What a funny ol’ wet season it’s been. As I sit here about to comment on the lack of rain, it’s bloody pouring…so heavy in fact, I can barely hear the phone ringing! Looking at the BOM website, it looks to me like a healthy flogging might be coming from the West too, so here’s hoping. We now have no choice but to rely on the old saying ‘Better late than Never’.
As I write this, The Daly sits at 2.5 metres above the crossing and every indicator upstream reads either steady or falling. It’s no surprise then, that some notable fish have been caught despite the lacking numbers overall. The Canopy Man’s Nick Billias seems to be turning pro with another metrey to his name, 102cm from ‘somewhere near Moon’. A number of other fish came from the realms of Bamboo and Browns Creek to the tune of 101cm, 103cm and 122cm.
Closer to home, the Adelaide River mouth has fired on a good tide. High 90cm fish are about The Wilshires and nearby haunts, proven fair and square by father and son duo Robin and Marty Burnup’s string of high 90’s for the day. All these big barra were taken on the shallowest version of our latest Pearl Bling Dazzler Classic. Interestingly, the deep divers didn’t raise a scale on the day…so there’s that phenomenon again….big shallow minnows trolled straight up the guts.
Dunno about you, but I’m getting edgy…..Mal, Rob, anyone….can you work this weekend for me?
Craig’s Fishing Warehouse
Righteo…here we go, I’m revived after a three week holiday in South Oz! Yes, I did attempt to catch a fish and the result was Carp (or should I say Crap), Perch and Bream….all small, so now it’s back to reality. Getting away from Darwin certainly makes you realise just how lucky we are up here….
If you’ve been in some sort of panic over the lack of rain, don’t feel alone. Now, we can only rely on the ‘better late than never’ scenario. Let’s hope!
News hasn’t been all bad though, with numerous ‘Metrey’ reports from The Daly. Those Bills Bugs Fizzers have been fizzing up a storm in the shallow waters of Browns Creek and although It’s tiring on the ears, Bamboo Creek has remained productive too. Regardless of the low water levels, fishing The Daly is still grouse!
Cape Hotham is a place that can be very rewarding, weather permitting, and didn’t it fire last week….Jigging 5” Gulps across the reefs nailed everything including Jew, Snapper, Trout and Cod. Flavour didn’t really matter to the fish, it was more a case of getting the drift right and it was game on.
Barra at the Adelaide River mouth were on too, maybe not in great numbers but they still made the esky nonetheless.
Here comes a fantastic set of neap tides….maybe Saltwater Arm, The Daly or Sampan…. Anyone?
Bills Bug FlatRat ‘Nitrous’ Fizzer
Although conditions are a little unpredictable this time of year, there has been the odd calm spell providing for good fishing. On a good day with 3-4 metre tidal runs, Charles Point has turned Jewfish to 12kg on fresh mullet strip baits. Satay Chicken 7 inch Gulps banged quite a few Salmon for the same crew by jigging the inshore rubble at high tide.
Our harbour arms have held good numbers of Goldies, Pioneer Creek rockbars producing fish fit for the table. Small prawn and local squid baits did the trick at both ends of the tide although the low tide produced the best results which is often the case.
Landbased fishing copped a hit down at the Deck Chair Cinema grounds where Queenfish were responding to Marabou Jigs and small chrome slugs. The fast retrieve also snared Trevally to about 60cm.
In other landbased activity, Buffalo Creek was favourable for getting out of the wind and as such produced Barra to 76cm from the first corner rockbar. The new World Stage 90mm Dog Walkers are dynamite for this at low tides.
Dundee looked hellish this morning…..imagine a top load washing machine full of the top end’s own Pauls Iced Coffee. There was a strong north westerly blowing and so our trip was quickly extinguished in favour of…….an Iced Coffee!
Ready and waiting for rain…..can’t be long now….I hope.
Not much can hold back a territorian…..rain, storm or shine he will find a way. The Christmas and New Year period provided for plenty of activity on the water and it was full of Christmas spirit. I even saw a boat load of Santa hats fishing the Town Hall holes! As for results, in brief…..the odd Jewfish from Channel Island’s Town Hall hole, nice sized goldies from Charles Point and Fenton’s newer artificial reefs, smaller Mackeral still banging baits at Lee Point and upper Middle Arm reaches good for barra on the neap low tides. The big rivers have been a little hit and miss although I’m sure you have already heard about the barra at the Daly….not bad for this time of year. Saltwater Arm would be the next best barra spot, the Wilshires included.
