Whether you’re trolling for a big barra on the Daly, flicking a plastic into the lilies on a Kakadu billabong, or chasing c macs on the blue water, we’ve got you covered
COBIA were a fish not often heard of around Darwin more than 10 years ago.
Yes, Darwin fishos have always caught one or two. But they seem to be showing up more in catches now.
There have been big cobia caught off Dundee Beach this year.
Occasional crackers have been caught in the harbour, but Dundee is where they are abundant.
Tackle World’s Shane Compain caught a cracker cobia recently on a swimming bait intended for billfish.
It does seem to be the billfish crews who are seeing the most cobia.
Cobia are pelagic fish and can often be found escorting large sea creatures such as manta rays.
Despite their pelagic nature, they are a top rung table fish.
Recreational fishos are privileged in that cobia are hard to commercially harvest in numbers, so fishos have cobia to themselves.
They are just one of the many big fish that NT fishos can target without travelling far.
Cobia fight like a horse and have an exceptional flavour, so if one shows up on the surface, be sure to flick a bait at it.
Meanwhile, the weather is warming fast and there has been some early rain. Last year, September was a very wet month. Will it start up early again? The new boat ramp is complete at Shady Camp, and fishos seem happy with, after initial doubts about the design and location.
The big test of the ramp will be in the wet season, when the run-off is under way and the river is in flood, and a line of boats are waiting.
In reports, Craig’s Fishing Warehouse’s Mal Strong said red emperor and snapper had been biting well at Dundee.
“The wind has backed off a little and we have been getting a bit of rain,” he said.
“Bathurst Island had a good storm on Wednesday, and so did Humpty Doo.
“It is starting to get hot. All the tourists are leaving.
“The Stena Clyde drilling rig is still producing mackies, trickies and GTs.
“There are some sailfish and marlin at Dundee and they are starting to spot a few billfish around the drilling rig now.
“Shane Compain hooked a big marlin and lost it at Dundee, they were trolling swim baits, his crimp gave way during the fight.
“There are some nice queenfish being caught off Mandorah jetty and nice mackies as well.
“The Finniss River and Shoal Bay have been producing barra, and also Darwin Harbour.
“There have been good mud crabs up the Elizabeth River.”
Katherine Rod and Rifle’s Warren de With said it had been getting warm in town.
“It was 38C on Wednesday but the humidity is not high yet,” he said.
“The wind has dropped off a bit.
“There are good tides this weekend and many local fishos are going to the Vic, which has been crabbing well, too, as the saltwater has pushed right up.
“There have been some good barra caught down the Daly, they are getting them in the usual places between Charlies Creek and Alligator Head.
“Fishos are just looking for the clear water for lure fishing, but cherabin baits are producing fish.
“I think the new Shady Camp boat ramp is
tremendous, the design and finish looks the goods.
“It is going to make a good addition for the run-off fishing season, you will be able to access the river without backing your car into the water.
“And it is also going to make something of a fishing spot, too, as there are back eddies around it where people will find bait and barra.
“Bait will be hanging out of the current around the ramp.
“But the ramp may create calm areas where crocs can sit under water, too, so people must be careful.
“It has been very windy the past month so we have not had a lot of reports from down the track.
“People will fish Port Roper in the build-up, but even the commercial guys are saying it has been tough on that side of the Top End this year, the top of the Gulf of Carpentaria just did not get the rain, even the headwaters of the Roper River did not get the proper rain and it hasn’t for three or four years.
“Mud crabs in the Gulf started off well this year but seemed to have slowed right down.
“No one commercially crabs around Darwin in the harbour and much of Shoal Bay and therefore the crabbing is better.
“The Katherine River itself was pretty slown this year because the river did not flood for long, it got up to about 15m for a day or so, it needs more than that to really fish.
“The Victoria River has been the standout for us, it got a proper flush in the wet season and has fished well.”
Tackle World’s Simon Bochow said Shane Compain went to Dundee on Tuesday and Wednesday and hooked and lost a decent marlin and landed a sailfish.
“They reckon the marlin was pretty big,” Simon said.
“I haven’t heard much else lately, but people are getting ready for the billfish comp, people will be heading out there to recon and they will probably now be keeping quiet.
“It is really starting to warm up, the harbour is fishing quite well for barra, the billabongs are fishing well, Leaders Creek and the mouth of the Adelaide River and the Shady Camp coast should all start to fish well.
“The new Shady Camp ramp looks good, hopefully there is enough water around the ramp to get in without belting your boat.
“But you still will not be able to launch or retrieve from half tide out without floodwater because there will be no water.
“Around Darwin the jewies and goldies are still firing.
“The Narrows and Shoal Bay and other coastal spots should start producing jewies now as the weather warms.
“There has been a lot of cobia off Dundee, whether there is more people out there reporting them, or there are more cobia around is hard to say.”
Don’t forget that the NT’s Million Dollar Fish kicks off next month.
There are 100 barramundi with $10,000 tags in them, and a $1m fish, all waiting to be caught.
They have been released in waterways across the Top End.
Anaconda's Jason Rogers with a cracker barra from the harbour
Alana Montague and Chantelle Trebley with a solid Dundee cobia, caught with Dave Rinkin of Angler's Choice Fishing Safaris
Paul O'Connor said his mate Ivan Pastauovic visited the NT for his 50th birthday last week and was very happy to catch this 92cm barra on a Classic F18 lure