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.
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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.
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This last week has been an interesting exercise for me as I was able to fish for barra in both salt water and freshwater.
Three days staying at the delightful Crab Claw Island Resort in Bynoe Harbour gave me the opportunity to try a number of different locations on changing sets of tides.
Early-to-mid August is never the best time of year to chase barra... (more)
The blockbuster NAFA 35 is now on sale Australia-wide. Perhaps our best issue ever,
NAFA COMES OUT ONLY TWICE ANNUALLY.
This blockbuster edition features talented Top End angler, Crystal Neal, on the cover with a big Nourlangie Creek Rock-bar barra, a huge NT Section and just amazing features and images all the way through from all of this great fishing... (more)
I’m just back from a fabulous PNG fishing trip aboard the luxury mothership K20.
There were nine of us and we fished the Fly River, starting practically on the border of Irian Jaya.
Everything went like clockwork, and the fishing was pretty damn good.
We caught about an equal number of black bass and barra (nearly 300), although everyone got dusted... (more)
Not before time, we’re starting to get more serious rainfall.
According to Angline Prasad from the Bureau of Metreology, a weak monsoon has moved onto the north coast, mainly central north coast and across to the east.
However, as it drops down over the Top End, it is likely to extend to the west coast.
“It’s not very strong, not an active... (more)
You’d have to say that that was a Clayton’s monsoon that we just experienced.
It put a bit of rain about the place, raising the Daly River to a bit over 5m, but not really achieving what we want for the first monsoon of the year.
What’s with Broome anyway?
It never gets so much rain so early in the wet season; and now not one but two cyclones... (more)
As forecast last week, the run up to New Year and just after was all about calm days on the water without any serious, widespread rainfall.
Unfortunately, now it even it looks like we are going to get a late start to the northern wet season.
This is despite Cyclone Hilda giving Broome and places nearby a thorough drenching a few days after Christmas.
I spent Christmas with friends in Broome WA, and I left them last Wednesday afternoon to enjoy a good start to their wet season.
It was such a good start that I was lucky to get out; that’s because a cyclone formed practically over the top of Broome.
It was just a tad to the north, descending on the famous pearling town just as my plane took off,... (more)
The Roper River has always been a major Top End river that has somehow escaped my serious attention.
In terms of iconic barra waterways that do not require a permit to visit, I can’t think of any other big river that I haven’t gotten to know somewhere between “quite well” and the proverbial “like the back of my hand”.... (more)
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Seven Spirit Bay Wilderness Lodge several times since its development in 1990.
Back then, it was a grandiose tourist venture, established by my good mate, Lex Silvester, on the western side of Port Essington in the now-called Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on the Cobourg Peninsula.
Although sportfishing was an... (more)
Recently, I saw an amazing post on the great new Facebook page Darwin Women Hunting and Fishing.
It was from keen fisho, Zerena Di-Prima, who was lucky to survive a recent outing to Leeders Creek, and Zerena was happy for me to tell the story in this column.
On the day, Zerena and her husband Allan had already caught a legal barra and a mangrove jack in... (more)
Sometimes your fishing expectations are exceeded big time.
That was certainly the case for me last Tuesday morning on a brief but well-executed mission to catch some quality reef fish practically under the Darwin skyline.
I’d organised a trip with old mate Steve Compain aboard the 14 metre Wai Adi, one of a fleet of fishing tour boats in the Arafura... (more)
Last week, I was on a bit of an assignment, covering a day’s heli-fishing with the company called that very name: Helifish.
It involved quite a few anglers, travelling south-west from Darwin in not one, not two, but three helicopters.
As we crossed over the Daly River mouth and flew past the red cliffs of Anson Bay, I was reminded of that great Vietnam... (more)
If you’re up to date with the Darwin barra fishing scene, you might be wondering whether you should be targeting a big fish or a Million Dollar Fish, because both are readily available right now.
As far as the money barra are concerned, it seems two more were caught in quick succession last week.
The first came from Manton Dam and was caught by Michael... (more)
The neap tides this weekend offer some interesting estuary barra fishing options.
Today is a three-tide day and, if you’re reading the paper nice and early, and your boat and tackle are ready to go, there’s still time to hit one or other of a couple of spots that just might produce.
Firstly, a launch at Buffalo Creek around 8.30 this morning... (more)
There were close on 100 nice barra caught in last weekend’s final round of the Top End Barra Series (TEBS) held on and around the lower Adelaide River estuary system.
This is a great area to fish during the build-up on neap tides, and always offers the chance of a bigger barra.
According to TEBS co-ordinator, Ross Abraham, there was concern that... (more)
It’s no surprise that Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s announcement last week that the Government intends to legislate for a blood alcohol limit whilst driving a boat has caused an uproar in the recreational fishing community, particularly on social media where there has been a barrage of protest and condemnation.
It follows the publishing... (more)
With so much happening on the Top End angling scene, I just wonder if I can get it all in and give it justice this week.
Firstly, and most importantly to myself and many 1000s of anglers, last Friday there was a monumental release of ravenous Cyrtobagous salviniae weevils in our iconic Four Mile Hole in Kakadu National Park.
This has been an ongoing saga... (more)
Talk about a trail of improbable coincidences.
Thursday morning last week I was chatting fish with Alice Burton on 104.9 and she asked me where are the $Million Fish, as none had been caught at that stage… or so we thought.
Right about that time, George Voukolos Junior was calling in the capture of the first $10,000 tagged barra for season three... (more)
There are three great reasons to be fishing next weekend: Palmerston Game Fishing Club will be holding its 30th Anniversary Corroboree Park Challenge; Million Dollar Fish season three will be into its third week; and National Gone Fishing Day will be held on Sunday the 15th.
It’s hard to imagine that the Corroboree Park Challenge has been going... (more)
The starter’s gun is cocked and ready to fire at midnight when season three of Million Dollar Fish gets under way.
Originally devised to increase fishing tourism to the Northern Territory, which has certainly worked, it has also galvanised Top End anglers into something akin to a barra fishing frenzy.
On that note, I have no doubt that there’ll... (more)
The fishing was tough but the camaraderie was strong – that pretty well sums up the 11th annual Secret Women’s Business Barra Challenge held last Friday and Saturday at Corroboree Billabong.
This is the second time that I’ve had the pleasure of being on the water and covering the NT’s premier female fishing tournament.
The Top End Barra Series (TEBS) continues to go from strength to strength, and the recent round four in Darwin Harbour was certainly testimony to that.
According to TEBS co-ordinator, Ross Abraham, the harbour round again demonstrated that the city backyard is in healthy condition.
“Despite the wind that turned up on the weekend of TEBS, there... (more)
It’s been a long time coming but finally there will be proper boat ramp access to the Mary River at Shady Camp.
Tomorrow or early next week, Fisheries Minister Ken Vowles will be officially opening the concrete boat ramp.
“The ramp will be a welcome piece of infrastructure for fishers that will improve access to the world-class Mary River Barramundi... (more)