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Alex's Fishing Report 22 September 2016

I understand some local tackle shop owners are busily loading up their lure walls while kicking a rhythmic instep and whistling as they dance.
Likewise, professional barra guides and fishing lodge operators are clinking amber-foaming glasses and saluting the unseasonal arrival of truly-incredible rainfall across the Top End.
Yes indeed, the skies have literally fallen down over the past week in what has been a torrential start to the annual build-up season.
An example from just the period spanning Sunday to Monday is Berrimah beating its 24-hour September record of 27.8mm of rain with a massive 60.2mm.
That’s serious rain, but check out what happened at Jabiru.
In that same 24-hour period, Jabiru received 108mm of downpour which not only broke the one-day record but, would you believe, broke the record for the total amount of rainfall ever received in the whole month of September?
That’s not only crazy… that’s awesome.
Any wonder that the East Alligator River is pouring over Cahill’s Crossing at 1.2m?
Regular readers of this column would remember that I wrote way back in June that we would get a very wet build-up this year.
It wasn’t my forecast; I was just conveying information gleaned from the Bureau of Metreology; namely, that El Nino was dead for this year and we were experiencing a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), the combination of which guaranteed good build-up rains from September to December.
Back then I wrote:
Ever heard of the Indian Ocean Dipole?
No, well neither had I until I spoke to the bureau this week.
Let me quote: “The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is defined by the difference in sea surface temperature between two areas (or poles, hence a dipole) – a western pole in the Arabian Sea (western Indian Ocean) and an eastern pole in the eastern Indian Ocean south of Indonesia. The IOD affects the climate of Australia and other countries that surround the Indian Ocean Basin, and is a significant contributor to rainfall variability in this region.”
Apparently it is now a certainty that we are about to experience a negative IOD, and that means heaps of build-up rainfall this year.

But not even the bureau would have predicted this much rain.
Of course, the $64,000 question is: does this mean we will have a big wet season?
The short answer is that it’s possible.
With the ocean-warming effect of Le Nino completely gone this year, and a La Nina-like pattern of cold oceanic currents developing, if the build-up continues through December, our wishes may come true.
However, the bureau is confident that, at the very least, we will have an average-to-better-than-average wet season.
Compared to the last two years, we’re more likely to see those regular monsoon bursts and significant rainfall that define a typical wet season.
The bureau is confident that, overall, we can expect two or three monsoon bursts that – most importantly – won’t be delayed as it normally takes a strong El Nino impact to delay the onset of the wet season.
Given the great build-up we’re experiencing, and the anything-but-shy confidence of our Bureau of Metreology – that wet season prognosis will do me fine.

The lower Adelaide River and nearby Saltwater Arm and Leaders Creek were the venue for the recent second-last round of this year’s Top End Barra Series (TEBS).
According to TEBS co-ordinator, Ross Abraham, “The weather over the two days of competition was spot on and, apart from the afternoon sea breeze on Saturday and the stronger wind on Sunday afternoon, it was great travelling for everyone searching out fish.
“There was no wind in the mornings which made it easy to get in close to the rocks to throw lures about.
“Sadly, most people reported slow fishing despite marathon efforts, with the lower number of scorecard returns a good indicator of how tough it was.
“There were only 37 barramundi over 50cm recorded over the weekend, with a lot of smaller non-scoring barra also reported,” Ross reported.
“The best barra went to Kyle Chin at 110cm – a really nice chrome-coloured fish.
“There were three fish in the 90s recorded with Stewart Odgers’ 98cm fish the best; the other two fish went 92cm a piece and were caught by Kel Shipp and Jason Reynhout.
“As far as the stats go, there were 21 barra in the 50cm range, nine in the 60s, two in the 70s, one in the 80s, three in the 90s and one over the magic metre mark,” Ross explained.
With his big barra, and another smaller fish, Kyle Chin was a convincing winner with 685 points, which was more than 200 points ahead of second-place getter Stewart Odgers on 465 points.
Peter Cooper, the only competitor to catch his maximum bag of five barra, was a strong third, followed by Jason Reynhout and Kel Shipp.
The final round of the Top End Barra Series will be held in Darwin Harbour on 1-2 October.


Kyle Chin’s 110cm Adelaide River barra helped him to a convincing win in round five of the Top End Barra Series (TEBS).Kyle Chin’s 110cm Adelaide River barra helped him to a convincing win in round five of the Top End Barra Series (TEBS).

 Jason Reynhout’s 92cm barra was one of three barra in the 90s caught in the TEBS round.Jason Reynhout’s 92cm barra was one of three barra in the 90s caught in the TEBS round.

Sean Anderson was on the money in the TEBS round.Sean Anderson was on the money in the TEBS round.

Junior Charli Syme’s blue salmon was one of several different species caught.Junior Charli Syme’s blue salmon was one of several different species caught.