perhaps the best Run-Off sessions we will remember! All this anticipation is getting the better of me and I’m suddenly feeling ten years younger. The word is out, the aerial pictures have gone viral and we are pretty much sitting bolt upright waiting for the day that roads and accesses re-open.
So far, the wet season has been everything we could have wished for and now we can only hope that the next month or so can continue the theme toward April. The Daly has been up for some time now, Shady Camp looks as good as ever, the top of The South is reported to look like an inland sea and I’m getting impatient…but I figure I’m only normal, I know I ain’t the only one.
For those few who aren’t facebook fanatics, check out the image inset…look at the water up on the floodplain top right of picture! That is Shady Camp…if you look hard enough, you can see the barrage. This image from Outback Helicopters went viral via our Facebook page late last week.
I guess the next few days will still see congestion at the roadside culverts until such time as The Arnhem Highway re-opens, but when it does it will be all go and I’m sure the ‘metrey’ images will follow.
Welcome to 2014 Run-Off folks…I’m Excited!
It’s that time of year again…and yes, we have a good ún this time. The local roadside culverts are in full swing now…they had no choice with all that rain! All the usual spots and some new ones to boot. Already, the double tail plastics are bangin’ some beauties as close as Girraween road and as has been proven time and time again…you can never go places without the famous Drop Bear Squidgies. The smaller 65mm version is favourable early on, but all sizes work throughout the year. Halco’s little 45mm Roosta Poppers and Bills Bugs Fizzers are working for the surface lovers around dusk and I’d expect things to get even better during the next week or so as the rain subsides.
Word on Shady Camp mouth is still a little premature….but I’m sure it will fire when the windy weather eases and the water cleans up. In fact, I’d put money on it……….
Who said Darwin Harbour has lost it’s mojo? Isaiah Strong doesn’t seem to think so…. put right on the spot by his Dad Mal. Check out this Coral Trout….this rounded out a good session of reef fish from Middle Arm. Gotta love that!
Well some might call him a legend, including himself….and I suppose I might just have to agree now! Here he is again at his second home, The Daly River…That Tony Hare must be happier than a barra at Bamboo Creek.
No wonder he keeps going back, that’s a ripper eh!
It appears to me that the 2013 barra drought has been broken! Reports during the last fortnight have been electric from the coastal saltwater sector, Shoal Bay taking prize honours for the pick of locations. That place can rock and it’s been rocking alright. The old die-hard fisho’s (yes, that includes me) are still hell bent on the BDSI 8ft Killalure Barrabait for coastal rock work, convinced that the fish don’t change their habits, only the fishermen do. Whether that is true or not, you can’t ignore the results from this fantastic lure. It’s my go-to lure for Shoal Bay Rock in particular and is right up there for my Dundee ventures too. Much to my despair, I recently discovered that this colour had been removed from the Killalure Catalogue…..What the..?…..this cannot be happening!! That problem is now solved and it will form part of our exclusive ‘Bling’ range of lures here at Craig’s Fishing Warehouse…code named ‘BDSI BLING’.
Just this morning, my mate Nick Billias (ala The Canopy Man) and I experienced yet another ‘Barrabait’ session to remember. This time it was our Red Bling version. With conditions near on perfect, second cast saw the lure swallowed by an early 90’s fish. Shortly after, Nick was beaten about by a high 80’s fish that launched hard and shook it’s head as if to say ‘no not this time’. Then I was hit by a freight train….it was one of those that couldn’t get itself out of the water. You know they are big when they look bulky from quite a distance. Anyway, I was beat on that one too…and that image of it’s head thrashing about, then leaving a hole in the water I could’ve jumped in is currently haunting me.
Back to Shoal Bay, I’ve heard it all….’9 over a metre’, ‘3 over a metre’, ‘110cm’, ‘116cm’ and the rest. Aside from the usual hard-bodied stuff, those brand new Zerek 6 inch Cherabins are off the scale with results right now. These things require retrieve patience…but once you get the slow twitching action right the big fish don’t seem able to resist.
So there you go folks…who said it would never happen. It is happening…but who knows for how long.
Good luck wherever you go, and for goodness sakes…watch the storms, particularly in Shoal Bay.
Roll up, roll up folks…it seems the weather will be good for a little while yet and here comes the neaps again! Last week, the springs were good for the land-based fishos with barramundi starting to fire again around our foreshores. Channel Island and Lee Point were the two stand-outs, with saltwater Barra to 69cm engulfing Reidys Junior B52’s with vigour. The big moon and increased water temps have finally worked some magic on the billabong barra too…’HOORAY…ITS ABOUT TIME’ I hear you say….my staffer Robby Rees and crew hit ‘em hard at Corroboree and managed fish to 93cm and a number of other reports included Barra to 83cm ‘exiting the water like guided missiles’ during the night time full moon surface sessions.
Back to land-based…..East Point fired for keen fisho David Waite. With Milkfish the target, it was mission accomplished with some ripper fish taken on bread baits. It wasn’t without incident however…his first attempt ended in disaster with his drag washers melted to his spool following a blistering run. Enter a new aluminium spool, and the game was back on!
On the blue-water, I will predict it a Gulp onslaught this weekend. Both the new Nemesis and Squid Vicious will be working magic on the reefs particularly wide of Dundee, The Perons and around The Vernons.
No doubt the barra boys will be hitting Shoal Bay Rock and King Creek for a big one. It should be good…no ‘water temp’ excuses now!
Good Luck folks
How many times a day do you think I hear…’So what are they catching them on?’ With the barra scene currently playing a little difficult, your choice of product can often mean a fish or no fish.
Well, here’s a quick skit on what stands out from the crowd at the moment.