Hope you all have a great 2013….and looking forward to hearing about your catches!
Taken on the Killalure BDSI Barrabait, one of my go-to spring high tide landbased lures. Not my usual Dundee rock spot…this one was north of the Dundee Lodge. Some time ago, I’d been wandering again at dead spring lows for some ground that’d hold fish at high tide. Found this spot on a rocky outcrop, quite shoaly rubble that extended forty odd feet out but had some decent lumps and holes amongst it that looked likely to hold a predatory Barra or two. I subsequently marked it in my GPS located in my noggin….then set the date for a six metre plus high tide. Conditions were far from perfect….not glassy and an annoying swell that had me swimming myself. Nonetheless, I still had that feeling that it was only a matter of time…that BDSI Barrabait, I’d eat it myself!
I failed to measure this one, just wanted to get it back in the water but well over the metre. In fact, I ended up doing as much swimming as the fish as I revived it for release…
On another note, Jewfish are coming from the Town Hall Hole off Channel Island. One crew managed a few to the boat, the average measuring 110cm. That real Local Squid we have at the moment is brilliant for the reef fish so get in to Craig’s quick before it’s all gone…….
Merry Xmas to you all!
Talk about mayhem….Leaders Creek went nuts with metreys last weekend. Down around the mouth, it was game on for many fisho’s and numbers of big Barramundi were caught trolling Classics and large Bombers. Anyone could’ve confused the mayhem with King Creek or Shoal Bay Rock but this time, good to know it was somewhere different! Having said that, Shoal Bay Rock still turned a few scales despite the fishing pressure over the good tides. One crew noted that casting didn’t produce much at all and trolling tactics were the way to go. Maybe it’s the ‘cover more ground’ theory or maybe the fish are hanging out a bit further away from all the boat activity…who knows…and will we ever really know? While I’m on the subject of Shoal Bay, Buffalo Creek has produced some monsters lately. Try 125cm!!! Does this place ever give up? It would seem not….
On the Bluewater, the Goldies have shown plenty of courage lately. Not only out wide, but close to home has been every bit as good. There’s some real healthy ground off Emery Point that has seen big snappers in good numbers this month. Obviously, there’s the odd theory that goes with it like tides, times and moons but that’s all part of the game isn’t it!
Dale from Good Sparks Electrical thinks he’s worked it all out now following an overnighter at Channel Point. It was rough so his attempt to Bateman Shoal turned ugly and they conceded back close to the North Peron. That proved to be a good move, because in only 3 metres of water the 60cm Goldies were going crazy. Amongst the Golden brigade were Jewfish that busted plenty of tackle which made for a good story if nothing else.
Mal Strong from Craig’s Fishing Warehouse hit some nice Queenfish in Darwin Harbour this week. In an early morning session, plenty of activity took place on the pelagics…many of which never made the boat, but nonetheless the Queenies that did surface went near on a metre long.
All in all, It’s still good fishing out there. Keep one eye on the weather and the other on the rod tip…. It’s likely to buckle up.
Well you might’ve thought I’d been talking up Robby Rees recently, but don’t be fooled by this image…..this time he’s had a Shoal Bay Shocker…..yep, kissed the sandbar it near on full noise and promptly threw everyone over the side to start pushing. Luckily, they weren’t stuck for long but that didn’t improve the days fishing with only a few small barra coming from the low tide holes for their efforts. In other Shoal Bay news however, fishing was quite good and some big fish were caught. As Rob now says…’You can’t win them all’!
Mal’s reported a few fish from the Bluewater. Jewies have been caught at Charles Point and Middle Arm’s Town Hall Hole on the low tide change. Surprisingly pelagic activity included 10kg Spaniards, plenty of School Macks and the odd Tuna to 8kg from The Vernons and around ‘ol faithful Smith reef.
This week has been big for Goldie reports too. One guy was in the harbour (best I don’t pinpoint it) and he got rattled at night on 60cm Golden Snappers! At the same time, I’ve heard Fenton to be holding some damn big versions also, so that’s always good to hear.
Here’s comes the new moon…yippee! Dunno about you, but I love it….
Well haven’t my staff been having some fun….Robby’s been Gulping at Bynoe on the Jacks and Longy’s been rippin’ the billabong barras with plenty of success. Despite the big moon, working weedless shads through the sticks at Hardys proved good enough for a dozen barra in the 60’s during the morning session. Small ‘walk the dog’ style lures also tempted fish over the weed beds and those Threadie Busters did their thing up close to the Pandanus clumps. Bigger fish were hooked, but not landed.
