Alex's Fishing Report 25 February 2016
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.
This trip was booked in at least six weeks ago; my crew of Steve Sarev and George Mousa should make it a lot of fun.
As you can imagine, I have been watching with even more interest what is going on down the Daly.
It really is the only river close to Darwin that has had a proper wet season.
First around Christmas when it was flooded to the hilt and much of the local populace was evacuated, it fell from around 15m to a metre but then went up again with more significant falls together with raging water coming down from Katherine.
Currently, it is running 1-2m over the Daly River Crossing, which just fine in my books.
By all accounts, fishing has been spasmodic, with lousy reports easily outnumbering the few good ones.
The two days we’ll be on the water coincide with the peak of a big set of spring tides, as well as the full moon.
That might be a recipe for tough fishing as the feeder creeks will be running a gusher on the big falling tides, and water clarity at colour changes might be abysmal.
On the other hand, the big tides and full moon might encourage bait to move up the river, hopefully in the company of some nice silver barra.
It seems most of the barra caught on the Daly lately have been on the darker side, indicating that they are escapees from the inland lagoons.
Glenn Dinwoodie is the Teaching Principal Woolianna School Daly River, so is able to hit the water at short notice.
He is also one of the co-ordinators of the Top End Barra Series, so knows his stuff.
Glen told me: “I know a lot of people have got excited about pictures of the Daly’s colour changes, but to be honest most you speak to on the river have struggled.
“It has been a tough three years at the Daly, and the Daly has had good rainfall, and it has got over 10m twice which is all nice, but it is still February and it is only a couple or metres over the crossing, so let’s hope we can get another monsoon in March.
“We fished the Daly last Sunday from lunchtime, and there were plenty of trailers at the ramp at 11am when we launched.
“Things were dead quiet for us until the tide changed, and we happened to be at the right spot at the right time.
“The place went from dead to active and we made the most of it.
“It was just a normal hot Top End day in the boat and my little daughter Eliza was happily eating, colouring in and getting cooled down by the deck wash every half an hour until she heard some boofing exploding around her.
“She then said she wanted to cast so I rigged up her 2kg spin stick and away she went casting out her pink X-rap.
“After a little while, I caught a 62cm barra; all the kids had a look and we took a few photos.
“Before we knew it, Eliza was back out casting and the next minute I see a barra jumping out the back of the boat and Eliza was on.
“Mum and dad started screaming, Eliza started breathing deeply and after a short fight she had landed her first-ever barra on the cast. What a great day, and one she will remember for a while,” Glen said.
Also fishing the Daly region recently was Rocky Edwards.
“I joined Troy Dixon and Paul Kanafa from Wilson Fishing for a unique Territory fishing experience with Helifish.
“We fished the creeks south of the Daly River mouth and landed 50 plus barra up to 78cm.
“Troy was product testing some prototype lures for Wilson and landed a 73cm barra on his first cast.
“I have been on a few Helifish trips in the past 12 months and I am really impressed with its operation.
Helifish releases every fish caught and actively participates in the AFANT Barramundi Tagging Program.
Eliza Dinwoodie, 6, caught her first-ever barra on the cast last Sunday down the Daly River.
Glenn Dinwoodie found a short window of action on the Daly, landing barra up to 62cm.
Troy Dixon fights a barra to the bank on a Helifish trip where he successfully tested some new Zerek prototype lures for Wilson Fishing.
Troy Dixon landed this 73cm barra on the first cast of the day with Helifish.