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FISHING With Alex Julius 31/01/2019

If there’s one pair of anglers who know how to catch barra, it’s the father-and-son team known as The Dickos.
Michael Dickinson – aka Dicko –  has been catching lots of barra, and plenty of big ones, for at least the last 25 years that I can remember.
He’s a competitive bugger too; there’s not a barra tournament goes by that he’s not competing in.
He’s won his share too, including the Aurora Kakadu Klash as a team and the Club Marine Barra Nationals as Champion Angler… and there may be others.
In recent years, Dicko’s son Daniel – apparently also aka Dicko – has fished alongside his dad in many barra tournaments.
To say that young Dicko is a chip off the old Dicko’s block is a fair comment, especially after his efforts last weekend.
He was fishing with mates Daniel Banks and Adrian Kiwi land-based near a creek mouth down the Daly River and over two days landed 60 barra.
Many of these were good fish in the 80cm range but the fish that counted was young Dicko’s 120cm silver slab of a barra.
“We were chucking big Reidys Rubbers into very tight country,” Dicko told me.
“There were mullet getting boofed on the surface and we lost a big fish on the first day.
“That night we upgraded our lures with extra-strong treble stingers, and did up our drags so you couldn’t pull line at all.
“Word had gotten out and on the second day there were another 30 anglers along the river bank,” Dicko told me.
“We had a game plan which involved three different locations; when they stopped biting in one location, we moved to the next.
“Our tactic was to throw the big Reidys upriver from the bait and let them drift down underneath the schools.
“That’s where the barra were: on the bottom.
“We caught lots of good fish, and then the big girl came out to play.
“It was pretty well hooked and jumped straight away, so I reefed it towards me.
“It jumped again and I reefed on it again, right on to the bank.
“That’s when Daniel dived on it before it could slip back into the water.
“It was a real team effort with Daniel wrestling the big barra and Adrian hanging onto his feet,” the talented angler explained.
Apparently the whole fight took just 8 seconds, and you can imagine how green the fish was on the slippery river bank.
“It was my biggest wild-caught barra and it swam away beautifully,” the chip off the old block told me.
Congratulations to young Dicko; and for the record, old Dicko went down the next day but the river had risen and the fish had gone.
It seems it’s just impossible to get any closure on a wet season proper happening.
I spoke with forecaster Peter Claasson from the Met Bureau and he told me this weekend was about as good as it would get for some time.
“We’re looking at a westerly flow over the Top End,” Peter said.
“There’s a high chance of rain on Saturday, and Sunday will be the peak of anything close to a monsoon.
“Our best chance of good rain for a while will be this weekend.
“The MJO will be moving out of our area so it could be another 30 or more days before another monsoonal burst,” Peter explained.
That’s not good news at all; however, it seems there’s a lot more rain happening over north Arnhem Land, thanks mainly to the low just out of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Let’s hope that low blows our way and not the opposite.


dicko's 120
1.    Daniel “Dicko” Dickinson with his 120cm Daly River barra which he caught land-based on a big Reidys

Jason Bluebone
2.    Jason Wilhelm with one of the tastiest fish in the sea: the blue tuskfish, aka bluebone.

Don Russlls 100cm barra
3.    Don Russell’s metre barra came from an Arnhem Land estuary.