Hooked up

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

Sunday Territorian - - LIFESTYLE - MATT FLYNN FISH­ING

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.

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