FISHING With Alex Julius
All you can say about how the fishing went last weekend and since is that it was a very mixed bag indeed.
Every accessible big river was slammed by dozens and dozens of boats.
I checked out Shady Camp on Saturday and was surprised that there were hardly 50 rigs in the car-parks.
That’s probably because of all the publicity about bogged 4WDs at the start of the unsealed section.
We can thank the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics for getting in last Friday and today a great temporary repair job.
In fact, driving in was a breeze.
Unfortunately, the quality of fishing didn’t live up to expectations.
People go to Shady in the hope of catching a big barra or two, but certainly the mouth of Sampan Creek had little to offer frustrated anglers.
We saw a couple of smallish barra caught, and I lost one on the jump, but it was tough fishing, and there was hardly any bait.
Storms were brewing in the distance over Tommycut Creek, so we didn’t make the sea run.
I did hear that there was a brief bite window at Tommycut mouth on the Sunday high tide.
If the fishing was hard going, that certainly wasn’t the case with launching.
The new boat ramp at Shady Camp is truly a fabulous facility during the Runoff.
Now two boats at a time can be launched and everybody is safe in the process.
We would not have had five minutes wait getting in and getting out; in the past at this time of year you’d be looking at half an hour minimum.
Apparently, the place to fish last weekend was the South Alligator River.
Old mate George Voukolos from Fishing and Outdoor World told me that one of his regulars caught more than a dozen nice barra just fishing the first few kilometres downriver from the bridge.
He simply cast hard-body lures to little drains with colour changes.
A creek on the right side heading down fished extremely well.
The Adelaide produced a few nice barra upriver on the weekend, and a few less downriver.
So where to go this weekend on the big tides?
The South Alligator would be the pick of the rivers, and that’s from top to bottom wherever there is clear water.
Subject to local weather conditions, those 7 metre-plus tides are just screaming coastal creeks.
I’m sure some huge fish will be hooked, if not caught, at the likes of Marsh Creek, Swim Creek and Thring Creek in Chambers Bay.
No doubt plenty of anglers will be working the Dundee coast with some boats venturing all the way west to Anson Bay to fish those ripper creeks either side of the Daly River mouth.
At time of writing the Daly River boat ramp was still closed but I understand work taking place might just get it open by the weekend.
If there’s one lure tip I can give you for fishing colour changes in the Runoff, it’s the Banana Green Classic Ghost 120.
Forgetting the Runoff for a moment, Bynoe Harbour is a great option this weekend.
With one metre or less low tides over the weekend, there could be some great mud-gutter barra fishing.
Combine that with a couple of lazy nights at Crab Claw Island Resort, and maybe a bit of jewie fishing at night on the sunken jetty out the front of the resort, and a great weekend escape is assured.
Tony Halikos and family and friends had a great black jew session on the jetty reef.
“You can’t beat local squid straight off the prawn trawlers,” Tony told me.
“We hit the reef after the tide had already turned and the squid were attacked by jew within seconds.
“My mate using vibes didn’t get a touch, but they loved the squid, a live mullet we had, and big Gulps too,” Tony said.
There are a couple of surveys that you might like to check out.
Do you fish the Lower Daly River, and do you care about future access to this area?
AFANT is asking these questions so it can make an informed and detailed submission to the Aboriginal Land Commissioner who is reviewing the Lower Daly (bed and banks) Land Claim.
AFANT Executive Director, David Ciaravolo, said: “In our view, the detriment matters relating to recreational fishing in the claim area are in serious need of updating.
“This means that we need you to share info about your fishing in and access of this area with us.
“Don't delay, we need your response now!
“The statement of detriment being prepared by AFANT is part of the official process of providing evidence of existing use in Land Claim areas.
“The Commissioner’s report will usually inform future relevant Ministerial decisions, including about the need for future access arrangements,” David said.
Go to the Amateur Fishermen’s Association NT Facebook page to click on the survey.
The other survey is about how Fisheries Research funds should be spent.
Old mate Chris Calogeras is involved in the project and said: “It’s important that fisheries research, development and extension projects are directed at the right places, and that funds are spread out across all fisheries sectors: commercial, aquaculture, recreational and indigenous.
“The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation is working with the NT Research Advisory Committee and key organisations to help steer this research funding in the right directions.
“They will develop a 5-year Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan for Northern Territory Fisheries and Aquaculture, and want your help by completing a short online survey before 4 March 2018,” Chris explained.
Head to the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NTRecreational.
1. Skevos Trikilis caught this 1.2m black jew on a local squid bait fishing the jetty wreck straight out the front of Crab Claw Island Resort.
2. Nick Trikilis sat all night without a bite, then banged three jew in a row on Berkley Gulps.
3. Bynoe Harbour is renowned for its big mud crabs, and young John Halikos presents evidence backing that claim.