FISHING With Alex Julius
I spent Christmas with friends in Broome WA, and I left them last Wednesday afternoon to enjoy a good start to their wet season.
It was such a good start that I was lucky to get out; that’s because a cyclone formed practically over the top of Broome.
It was just a tad to the north, descending on the famous pearling town just as my plane took off, the last plane to take off or land that day as the airport was closed once we were away.
Normally, a cyclone coming that close to a town is not good news, but Cyclone Hilda, as it was named, was hardly a Category 1 as it slipped by the Port of Broome.
However, it brought plenty of rain and heralded the start of the west Kimberley wet season.
Arriving in a much-drier Darwin, I did know that there had been some good rain across the Top End, although still only of the build-up variety.
Checking the forecasts for the New Year period, it seems that we’re in for some dry weather over the next few days, and bugger all wind too.
Much as we’d all like for the wet season to get going in earnest, if you’ve nothing planned for the next three days at least, then you may as well wet a line because conditions in every aspect should be just dandy.
The weather should be perfect but I love the tides too, especially for some saline barra fishing.
Currently, we’re moving quickly off the neap tides and into spring tides with plenty of movement.
Barra in Darwin Harbour’s arms and in Bynoe Harbour are likely to go ballistic over the next three days, especially as it’s just before the full moon.
As well, tomorrow’s 1.4m low tide at 10.45am is a ripper for the famous Shoal Bay Rock.
Mind you, to go there, you’d have to be launching at Buffalo Creek at very first light, and get out of the creek and across the bay to the Rock in a hurry.
Tuesday’s .05 low tide at 12.20pm is my pick for Bynoe Harbour which works well when the water runs right out of the mangroves and off the mud flats.
Wherever you chase a barra over the next few days, make sure you check for red tags… there are still plenty out there.
With so little wind, out on the blue water is a great option but, with tides getting smaller, tomorrow is better than the following day which is better than the day after that.
By Tuesday, there’ll be strong currents offshore and water clarity will be compromised.
A word of caution though: even though the Bureau of Metreology forecasts are for minimal rain and hardly a breath of wind, a storm or two could still develop, so be prepared to run if you’re out to sea and one comes up.
I’m sure this time next week I’ll be reporting of great New Year fishing, but make sure your’s is a safe one.
1. Mia Taylor, 7, learning the ropes: trevally are a great fish to teach youngsters good rod work.
2. Jeanette Taylor and son Andy with a silver barra from a hot estuary barra bite.
3. Col Taylor’s Christmas holiday in Arnhem Land paid off with some great barra action.