Alex's Fishing Report 30 June 2016
It’s official: El Nino is gone and won’t be back for at least 12 months.
This is according to the Bureau of Metreology which describes the El Nino effect as the above-average warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean which in turn causes a shift in atmospheric circulation.
The El Nino that has just died was one of the most-severe ever recorded, and it was the reason why we had such a pathetic wet season in terms of rainfall.
Following on the heels of two previous below-average wet seasons, the impact on our Top End rivers and floodplains has generally been huge.
With the exception of the Daly River this year at least, there’s been minimal run-off and therefore minimal amazing run-off barra fishing.
We are desperate for a good wet season and guess what: we may just get one.
In place of Mexican bandit El Nino, a sweet Senorita might be heading our way.
Her name is La Nina and her impact is pretty well the exact opposite of El Nino.
According to the Bureau again: La Nina refers to the extensive cooling of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean… and is associated with increased probability of wetter conditions over much of Australia, particularly over eastern and northern areas.
Currently the betting is a bit better than 50:50 that we’ll get a strong La Nina in the coming months, but it’s getting increasingly in favour of that happening.
If it does develop, expect the monsoonal season to start earlier than usual (starting just at all would be nice for a change), with more build-up rain and an overall wetter wet season.
This also means a significant increase in cyclones across northern Australia during the cyclone season
According to the Bureau, sometimes a strong El Nino moves to a strong La Nina, and that’s what we want.
But wait – there’s more.
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.
In a perfect world, La Nina will come in strongly too and we can all look forward to months of great rainfall starting as early as September.
Wouldn’t that be great?
Onto the local fishing scene and this weekend we have making spring tides and 15-20km/h winds.
Although the low tides could be lower, at least they fall nicely for a non-stress day on the water.
If you’re thinking of a bit of Darwin Harbour barra fishing, launching at first light on both Saturday or Sunday will be fine.
Actually, the tides on Sunday are not bad for a Shoal Bay lock-in, but you would really need to be heading out of Buffalo Creek with the first glow.
Although the winds won’t be too bad for a serious offshore foray in a half-decent trailer boat, you may not need to go that far if Lee Point fishes the way it did last weekend.
Mackerel, longtail tuna and queenfish were all on the chew last Sunday, but boats that caught fish had to move around a bit.
Alex Patsalides at Fishing and Outdoor World told me there were some good macs and GTs jigged up at both South and North Gutter.
Alex reckoned Dundee has been fishing better than anywhere else offshore; goldies have been biting as well as the usual pelagic suspects and a few metre-long cobia.
Floating a ganged pilchard in a berley trail, Gavin Bedford caught this beaut Spanish mackerel near Anglers Reef off Lee Point.
Jason Sinclair’s longtail tuna came from a school of mainly shy fish near Lee Point.