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Alex's Fishing Report 10 November 2016

I’ve written it up before but, for my money, there’s no better estuary barra tide than a making spring.
That’s exactly what we have this weekend and the beauty is that there is enough variance between Saturday’s and Sundays’s tides that several locations come into play.
On Saturday, the low tide is a nudge under 2 metres at 10.30am.
Coming off a 6.3m high tide, there is not a huge amount of movement, but enough to get the food chain activated.
One spot worth a shot on Saturday is the famous Shoal Bay Rock.
You’ll need to launch at Buffalo Creek at sparrows so you can get out the mouth and across and into the bay to The Rock.
Once there, be prepared to stick it out through low tide, trying out various fishing options.
In the old days, we’d all pull up to The Rock in our boats, tie off and fish from The Rock itself.
No one does that anymore, most likely because the boats these days are all big and comfortable… and have fancy wraps which can get scratched by exposed rocks.
Most Rock fishos either cast from their boats or troll.
If trolling is you preferred technique, use your electric outboard if you have one; the water is fairly shallow and barra can be spooked by the noise of a petrol outboard.
My favourite Rock lure is the Killalure Barra Bait in natural colours, but there are plenty of other lures that catch fish at this popular location.
A huge sand bar has built up on the mainland on the northern side of The Rock and there’s not much channel in the middle.
Consequently, the best fishing in recent years has been on the Darwin side of The Rock, especially as the tide starts to come in.
If you get on to them, expect quality.
By mid-afternoon, you should be safely back at the Buffalo Creek boat ramp.
Another spot worth trying on Saturday’s tide is Leeders Creek in the afternoon.
High tide is late in the afternoon so two or three hours spent trolling near the mouth from mid-tide to the top could yield a nice barra or two.
Troll from the mouth on the eastern side for about a kilometre and then back and forth.
Use your sounder and try and work the ledge at about 3-5m depth using Classic 120s 10+ and 15+.
If you hook something that tears off at a million miles an hour but doesn’t jump, don’t worry because it won’t be a barra… it’ll be a thumping black jew for sure.
Sunday’s low tide of 1.2m just after 11.00am is more suited to Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour.
At both locations, you’ll need to be on the water at 7.30am so you can hit the flats and drains before the water gets too low.
Once the tide turns to come in, get ready for a brief window of opportunity as the water rises on the flats and into the drains.
Look for the bait and work hard and fast before the tide reaches the mangroves and it’s all over.
Bombers, Junior B52s, Classic Just Unders and Killalure Terminators are hard-body lures that all work in Darwin and Bynoe Harbours and their arms.
Soft plastic prawn imitations also catch plenty.
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It seems there was some spirited billfish action in the recent John Jones Memorial Billfish Challenge hosted out of Gove by the Nhulunbuy Regional Sports Fishing Club.
A total of 10 boats competed, raising about 20 billfish and catching four black marlin and two sailfish.
Line honours went to Toby Knyvett, 9, who fished with his dad Murray in Team True Blue.
Murray reported: “After a slow day Saturday, Toby tagged a 40kg black marlin at 8.30am Sunday.
“Within 20 minutes of releasing that fish, he was strapped into the harness again, this time with a 100kg black marlin dancing on the end of the line.
“After two hours on stand-up 24kg, the fish was tagged and released.
“Gove has got to be the best place in the world for a kid who loves fishing to grow up,” Murray said.
Toby won Overall Champion Angler with his two marlin.
Chris Burnham was on hand for the release of the bigger marlin, jumping into the water to snap a great image.
Apparently, he was quick to get out as a pack of sharks was circling nearby.
While the action was happening over at Gove, the Darwin Trailer Boat Club’s Blue Water Fishing Classic was another great event.
The competition targets 16 different species and scores are allocated on the biggest in each group.
Foodbank NT takes all of the unwanted fish and they get filleted and distributed throughout Darwin.
According to club manager, Alex Ehrlich, about 1000 meals are distributed each year.
This year, Chris Scobell was overall champion and Les Harris was junior champion.

PHOTOS:

Murray Knyvett releasing the estimated 100kg Gove black marlin for his son Toby, 9.Rodney Mottram controls the boat while Chris Burnham jumped into the water to take this photo of Murray Knyvett releasing the estimated 100kg Gove black marlin for his son Toby, 9, in the John Jones Memorial Billfish Challenge.

Toby Knyvett is strapped in as he battles one of his two marlin.Toby Knyvett is strapped in as he battles one of his two marlin.

The estimated 100kg Gove black marlin heads for the horizon.The estimated 100kg Gove black marlin heads for the horizon.