Hooked up

Whether you’re trolling for a big barra on the Daly, flick­ing a plas­tic into the lilies on a Kakadu bil­l­abong, or c chas­ing macs on the blue wa­ter, we’ve got you cov­ered

Sunday Territorian - - FRON­TIER FISH­ING & HUNT­ING - MATT FLYNN FISH­ING

Gill­nets are back in the news. The so­cial me­dia has been abuzz af­ter videos were posted of nets be­ing set at pop­u­lar re­cre­ational fish­ing spots. Some­one has posted their net­ting footage on so­cial me­dia, us­ing their Abo­rig­i­nal­ity to take ad­van­tage of a law that al­lows them to drop a net where they like.

Hope­fully the back­lash from this footage will ini­ti­ate a move­ment to get the law changed to stop this hap­pen­ing in fu­ture.

Times have changed, and the law must change too.

Tra­di­tional fish­ing used to be sim­ply tak­ing fish with a spear or fish trap.

To­day, gill­net­ting is con­sid­ered tra­di­tional if it is done by an Abo­rig­i­nal per­son.

Some peo­ple would ac­cept ‘tra­di­tional’ gill­net­ting in re­mote Abo­rig­i­nal ar­eas.

But for it to hap­pen in the busy tourist fish­ing ar­eas makes a mock­ery of the NT’s fish­eries man­age­ment plan, and it is also a risk to boats.

The ill feel­ing gen­er­ated also drives a wedge be­tween Abo­rig­i­nal and non-Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple be­cause two sets of laws are seen to be op­er­at­ing. The good news is the early rain. Kai Hansen at Goat Is­land Lodge on the up­per Ade­laide River says he has never seen so much bait about. “Some of the mul­let are huge,” he said.

“The barra are very well fed so they won’t care too much about lures, but with so much bait around there will be some big fish fol­low­ing the mul­let.

”The barra that are be­ing caught are chrome salt­wa­ter barra with yel­low fins.

“I haven’t fished at all lately but I have al­most fin­ished the new bar and kitchen here, it is a job that has stopped me fish­ing this year.

“Three out of four boats com­ing up here now don’t bring fish­ing rods, they just come here to re­lax. We’ve had some good early rain, it is an early on­set Wet this year.

“Casey the croc may have al­ready gone nest­ing, as I have not seen her for awhile.

“The other night went my dog crazy and woke me up, so I went down to the chook pen to find a croc in­side and all the chooks were out.

“The whole pen was cov­ered in black feath­ers but I found the black chook a bit later, mi­nus a few bum feath­ers.

“It is look­ing good here but I won’t be fish­ing for a while, I have to mow the is­land with a push mower, at least us­ing a push mower I earn my­self a beer.”

In other re­ports, Fish­ing and Out­door World’s Ge­orge Vouko­los said the last set of springs were good in Shoal Bay.

“I locked in at Shoal Bay re­cently at the back end of the springs and a friend walked into a there,” he said.

“He got 20 fish, and all on weed­less plas­tics, he said he had to re­ally low roll ‘em.

“We got a few fish in Salt­wa­ter Arm re­cently at the three-way junc­tion.

“We used to fish it a lot years ago on the big tides.

“We just fished for barra but back in the day we would blue sal­mon and goldies there on bait.

“Re­gard­ing Dar­win Har­bour I was chat­ting to Pete Thiele and he went chas­ing thread­ies and caught only barra, us­ing lit­tle white lures.

“Dundee is fish­ing re­ally well, with lots of reef fish, but the ramp has been mar­ginal on neap tides be­cause the sand has built up.

“My cousin Ge­orge Vouko­los Jr has been get­ting fish in the Daly River, he has been catch­ing more fish but none have had a red tag, the early flurry of tags has slowed down.

“I thought they would catch fewer tags this year be­cause the big Wet would bring more fish in and di­lute the tags, so the fact they got 10 in is very good.

“Rus­sell Han­ton put pho­tos up of a re­cent trip, in­clud­ing a 118cm fish, and sev­eral over a me­tre.

“There’s plenty of trevally and queen­fish around off the coastal head­lands.

“Jewies are still on the wrecks on cer­tain parts of the tide.

“But there needs to be good polic­ing of the jewie catch be­cause of the jewie blad­der mar­ket, it is a real prob­lem.”

Top End Tackle World’s Si­mon Bo­chow

said the patchy rain had been enough to keep fish­er­folk op­ti­mistic.

“The Kather­ine re­gion and Kakadu have been get­ting most of the rain, ev­ery­thing is start­ing to flow,” he said.

“Yel­low Wa­ter is flow­ing and Shady Camp was a foot over the bar­rage. “The Daly River has had a small rise as well. ”And all the Build-up fish­ing is still hap­pen­ing.

“I did Shoal Bay last week and it has qui­etened down a lit­tle.

“There were heaps of fish on the sounder but get­ting them to feed was hard.

“We found a lot of fish in the Howard River and Lit­tle Howard River and got a few bumps.

“There were more than 20 boats in King Creek.

“The fish have spread out in the bay now, you can go to the var­i­ous ar­eas and have a chance, places like Hope In­let and the Howard River.

“The char­ters are get­ting loads of good fish, with some 130cm jewies, re­ally big fish, the wrecks have had big jew­fish on them and some good goldies as well, the past week has been great.

“The Stena Clyde rig is still pro­duc­ing GTs and mack­ies, and they have brought a sec­ond drilling rig in that is much closer in, but it has an ex­clu­sion zone around it.

“The new rig is cov­ered in GTs and has a lot of squid be­cause of the lights.

“Bil­l­abongs are pretty well done now and I haven’t heard much from Man­ton Dam.”

Craig’s Fish­ing Ware­house’s Mal Strong said those who tar­geted big barra at the Roper River mouth were smash­ing it.

“There were 14 boats there one day re­cently, and three heli­copters,” he said.

“The Daly River has been fish­ing well, it has come up a bit.

“They are get­ting the barra mostly down­stream. In Shoal Bay one cus­tomer got a 110cm and a 97cm fish, they had been fish­ing three days there and caught some 90s early on.

“The top of the Ade­laide River is start­ing to pro­duce a few fish.

“The Ade­laide River mouth has been pro­duc­ing fish to 96cm.

“New rig will well fished as it is just 20km or so out.

“Man­ton Dam has been quiet, with just the oc­ca­sional 70cm to 80cm fish.

“Dar­win Har­bour has been pro­duc­ing snap­per, jewies and sal­mon and Dundee has been good for reefies, mainly golden snap­per, jew­fish and trick­ies.

“Cape Four­croy has been good for snap­per and jew­fish. “And there’s still a few crabs about.” On the fish­ingter­ri­tory.com fo­rums, the FFF Seadogs brag mat com­pe­ti­tion and Fotofish com­pe­ti­tions en­ter their fi­nal rounds for the year to­mor­row. Seadogs’ last day for en­tries is De­cem­ber 20, so get your en­tries in early.

Ash Bald­win went out trolling lines off Man­ingrida, hunt­ing for a red tagged barra, but ended up land­ing a per­sonal best of nine barra in­stead

An­gler Sarah Bent­ley reeled in this rain­bow trout on a fish­ing trip out on Melville Bay, near Nhu­lun­buy

Blake Bald­win man­aged to snare two de­cent barra dur­ing a day fish­ing near Man­ingrida

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