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
FISHING was tough on the Daly River for the 2018 Club Marine Barra Nationals.
Interstate team Edge Rods won decisively by targeting fish with sonar and moving on.
The 69 teams fishing over a week, landing three meteries, with only two fish in the 90cm range.
The biggest was 116cm, by Barramatta’s David Davidson.
Reidys’ Col Burdon, and Paul Andonaros, landed the other two meteries.
As usual, reports came in of great fishing in the nights between the competition days.
2017 Nationals winners Tackle World Revos, skippered by Shane Compain, placed third. Shane said the results were not necessarily an indication of fish numbers.
“There were plenty of fish in the river, you just had to be onto them,” he said.
“We sounded the river before the comp and marked snags that were loaded with fish, but on Day One those fish had disappeared.
“The river can change every day, and we had to start afresh.
“The winning team fine-tuned what they did, they just kept moving and finding fish.
“We fished the same way but they fished different areas, places where we had no previous history catching fish.
“It was good to watch that unfold. There is always something to learn. They used the sounder to its full potential, marking fish on snags and then hitting them with lures.
“They’d get two or three fish off a spot and move. We all learned a bit during the comp.”
Shane said there was outboard damage among some teams on the first day.
“There are always new logs that people haven’t seen and there was a big log in the middle of the river not far from where we launch,” he said. “We hit the log near Woolianna on Orientation Day and later clipped a rock, which damaged the prop hub, so I had to get a new prop. On day one, we just limped back up the river, we couldn’t go running around everywhere as usual so we just fished our way back.
“The next day we fished out of team mate Terry Ryan’s spare boat and we found fish and got 1000 points and Terry won Champion Angler.
“On day three we got my boat Optimus back and then the hydraulic steering locked up and we went flying up the river bank. Fortunately we just slid straight back in, and were able to fish in Terry’s boat again.
“The bait started rolling up in the last days, you had to fish differently this year, the fish were all down deep. The last couple of days the mack trolling worked for some, but not really well. Every year is different on the Daly.
“It was a challenging comp for us but we still managed third.”
Top End Tackle World’s Steve Compain fished the Nats in a separate team called Tackle World Old School.
He said: “It was a great comp, there were plenty of fish in the river but you had to be in the right spot at the right time. The winning team did this really well, they worked very hard”.
In other fishing reports, Tackle World’s ‘TC’ said mackerel and tuna had moved in close to Darwin.
“They are in the harbour now and there are plenty of sails and lots of reefies being caught off Dundee,” he said.
“Once the real cold change comes in it will be good for pelagics, they will come in closer.
“Lee Point is already firing, it is usually the first Darwin spot to go well for Spanish mackerel. A lot of people are trying for crabs, we are selling heaps of crab pots.
“Jewies are doing well outside the harbour around Charles Point and there are goldies too.
“Some of the jewies are big. The Arafura Bluewater Charters crew put a customer onto a 134cm jewfish, that’s a stonker.
“The billabongs normally kick off around now, so far there have been reports of only small barra, with plenty of saratoga and tarpon.”
Craig’s Fishing Warehouse’s Mal Strong congratulated the winning Barra Nationals team.
“Interstaters have won this year’s Nationals, and interstaters flogged us in the Kakadu Klash, what’s going on?” he quipped.
“The NT Barra Classic is coming up, we’ll see what happens.
“And the Reel Women comp is on at the Finniss River this weekend.
“Elsewhere, Shady Camp has been fishing well for plenty of barra, but they are getting them where the timber boat is up top, with plenty of small barra off the barrage.
“It is back to tides only now at Shady, there is very little fresh flowing.
“The East Alligator River is fishing well down the bottom end.
“Our staffer Trevor Robb hooked three sails and also lost a black marlin at Dundee on Wednesday.
“They had a triple hook-up at one stage and lost two of the fish. “They also got cobia and snapper. “Craig Grosvenor reports plenty of rain out Humpty Doo way last week but it is otherwise cooling down to dry season weather.
“There have been many saratoga and some small barra at Corroboree Billabong and heaps of tarpon and sleepy cod.
“Shoal Bay and Woods Inlet have been producing mud crabs, with a few also from West Arm.
“Six Miles and Charles Point grounds are producing snapper and jewfish.
“There are schools of long tail tuna around Lee Point.
“I hear the Barra Nationals was hard work, one team didn’t get fish until the last day, and then they got some nice ones to finish around 10th place.
“Even the blokes who fished right down near Clear Creek did not do any good.”
Fishing and Outdoor World’s Ronald Voukolos said people would be looking closely at how the interstaters won the Nationals.
“They may have alerted a few people to different ways of fishing, using different vibes and techniques,” he said.
“The fishing was challenging for many teams but good fish were caught.
“The South Alligator River has been fishing quite well, our staffer Matt West fished there on Sunday and Monday and got fish into the high 80s, with lots of action around Nourlangie Creek.
“Darwin Harbour is starting to produce good barra reports.
“One bloke fished Elizabeth River and got half a dozen barra and some threadies.
“Another customer was up the top of Scrubby Creek in Shoal Bay and the fish were boofing like crazy but were very hard to get.
“There have been good reports from out on the bluewater, with heaps of tuna.
“One customer said it was the best pelagic fishing off Darwin he had seen in six or seven years.
“One bloke even melted his drags on longtails, and said there were very big queenfish around the Six Mile.
“There are plenty of jewies being caught at Charles Point and people are getting bag limits and then going offshore to find other fish.
“One crew went to the Fenton Patches and caught goldies and jewies.
“There seems to be congregations of reef fish around at this time until the weather gets cold.
“I am not hearing a lot from Corroboree Billabong but it has been cleared out of weed.
“The Adelaide River seems quieter now, although the upstream rockbars have been good at night for barra.”
On the www.fishingterritory.com forums Michael “BarraMick” Rutishauer won the April FFF Seadogs round with a cracker 110cm barramundi from the Adelaide River. The May round is now under way.
Trevor ‘OzDodge’ Durling hooked this 92cm barra at the South Alligator River, trolling a big green Bomber lure
Michael ‘BarraMick’ Rutishauer with his FFF Seadogs April winner, a 116cm barra caught in the Adelaide River
Trent Milgate with a 96cm barramundi caught on Reidys B52 lure trolled at the Wildman River