Whether you’re trolling for a big barra on the Daly, flicking a plastic into the lilies on a Kakadu billabong, or chasing macs on the blue water, we’ve got you covered
ONE of the roughest fishing tracks in the north goes to Port Warrender in WA’s Kimberley. It’s a trailer buster. If you make it through the rewards are great, as you’ll be visiting pristine water where the sight fishing can be superb.
Hugh Raeburn of The Tackle Box recently did his third trip to Port Warrender.
He went with separate crews, one of which took a 6m boat, an ambitious exercise.
“We had a great trip and did well,” he said. “We were gone for about three weeks, towing the boats in.
“It was full on and a few small things went wrong, as they do on rough tracks. A couple of welds cracked on one trailer and another trailer bent an axle on the way in.
“Luckily, on the way home we only had flat tyres. We took it a lot easier coming home.
“We fluked the weather and had glassouts until the last day when it blew like crazy. We were lucky.
“During our stay we targeted different species, we got big GTs, some good sized snapper, trout, smaller reefies like bluebone, as well as jewies and big cod.
“Then we chased barra and jacks the last couple of days.
“We worked the tides for barra, flicking the snake drains, and as the barra moved in to the mangroves we vibed the rockbars for the jacks.
“Chasing jacks, we had to sift through all the small golden snapper for every jack.
“There was one day there we would have caught 50 small golden snapper and every now and then we would pluck a jack out from among them. The most common size for the barra we got was 60 to 65cm but we did get fish to the 80s. “It was definitely worth the long drive. “We all agreed afterwards that despite the dramas with trailers we loved doing the trip.
“In the estuaries out there you get nice clean water so you get a lot of sight fishing, and you can pull up on any rockbar or spit and catch a fish.
“And there was no one to be seen. There was a crew from Derby when we got there, and a backpacker, but after that we had it to ourselves.
“It was hot through the day but through the night I didn’t even need my fan, I could almost have gone without it.
“People planning to go there need to prep their trailers properly. We towed a 6m boat in and that is the one that had the most dramas, mine was a 4.8m boat. My dad took his Hornet 4.55m.
“I did the trip two years ago with my dad, and I did the trip with my family before then when I was 12, my parents do it every second year.”
In other reports, Fishing and Outdoor World’s Ronald Voukolos said fishing had been good, with plenty of barra in the harbour.
“They had a TEBs round in the harbour and a lot of boats got their bag of barra,” he said.
“A couple of mates have fished East and West Arms and had good results on barra.
“But the low tides have been very late in the afternoons. “Barra fishing has mostly been really good. “The Finniss River has been good and the Daly has produced a few at night.
“Harry Whitehead and his mates hit the bluewater last week and said there were swags of small macks from Six Mile to Cullen Bay feeding everywhere. “There are plenty of queenfish around. “Cape Hotham and Ruby Island has produced jewfish.
“The Alligator Fishing Club’s comp was held out at Kakadu and by all accounts they did well.
“The weather is warming up, it is really warm now, the fish should be on the boil.
“There will be good estuary fishing on these big tides.
“NT Police nabbed some people fishing inside in the closed reef zones, people must be aware of these zones and stay out of them.”
Craig’s Fishing Warehouse’s Mal Strong said there were still a few sailfish and marlin off Dundee. “There’s also a lot of tuna around, and
mackerel, but lately it has been too windy,” he said.
“There’s been red emperor and golden snapper off Dundee.
“The Stena Clyde rig continues to fish well for mackerel and trevally, with golden snapper and trickies on the bottom.
“Shoal Bay has been producing some good barra at The Rock, but nothing big has been reported.
“There have been plenty of mud crabs up around Woods Inlet and Elizabeth River, some good ones. There’s a few barra coming from Middle Arm. “Corroboree Billabong has been very quiet. “But we have got the Corroboree Park Challenge, Bluewater Classic, the Billfish Classic, and the Shady Lady competition coming up, which will reveal the state of things.
“Also, they have been getting big jewfish at Leaders Creek.”
Tackle World’s Simon Bochow said it had been getting warmer, so barra would be biting.
“The billfish might be slowing down now, Shane Compain went out on Wednesday and didn’t see any sign of them,” he said.
“But they might be moving up towards Bathurst Island and the Trench and the wider shoals.
“The Arafura Bluewater charter boat is about to start doing the really wide trips for the year, but is still getting good fish off Dundee.
“Of the wide trips, Cameron Briscoe’s annual trip will be the first one, and the boys will be hunting big fish, the big pelagics.
“They have been getting a lot of big gear to handle these fish, as they have been getting smashed up on previous trips.
“The big dogtooth tuna are out there, but we haven’t been able to land them.
“It is starting to heat up now, Darwin Harbour is getting warmer and fishing well, the Adelaide River mouth, Leaders Creek and the like should all fish well now.
“There’s still tuna and macks getting around off Lee Point, and there are heaps of jewies and goldies around.
“Goldies have been in plagues this year, it has been awesome on the bluewater, we are still catching fish in areas now that this time last year had already slowed down. “And they are good sized goldies too. “Crabs are still chugging along, and Saltwater Arm will be worth a look for them.”
Kris Baker with a great GT, caught out of Port Warrender in the Kimberley. Matt Flynn Col Frontier
Craig’s Fishing Warehouse’s Mal Strong said there were still a few sailfish and marlin off Dundee.