Australia's northern capital city, Darwin, is a major centre for recreational fishing in Australia and home to locally-produced National Australian Fishing Annual (NAFA)
Established in 1992, NAFA is Australia’s largest and most widely distributed fishing magazine, available through newsagents, selected tackle shops and online. NAFA is a bi-annual, coming out in May and November of each year. It is a large format, full colour, gloss magazine with almost 300 pages of content per edition.
Due to popular demand, NAFA now incorporates a flipover magazine called NAFA's Outdoors 4X4 Travel & Camping. With this new addition, NAFA is not only a reliable and authoritative source for information on all aspects of fishing and boating, but also 4WD, travel and camping.
This quality magazine contains informative articles and first-class photography from the best writers in the country and also features the popular NAFA Good Gear Model Pictorial.
I’m filing my column this week from the Australian Fishing Trade Show which is held each year on the Gold Coast.
Talk about a kid in a lolly shop – three days is nowhere near long enough to get around all the stands and check out the mind-boggling array of rods, reels, lines, lures and all manner of fishing paraphernalia.
As always, there was... (more)
Most barra anglers would be familiar with the term “boof”.
It’s vernacular for the noise made by a barra feeding on the surface.
Basically, a barra takes a small fish or crustacean, or tadpole for that matter, by imploding a mouthful of water that includes its prey, and shutting its mouth at the same time as the water is pushed out... (more)
The latest Issue No 31 of the Australian blockbuster fishing and outdoors magazine, NAFA, will hit the newsstands late July.
This bumper issue has 236 pages of Australia-wide fishing coverage, as well as a “flip-over” NAFA’S OUTDOORS magazine with its own cover.
NAFA is published only twice a year and represents great value at... (more)
The second season of Million Dollar Fish will have even more prize hooks to lure anglers and promote tourism in the Top End. Registrations have opened for the competition to begin on 1 October when you can fish for 101 barramundi which will have been tagged and released at well-known fishing locations across the Northern Territory. One will carry a MILLION... (more)
How good is it that the Million Dollar Fish campaign will run again on 1 October this year until 28 February next year.
Tourism NT’s Million Dollar Fish campaign was heralded a great success, with some truly impressive statistics to back this up.
For starters, more than 43,000 people registered for the competition from 62 different countries, including... (more)
It’s official: El Nino is gone and won’t be back for at least 12 months.
This is according to the Bureau of Metreology which describes the El Nino effect as the above-average warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean which in turn causes a shift in atmospheric circulation.
The El Nino that has just died was one of the most-severe... (more)
If you’re thinking of wetting a line for barra in the salt water this weekend, there are definitely some possibilities based on the run of tides.
At first glance, you might think the low tides are a bit late and a bit high for Darwin Harbour.
Based on a couple of trips I’ve done of late, when the low tides were a good metre higher than those... (more)
For those who might have missed it, Four Mile Hole in Kakadu National Park will not be opened this year due to massive infestation with the floating aquatic weed: salvinia.
Apparently, 95% of this iconic lagoon is covered; and although the closure is deemed temporary, don’t hold your breath waiting for it to reopen.
There’s a lot I could write... (more)
Last weekend’s round three of the 2016 Top End Barra Series (TEBS) was a punt that paid off.
TEBS Co-ordinator, Glenn Dinwoodie, said: “We planned for this event back in July 2015 and we were thinking that competitors may have been faced with cooler water temperatures and gusty conditions, although nothing could have been further from the... (more)
After a pretty ordinary wet season and a well-less-than-average run-off, could it be that we are finally getting a more-normal dry season?
Thanks to a high pressure system floating across the Great Australian Bight, the easterlies have started, so that does point to a critical feature of any Top End dry season.
But then, how do you account for the regular... (more)
For the fourth time in five successive Barra Classics, Team Top End Tackle World has triumphed.
In a grinding test of endurance on the water, competing on a Daly River that was in shut-down mode for the duration of the tournament, Shane Compain, his dad Steve Compain and Terry Ryan fired out thousands of casts to win the 2016 Classic.
After the first day,... (more)
The Barra Classic is on down the Daly River this week but, a week before that, the Daly was the venue for the second round of the Top End Barra Series (TEBS).
TEBS co-ordinator, Glenn Dinwoodie, reported that the Daly River continued to defy its normal early-dry-season conditions.
“The weather was indicative of the Top End’s wet season; with... (more)
Although the NT has by far the best wild barra fishing in Australia, occasionally, just across the way on the eastern side of the Gulf of Carpentaria, a Godzilla barra gets caught.
One bloke who know knows all about that is Pat Levy.
A couple of years ago, Pat pulled a magnificent 130cm barra from a local system around Karumba.
Well, last week he did it... (more)
If ever there was a barra tournament fraught with danger, excitement, adventure and thrills, it was the 21st Club Marine Insurance Barra Nationals.
