FISHING With Alex Julius
The Top End wet season arriving before Christmas is generally unlikely.
I can’t say for sure but it seems to me that we’ve had a pretty ordinary build-up to date.
I can gauge that just by the amount of times the power goes off out here at Howard Springs – it’s been pretty good this year, and that’s simply because of lack of storms.
Having said that, along comes a significant tropical low which not long ago was Cyclone Owen until it crossed over north Queensland and then took up residence in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Back on water, it was tipped – and in fact was a no brainer – that it would reform as a cyclone, as it did – Cyclone Owen version two.
The nice people at the Bureau of Metreology are predicting it will reach a category 3, which is not to be sneezed at.
Weirdly, it’s also tipped to do a U-turn before it reaches the NT coast and skedaddle back to Queensland. It may have already done so as you read this.
Apparently, all the models are showing that, thus, on the face of it, we will be missing out on serious rain falling across the Top End.
Never mind the potential consequences of a raging cyclone hitting land – no one wants that – but the accompanying deluge would be an early Christmas present and a great start to the wet season proper.
But all is not lost.
I had a chat to people at the bureau and the disappearing cyclone is also likely to suck in monsoonal-like weather from the northern hemisphere.
There’ll be an increase in westerly winds and tomorrow or Saturday we should get some fair-dinkum rain over Darwin and coastal regions like the Mary River and Kakadu.
You may also have heard that this could be an El Nino year – you know, warm currents across the Pacific and a lot less rain for Australia.
There’s a 70% chance of this happening but, being where we are, the impact would not be anywhere near as severe as on the eastern states.
That’s because we have our regular MJO events – I explained this many times but you can google it – and we are closer to monsoonal activity which comes down from the north.
The bottom line is that the wet season might get going before next week, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Territory fishers will have access to a new fishing spot near Katherine thanks to a $100,000 government grant under the new Recreational Fishing Grants Scheme.
The scheme is part of the Government’s $50 million investment in recreational fishing, which is supporting the growth of the sector to create jobs.
The grant was given to the Amateur Fisherman’s Association NT (AFANT) to construct an access route to a spot known locally as 50K Hole on the Katherine River.
The proposed access route will pass through Manbulloo Station, and AFANT and the station leasee, Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to allow construction of the route and secure access.
50K Hole is located approximately 50km south-west of Katherine and public access to the site will be guided by a Code of Conduct developed by AFANT in consultation with CPC.
Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Ken Vowles, said: “The new Recreational Fishing Grants scheme was established to help eligible organisations apply for funding for projects to help grow the recreational fishing sector and create jobs.
“We put aside $1 million for grants over two years, and already this year we’ve seen AFANT, Darwin Game Fishing Club and Palmerston Game Fishing Club receive grants to hold community fishing events.
“This latest grant will add an extra fishing destination to the list of places where Territory fishos and fishing tourists can go to catch a barra – 50K Hole is recognised for its quality barra fishing,” Mr Vowles said.
AFANT President, Warren de With, said: “Improving access to fishing spots through pastoral lands has long been a focus for AFANT and we sincerely thank CPC for working so constructively with us to develop our proposal.
“This project is a big deal for fishing access in the Katherine region and there's a real buzz around it already.
“We've been thrilled to have local businesses and the Katherine Game Fishing Club get behind it,” Warren said.
1. Eliza Rynne’s big golden snapper snaffled a Gillies Shrimp on an Arafura Bluewater Charters trip.
2. Wai Nawana deckie, Harry Sutcliffe, with a not overly common small-mouth nannygai taken way offshore from Darwin.
3. That’s a hefty red emperor in this busy shot of Arafura Bluewater Charters’ Wai Nawana back deck taken by drone.