Alex's Fishing Report 16 March 2017
Where to go chasing a hot barra bite is what many anglers are considering at the moment.
Barra seem to be biting like mad everywhere, but it’s still possible to miss out.
Luckily, my timing was pretty good last week when I arrived at Daly River Barra Resort the very afternoon that the Woolianna Road reopened after Cyclone Blanche slipped by.
It was great that the Daly River Police clearly recognised the importance of maintaining access to the Daly River boat ramp via Woolianna Road during this period of frenzied runoff action.
In Darwin angling circles, there are many keen fishos who fish all the various systems depending on which is accessible and fishing well.
However, there is a small army of anglers who just fish the Daly, and they live for the opportunity to hit during prime runoff fishing.
With me on this trip was old mate George Moussa – aka “The Roper River King” – and, perhaps not surprisingly given the cyclone, we found the river almost devoid of boat traffic.
In fact, we counted only 3 to 4 other boats on the Daly over two days, so we had lots of feeder creek choices... and many yielded fish.
We caught a fair cricket-score of barra, and I believe at least one other boat did even better anchored for most of the time at the one creek mouth.
For me, the best lure was the Classic 120 suspender in gold, black and red Bobby Dazzler colours.
For a while there, the barra hit it every cast as I wound it in, twitched it and let it float suspending in the current before repeating the technique.
I think the barra must have thought it was dead or dying, and thus found it irresistible.
Well done to George, who caught a fat Daly River metrey on a Killalure Barra Bait 12+ in one of those barra-enticing sensational new fluoro colours.
This is a great lure for big fish, and well proven on the Daly, with these new colours working a treat already.
George fought his big fish for ages while I was learning to control my new Phantom 4 Pro + drone
At one stage he made strong reference to the fact he had bugger all line left as the big fish had gotten into the strong river current and he couldn’t get it back to the boat.
I had no choice but to take the Minn Kota out of “Anchor Lock” and go after George’s fish.
We caught up about 500m away, with the drone still hovering over the creek mouth.
Luckily, it still had enough battery power to bring it down the river and over the top of us, and we were able to film from above as I netted the big fish.
That'll get to our NAFA YouTube station soon.
Interestingly, come the weekend, and with more than 80 boats on the Daly, the fishing had slowed down considerably.
I’m told that it was rising over the weekend, and the creeks weren’t running nearly as clearly as earlier in the week.
Perhaps by this weekend, as the neap tides approach, it will go off again.
The Daly is far from the only option this weekend.
For starters, the Finniss River and Little Finniss River are fishing better than they have in years.
There seems to be thousands of barra in the 80cm-plus range biting like mad in and around those two locations which are accessed from Dundee Beach.
I have no doubt these are all liberated fish which have escaped from previously land-locked freshwater reaches of the Finniss River system.
Also fishing well is the South Alligator River, both up the top at down near the mouth.
In particular, up inside Nourlangie Creek is currently home to endless numbers of “green” barra which have escaped from the billabongs.
From Sunday onwards could also be ideal to fish the mouth of the Mary River.
It’s due to go crazy with big silver barra and early next week might just be when this happens.
George Moussa’s fat Daly River metrey succumbed to a Killalure 12+ Barra Bait in a great new fluoro-colour design.
Our fishing writer favoured the Classic 120 suspending lure in this Bobbly Dazzler Nitro pattern.
Rolf Hallenstein with a great saltwater barra caught on a green Bomber 16A during a top session out from the mouth of the Daly River.