Take a look at the ZEREK LIVE SHRIMP lure in both 89mm and 127mm sizes. Comes pre-rigged with weighted weedless hook, contains an inbuilt rattle chamber, Lumo eyes and segmented tail for realistic presentation. Best fished ‘on the drop’ and with a dead slow retrieve rate. Being weedless, it is perfect for drilling heavy timber but also right at home on the flats. Colours #03 and #08 seem the most popular given their natural colour schemes.
The THREADYBUSTER by Smokin Drags & Co. This soft vibration lure is constructed of stretch form elastomer plastic, is rigged using 49 strand wire to support the two VMC trebles and proves irresistible to almost every Top End species when presented correctly. I personally have had Barra sessions whereby if I hadn’t had one on board, I would have gone home fish-less! Available in both 16gm and 20gm versions, you can be specific on sink rates. On the drop, these things dart and dive like a baitfish in real trouble and they jig with surprising action, no wonder they are so successful. Down-sides? With such positive hook-up rates, beware around heavy timber and always carry a lure retriever! In some circumstances it can pay to remove one treble.
Berkley GULP 3” Shrimps… By far the biggest selling colour is ‘Green Prawn’ and it is widely used on the harbour flats rigged with a 1/6oz jig head or Squidgy Resin head. Again, a dead slow retrieve will usually net best results.
Berkley NEMESIS GULPs are smacking some ripper reef fish of late. These things are a much livelier version of the standard JerkShads and can work wonders fluttering in the current without much manual labour from the angler at all. Best rigged on heavier Nitro Heads.
On the Tuna, the standout chromie is the all new Halco Outcast in ‘redhead’. Small 20 gram versions are doing well cast into schools about the harbour. From the landbased locations, queenfish and trevally are responding to the 25gm Silver Gillies Baitfish retrieved at speed.
So there’s just a few pointers of what’s Hot at the moment. I hope it improves your catch!
Well it’s been fun and games for the boys from Darwin’s Vision Sportsfishing. Earlier this week, a frenzied pelagic jigging session claimed more tackle than was expected and it therefore came time to improvise. Out came the tool box full of ring spanners and with a little bit of unique rigging the Mackeral were immediately cutting sick on bucket loads of steel. I’ve seen all sorts of things used in place of a chrome slice or jig including kitchen knives, desert spoons, Alfoil and CD’s but surely this takes the cake for dedication….it could get expensive!
The Mackeral have kept us alive this year, or at least upheld our enthusiasm and they still keep on coming from most popular locations. One crew were fishing North Gutter at night time and found Mackerel to 12kg in big numbers by jigging 7 inch Gulps on heavy lead heads.
Reports from wide of Dundee included one of the biggest Tuna I’ve heard of from around here…try 14kg!!??
Those Zerek Prawns haven’t given up either. Last weekend at The Peron Islands, a local angler was using the smaller sized Zerek rigged on a heavy Nitro head and the reef fish were nailing them with no remorse. In fact, it sounded as if this tactic was far outperforming dead baits. Don’t you love it when that happens…..
Incidently, with the inland barra scene proving tough going, Darwin and Bynoe Harbour have taken the front seat. One of the tricks for success here has been to downsize your gear…even down to 50mm plastics and 45mm surface poppers! Take note of the new 45mm and 60mm versions of the Halco Roosta Poppers now on the shelf. They can be ‘blooped’ as normal or used to partially ‘walk the dog’ for the best of both worlds. If you go this route, be prepared to also downsize your braid so you can cast em the distance….but I’m tipping the rewards will be worthwhile.
Funny how things happen….all of a sudden, the barramundi reports are coming again. Unlikely we can put it down to any increase in water temps so perhaps it’s just a good set of tides and the building moon. The southern side of Melville has been one of the productive haunts, and it’s been those damn Gulps at it again. This time, the 5 Inch Jerkshads and 3 Inch Green Prawn Shrimps were doing the damage, the trick is to work them ridiculously slow along the mangrove line. 88cm was the biggest but there were plenty in the 70cm range.
The Daly….remember that place? Well, I think it’s now worth the trip again particularly on the spring tides with some beaut fish coming aboard via the ‘straight up the guts, gumby style’ trolling at speed tactic. It’s been quiet at The Daly for some time, but hopefully the fish have now decided that they are in fact hungry!
Here’s a ripper….visiting from Salamander Bay, David Henry was happily casting his 4 inch Tsunami Pearl/Black Spot coloured plastic upstream at The East Alligator’s Cahill’s Crossing when he got nailed by a monster fish. Following a long fight (all evidenced on Ben ‘WeldIt’ Wright’s GoPro camera) it was captured, photographed and released to fight another day. This fish was a cracker, at 110cm!
We’ve been bombarded with Jewfish reports this week too. Again, Melville took the limelight but you certainly don’t need to travel that far. The mouth of Leaders Creek and Saltwater Arm, Shoal Bay Rock, the Town Hall Hole off Channel Island and on a good day Charles Point are all much closer options that have been producing fish. One crew nabbed two 130cm plus Jewfish in an overnighter just off Dundee early in the week, the South Easterly winds providing calm waters for the inshore reefs.
Darwin and Bynoe Harbour neap tide Barra Fishing is still strong also. One crew managed 9 fish, although many smaller than legal size. Another bagged 4 fish, biggest 76cm on the newest of our custom Reidys range of Junior B52’s. The two standout colours were Pump98 and Methanol, both due back in shortly.
If it’s Mudcrabs you’re after, relax. You should be able to catch ‘em blind at the moment. All you need is a bit of tidal run, the incoming preferably, leave them for ‘about two beers’ then collect your catch. Tides this weekend will be perfect!