Robby had the Gulp 3” Banana Prawn Shrimps working around the Bynoe Rockbars for Jacks, Cod and Barra during the spring tides. These scented Prawns keep proving too good time and time again and there doesn’t seem to be a fish in the sea that doesn’t like ‘em. While Im on about the prawn style lures, you may have heard of Zerek….Wow….aren’t they going off. When the going gets tough, the tough get going and that’s exactly what’s been happnin’ here. Both inland and saltwater fish can’t resist these things and being weedless, you can play some pretty insane games with them and still get them back….more often than not, with a fish wrapped around em!
Landbased fishing around town tested some gear this week. East Point the location and barramundi to 82cm caught on the dropping tide from the rock ledges toward the Ludmilla Creek mouth. Reidys Big B52’s in Gold Bleeding Mullet was the go-to lure on the day so there was no need to go the lighter finesse route.
Lee Point is still producing 8kg Mackies toward the top of the tide, particularly on the springs. One crew caught a number of fish within the two hour session drifting pilly baits mid depth in the current.
Coming off the big springs towards the neaps this week. The weekend is shaping up to be a winner…weather permitting.
Some say that run-off is the prime time for barra fishing….I can’t help but argue that the build-up is every bit as good and with the fishing reports out and about right now, few could argue. From the standout local haunt Shoal Bay including King Creek and The Rock where there’s been numerous 90cm plus fish landed, east to The Narrows at the Adelaide River Mouth and westward all the way to The Moyle the barra fishing has been extraordinary. Big coastal fish are on the prowl around our rocky headlands, on our shallow flats and in around our harbour arms. Just this morning, a mate and I fished a little section of mangrove lined edges within Woods Inlet and managed 9 barra for the morning on Reidys Junior B52’s and ‘walk the dog’ style surface lures. This is quite common for the build-up, particularly when there is little or no wind and a bit of water clarity happening. Get into it before the heavy rains spoil it!!
Inland, it’s a bit of a guessing game depending on local rain. I’ve heard both ends of the spectrum from Hardys Billabong….real good and not so good, but it’s still worth a crack by all means. Interestingly, in general it’s been the bigger lures (120mm) that have been cracking the decent fish lately.
On the reef scene, rubbly bottom close to Lee Point beach produced some ripper Snapper and Cod for a family crew early this week. Prawn baits worked best at top of the tide. Similar reports came from the upper reaches of Middle Arm with a few juvenile Jew to boot.
This weekend will see a bit of tidal run coming off the neap phase, so no doubt clarity will still hold up reasonably well. This will be good for almost all the coastal barra haunts and major rivers alike so I would expect good fishing. You might also notice it’s only a few days away from the full moon which normally spells GAME ON for chasing a barra inland at night. The moon will be up early too, so it shouldn’t mean an all-nighter….
Conditions during last weekend’s 2012 Bluewater Classic tested the patience of many anglers as gusty squalls kept the waters far from glassy. The smaller vessels were forced to fish a little closer but that might have been a blessing for some, with a couple of monster Queenfish caught within the harbour on smaller soft plastics. The bigger boats went wide….so wide in fact, rumour is that a real good Black Marlin was raised at Flat Top Banks. Mal Strong from Craig’s Fishing Warehouse went eastward and fished The Vernons where the Mackeral, Tuna, Goldies and Cod were on the chew. Other boats headed westward, and that seems to have been where the Jewfish responded best…particularly around The Peron region. Plenty of mixed reef species were amongst the catches and although the final tally is yet to come at presentation, all reports suggest it was a very productive weekend for the Bluewater Classic crew.
Shoal bay, Shoal bay, Shoal bay…..shallow water and big water temps are recipe for some mad barra fishing and that’s exactly why Shoal Bay is so good right now. The Rock, King Creek and Tree Point have been winning plenty of metreys on Barrabaits, Classics and big B52’s. I’ve listened to reports of ’10 over a metre’ from the one crew! Back at Buffalo Creek, even the landbased guys have been finding big fish down around the mouth.
Barra fishing Darwin Harbour is also productive with West Arm perhaps the most credible for now. The smaller Zerek Prawns again did the job on the snake drains and flats, that dead slow retrieve proving all too much for fish to 69cm. The larger sized Zerek has also snared some hefty Trevally from Larrakeyah Rock Wall.
Coming off the new moon shortly and into the lights at night….maybe a Billabong trip or even Manton Dam might be on the cards again soon??