Alex's Fishing Report 23 February 2017
With Cyclone Alfred fizzing out and heading away from the Top End rather than across it, we are now entering one of those windows in the wet season that I have written about before.
According to the Bureau of Metrology, conditions should be fairly dry for at least the next week; ie there is no active monsoon expected for the time being.
Mind you, as far as the big rivers go, there is water, water everywhere, but at least you can go barra hunting in pleasant conditions.
Remember too that this coming weekend is the last one of Million Dollar Fish Season 2 which finishes next Tuesday 28 February.
This latest MDF campaign has so far seen eight lucky fishos catch barramundi carrying red tags each worth $10,000 cash, with MDF partner, CrownBet, paying out a total of $80,000.
With the break in the weather, what a great opportunity it is to get out there and try to catch one of the 92 $10,000 barra still at liberty, or even the $Million Fish itself.
Plus there are still four NT Fishing Trips to Top End destinations up for grabs just by registering for the Million Dollar Fish competition.
Season 2 has had over 40,000 fishos enter the competition so far.
About 40,000 interstate visitors come to the Top End for fishing every year and it is estimated the MDF competition brings in over $8 million of revenue to the NT.
Add to that the sheer number of Territorians who go fishing more than they would normally in their quest to catch a MDF fish, and the contribution to the NT economy cannot be understated… it’s huge.
There have been 44,811 total unique entries – about 20,000 from the NT and nearly 25,000 from interstate – and new entries from last season total 31,651.
To be eligible, participants must register online at www.milliondollarfish.com.au.
So, where to go this weekend to have a shot at a Million Dollar Fish?
Of the big rivers close to Darwin, only two are readily accessible: the South Alligator and the Adelaide.
Both are yielding barra but you have to work for them.
It’s doubtful the Shady Camp road will be open by this weekend.
Work on the damaged area commenced last week but then some nongs chopped it all up again before the work was completed.
It looks like the Woolianna Road will still be closed this weekend.
Let’s hope the last bit of road to the ramp is sealed this dry season to improve wet season access in the future.
I suppose it really is hard to go past Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour this weekend if you’re chasing the money fish.
The tides are perfect, especially on Sunday, and we know there are red-tagged barra at both locations.
You could do worse than slipping your boat into Darwin Harbour around 8.00am on Sunday and heading up one of the harbour arms.
The low tide of 1.4 metres is at 12.33pm so you’ll have plenty of time to fish the flats and gutters on the falling tide, then working the same spots as the tide starts to pick up momentum on the way in.
Million Dollar Fish Ambassador, cricketing legend Matthew Hayden, loves his Top End fishing and is in Darwin this week as a host of the Australian Tourism Awards tomorrow night.
Cash Rainbow caught this 89cm barra on a gold Bomber and thus lost his barra virginity in style fishing the South Alligator River last weekend with John McLean.
Peter Madeley also used a gold Bomber to catch his first-ever barra fishing with John McLean on the South Alligator.
Susan Sinclair with a silver Darwin Harbour barra caught right at the boat ramp at East Arm.