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
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