Held last week from the Banyan Farm on the Daly River, and hosted by the Palmerston Game Fishing Club, 60 teams ran the gauntlet of a river choked with sand, spiked with threatening logs and so shallow at... (more)
There are two certainties that will happen at the Club Marine Barra Nationals which commence on Sunday down the Daly River: firstly, some huge barra will be caught by the 60 teams competing; and, secondly, several of those teams will get stuck on shallow sandbars.
I suppose that’s a glaring statement of good news and bad news.
As far as the bad news... (more)
If there’s one thing every successful angler believes, it’s that you can never stop learning.
In fishing, usually, the learning comes from fishing with other fishos; but it also comes from trying new techniques, new locations and new conditions.
New lures come under the banner of “new techniques”, but deserve a mention regardless.... (more)
Last week’s Aurora Kakadu Klash on the South Alligator River offered up a few surprises, but none so surprising as the quality of fishing.
Given this year’s sad wet season – for the third year in a row – it was remarkable that so many barra were caught, including some rippers amongst them.
Most of the 40 teams competed fished upstream... (more)
There was some great fishing over Easter, especially if you fished the Daly and knew what you were doing.
Old mate Roger Sinclair spent Easter on the Daly with his wife Susan, and he was happy enough to send me this report:
“The river was at about 4m at the crossing when we arrived on Friday lunchtime, and it dropped about a metre by Sunday evening.... (more)
This time next week, 40 teams will be competing on the first day of the annual Aurora Kakadu Klash on the South Alligator River.
This tournament is different to the other two big barra competitions, the Barra Nationals and the Barra Classic, because, whereas they award points according to the length of each and every fish caught, the Kakadu Klash only... (more)
Fingers Crossed for Lots of Rain
Just when you thought the wet season was down and out for the count, along comes a modest monsoonal flow that throws some water across our big river floodplains.
There haven’t been heaps of rain out there where we need it – on the Alligator Rivers, for example – but some reasonable falls have occurred.... (more)
Barra Bass & Bream Issue 49 is now on sale. Grab your copy from your local newsagent.
Given the state of this year’s wet season – or non-wet season – it was a pleasant surprise to receive the results of the first round of the Top End Barra Series (TEBS) which was held on the Mary River system and along the coast to Wildman River last weekend.
You can always expect a big turn-out for this inaugural TEBS round, so 130 competitors... (more)
A couple of days spent down at the Daly River Barra Resort last week was time well spent.
With me were Steve Sarev and George Moussa, and yes, we too were gunning for a Million Dollar Fish.
That didn’t happen, but it was great to get a good look at the river for the first time this year.
The Daly has been going up and down like a yo-yo this last couple... (more)
As you read this, I’ll be spending my second day down the Daly River, lodged at the delightful Daly River Barra Resort.
It’s one of many great places to stay on the Daly; in fact, they’re all good really, and generally owned and operated by salt-of-the-earth types who are always up for a yarn and happy to help you out any way they can.... (more)
I had intended not to write about the Million Dollar Fish promotion this week, but then Nathan Neave goes and catches his second $10,000 fish.
What are the odds of that?
Admittedly, it was caught in the same location in Darwin Harbour, which probably means both his tagged recaptures were released in that vicinity.
“I didn’t even think I would... (more)
If the Law of Averages has any sway at all, the odds of the actual Million Dollar Fish being caught is now shorter than it’s ever been.
After Shaymus Frewen caught the eighth tagged barra worth $10,000 last Sunday, and with now only 67 similar-tagged fish and the sole seven-figure fish still at liberty, don’t be surprised if the big bucks... (more)
The Territory-produced National Australian Fishing Annual (NAFA) is celebrating its 30th Anniversary with the latest blockbuster NAFA 30.
Although very much a national magazine full of fabulous fishing and outdoors adventure, as always there is a huge NT section with 70 pages devoted totally to Top End fishing, as well as Territory-specific boat and... (more)
Gearing up for barra to bite
Last week, Top End anglers received the best clue yet to the Daly River firing up for certain this run-off.
Old mate George Voukolos Junior rang me to tell me that the mighty Daly is chockers with cherabin from one bank to the other.
George fishes the Daly land-based and year-in-year-out catches more metre barra than anyone... (more)
The Top End angling scene lost another of its favourite sons last week.
Anthony James Hare, aka Ton’, aka Harey, lost his battle with prostate cancer at the age of 66.
There’s so much you can write about Harey, and I reckon there must be hundreds of anglers who could readily relate their own personal story involving him.
If you’ve ever... (more)
Few Darwin anglers would not be aware of the passing of Scott Eccles early last Saturday.
I’ve known Scotty since he was born, and I’ve fished with him probably more than anyone else in recent years.
So, on a positive note, I’d like to reflect this week on Scotty the angler, a truly great one at that.
You know, barra fishing can be a fickly... (more)