Well it’s another one done and dusted, in fact my 10th Barra Nationals, and what a week it was. To say it was tough would be an understatement but I can honestly say it will go down in my record book as perhaps the most enjoyable one ever. Some fellow competitors would find that hard to believe…weather-wise it was the hottest one ever, so much so you couldn’t stand barefoot on the carpet floor! Which brings me to my point….should it be DOOM and GLOOM just because the fish aren’t on the bite? I think not. It was time to have some fun so that’s exactly what we set out to do…out came AC/DC, Van Halen and Dire Straits, a hint of Beer and Wild Turkey and things couldn’t have been better.
Congrats to Team Cunning Stunts for their line honours. A well-deserved win resulting from stunning persistence, patience, a ‘match the hatch’ mindset and a boat load of skill to boot.
I’m already prepared for next year!
In other news, I just love to see kids getting into the world of fishing. Check out young Nathan Tait, all of two years old…. about to unload a monster 17A Bomber from his outfit. Now isn’t that a breath of fresh air from the usual ‘Metrey’ photo…..now I think of it…I think Nathan is a metre tall!
See you instore folks!
Wow! Feel that dry season air in the mornings….how good is that! Straight away I am reminded of those freezing cold early mornings shooting down The Daly with jumpers on, and here it comes again…the Barra Nationals is approaching fast, if a little too fast as the river still sits proud at 13 metres. Luckily, all locations behind it are beginning to fall, so I’d blame the big spring tides for holding it back. Come next week you would think it will drop fast….but what will be will be.
With destinations a little limited of late, It’s no surprise that Shady Camp copped a good touch up with up to 60 boats working the mouth of Sampan at any one time. Assuming at least two lures are in the water from each boat crew, that’s a minimum of 120 lures swimming at the mouth. As you would expect, fish were caught with many over the metre mark and as big as 121cm reported!
On the South, I’ve heard of numbers of small fish coming from Nourlangie Creek forks and floodplain edges but yet to hear of any rockbar activity.
The most common question of late….”Where can I go fishing and get away from the crowds?”. Well, where there is run-off there is normally a decent crowd so if fishing by yourself is important, think tidal water or travel afar. While many chase The Daly and Shady, our own Shoal Bay would be a good choice. With so many options up around the Little Howard and the like it can be bonza fishing there as reports of late have shown. How ‘bout Bynoe Harbour? Take a close look at Matt Flynn’s latest NT Fishfinder Magazine….zone in on the likes of Phoenix Inlet and you will find the world is your oyster. A huge harbour not far from home, neap tide flats fishing at its best…Bynoe is full of opportunities for both Barra and Bluewater fishing, rocky headlands around Indian Island holding big coastal barra, queenies and trevally and the outer reefs are prime for reef species, Tuna and Macks.
You don’t have to follow the crowds…… Be different, think different and you might just discover a new angle of approach for the time we call ‘run-off’.
By the way, the Big 17A Green Bling Bombers are here……come and get ‘em!
Take a look at this! Has anybody seen this man before? Yes, of course…it’s the one and only, and very happy Tony Hare, the same one you might have seen spread all over glossy covered magazines of late, with either a Barra, Peacock Bass or Giant Tarpon slung over his shoulder. No matter how hard he tries to tangle with the rest of the world’s exotic fish species, his heart can’t be moved from our very own Barramundi and on this occasion it was done in true territory style! They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but this myth has been BUSTED. With his second home being The Daly River, it’s no wonder he has it sussed. Try 110cm on the fly….sludging around in mud up to his knees at Bamboo Creek he smashed the magic cast just on dusk….an epic catch for this man who has now all but forgotten about a Baitcaster. It was no fluke, he’s now tallied a number of these big fish……I think it’s time I confessed….Tony, YOU ARE THE MAN! Everybody bow.
In other news, maybe the prayers paid off. The Daly is now up around 12 metres and looks set to sit for a little while. Better Late Than Never as they say!
Word is out that we are in for one ballistic Bluewater season, with Sailfish, Tuna and Macks already showing up wide of Dundee and The Perons. The Goldies have been in close too, no doubt as a consequence of a poor start to the wet season, so all in all, things are looking up…no-where near as bad as it might have seemed! Yipppeeeeee!!!!!
Well, I’ve never claimed to be a great weather-man so I won’t pretend to try….but I will say that the Easter period is looking at more than a ‘fair chance of rain’. I’m sure that’s thrown a proverbial spanner in the works of many Easter plans so what about a back-up?
I’d say Dundee Beach will be getting a fair touch-up given the facilities, the Pub on tap, and the barra and offshore fishing opportunities but even that one could come with some stress and/or excitement depending on the flood levels of The Charlotte river crossing. This one is up and down like a bride’s nightie depending on Litchfield region rainfall, so care must be taken to evaluate it’s severity on approach.
Those choosing to run day trips from home might be the smartest…. Shady Camp…Sampan mouth should be good for big threadies at the very least, if not the occasional big barramundi. It’s really only just come to life recently so aim for the top of the tide down there and don’t leave it too late to get back to the ramp for retrieval.
Around town, the big spring tides should open up some options from the back-side of East Point, the Deck Chair Cinema and Channel Island rocks land-based positions. In fact, the rocks around Cullen Bay and Mindil Beach have been holding fish in the high 90cm range, live bait the killer but I’m sure lure choice would prove deadly if you’re a thinker. Incidently, I’m blown away by the outcome of the newest to our Exclusive ‘Bling’ lure range, this time in the form of a Green Bling 15A Bomber, perfect for these land-based assaults. Watch this space for the arrival of the 17A monster!
Shoal Bay Rock will keep the locals entertained with again the top of tide being my preference for a big fish and whatever you do, don’t discount Buffalo Creek for a fish towards the bottom of the tide change. Load up on the Zerek 127mm Prawn Plastics in colour #03 or #08….work ‘em slow slow slow and let the barra suck it down before striking.
Oh…and TAKE YOUR RAINCOAT!
Happy Easter Folks!
Dunno about you, but it would seem that Middle School is out. Has anybody seen a 70cm Barra lately? All reports of late echo ‘metreys or nothin’. Yesterday on the neaps, I wasn’t one of the lucky ones….literally flogged The Daly to foam…a 20 minute session with the trusty Tango Dancers just on the first of the incoming was all the day had in store. The spring tides however have produced plenty….and I mean plenty. Look for the incoming push with bait up the middle, throw on a Big Ass B52, Bomber or Classic 160 and move quicker than the tide.
Casting sessions have also done the trick, fish to 117cm taken on both monster sized and small plastics. Speaking of small plastics, the new Shads Soft Ons are hitting fish hard. Fished best ‘on the drop’ and jigged around the snags and ledge edges you rarely miss on hook-up rate given the two trebles on such a small lure.
Shady Camp must’ve cleaned up a little now, as reports begin to flow with some consistency from both Sampan and Tommy Cut creek mouths.
On the Snapper circuit, Charles Point is back on the cards with some rippers to 4kg caught using Black Magic Snapper Snatcher jig rigs. These things have been around for years and add a bit of spice to the presentation of your paternosta rigs. Next time you are going, do what I did….whack one on without telling your mate and watch him try to work out why you’re doing better than he….
This weekend is the ending to the neaps….might well be the best excuse you have to tell the wife…..?
All the best folks
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!