Alex's Fishing Report 23 June 2016
If you’re thinking of wetting a line for barra in the salt water this weekend, there are definitely some possibilities based on the run of tides.
At first glance, you might think the low tides are a bit late and a bit high for Darwin Harbour.
Based on a couple of trips I’ve done of late, when the low tides were a good metre higher than those this weekend, there are definitely barra to be caught.
Roger Sinclair and I worked some flats near Blessers Creek early last Monday on a 3.3m low tide.
We fished there to escape the near-howling south-easterlies.
The dead-neap low tide was nearly in the mangroves but a couple of nice barra jumped on our lures as the tide pushed in.
It was interesting that fish were positioned right at the pointy end of gutters, basically just as they rose to the edge of the mangroves.
In fact, you had to cast past mangrove clumps to get to the apex of each gutter.
So the 2.3m and 2.4m tides this weekend could work fine, but I expect that will be mainly on the incoming an hour or so after the turn from the low tide.
That means you’ll be fishing until dark, especially on Sunday, but that could be an incentive for the barra to bite; more so if there’s some bait pushing towards the mangroves with the rise.
The plus side of a Darwin Harbour barra session this weekend is that you won’t need to hit the water until early afternoon, given that you’ll be focusing your time on the first half of the run-in tide.
Another salty barra option this weekend is Shoal Bay and its Howard River, Tree Point Inlet, King Creek, Mekitts Creek and even Buffalo Creek.
We’re looking at the opposite scenario to Darwin Harbour with Shoal Bay.
The go here would be to launch early at Buffalo Creek boat ramp – even at first light – and head towards your favourite Shoal Bay location.
Work the points and snags until an hour or so after high tide, then get the hell out of there and back into Buffalo Creek before it closes around lunchtime on Saturday and a bit later on Sunday.
You might like to try a bit of trolling around the top of the tide at the creek mouths and along the western Shoal Bay edges.
Be ready for anything too as we’re talking potential metre-plus barra on this water, especially given the height of the big tides.
According to Fishing and Outdoor World’s Matt West, Bynoe Harbour has also been producing a few barra, mainly on the flats.
The scenario to follow there is the same as I’ve suggested for Darwin Harbour, but you’ll be driving back to Darwin in the dark.
Matty reckoned the guides were catching some reasonable barra in the Finniss River and Corroboree too.
Offshore this weekend could be a mixed bag.
There’s a chance of longtail tuna and Spanish mackerel action from No 6 Buoy to Lee Point, but the best pelagic fishing will be much further offshore around Fenton Patches and out to North Gutter.
The wind will be the key here.
According to the Bureau of Metreology, a ridge off the Queensland coast means easterly winds up to 20 knots on Saturday before a sea breeze kicks in during the afternoon.
On Sunday, the winds will be weakening with a sea breeze tipped around lunchtime, so that’s the day for an offshore foray.
These are go-between tides this weekend for bluewater fishing, which basically means you can try the Vernon Islands, offshore Darwin or down the coast around Dundee.
Tim Pel enjoyed barra success using weedless soft plastics in Darwin Harbour last weekend.
Roger Sinclair was up to his old Darwin Harbour tricks, nailing some silver, tasty barra on weedless-rigged ZMan softies.
Lill Franklin’s 60cm barra came on a Helifish trip.