Without getting hopes up too high, it looks like we may well be in for both an early and a big wet season in the coming months.
Following two abysmal years of very little rain, the odds definitely favoured that we’d be in for a good one. This follows an announcement from the Bureau of Metreology that Australia is three times more likely than normal to experience a La Niña event within the next few months.
According to the bureau, La Niña, one of several climate drivers that influence our weather, typically brings increased rain across much of Australia, more tropical cyclones, earlier monsoon onset and warmer overnight temperatures in the north.
The report stated: “The last La Niña period in Australia occurred from 2010 to 2012.
“During La Niña, it's typical for the Top End to receive above-average rainfall early in the wet season, and slightly above average rainfall later in the wet season.”
In recent years, we have been plagued by the opposite occurrence to La Niña: El Niño.
Typically, a strong El Niño year leads to poor rainfall levels across northern Australia.
To back up the bureau’s prognosis, it’s been pretty hard not to notice the increase in both temperature and humidity over the last week or so.
How true is the old adage that “it doesn’t stay cold too long in the Top End”?
Of course, we all know the main reason we need a good, early, long wet season is that it improves the barra fishing, especially during the Runoff.
But I’m also looking forward to our inland billabongs getting a good flush.
Corroboree Billabong certainly needs it to drown the vast lily paddocks.
Also, Four Mile Hole is blanketed with salvinia, and that needs to be washed away.
A mate of mine visited Yellow Waters Billabong near Cooinda in Kakadu, and he said that was starting to get taken over by salvinia too.
Another reason for a good long wet season and subsequent great Runoff is that it brings more people to the Top End, and doesn’t the tourist industry need that at the moment.
On the general fishing front, Spanish mackerel are still going ballistic offshore, and there’ve been lots of quality reef fish on the bite.
However, expect blustery conditions this weekend which doesn’t help the offshore-fishing cause.
Winds will abate at night so it’s worth noting that barra are still on the chew at Corroboree Billabong after dark.
I dare say it’ll be the same story in some of those smaller Kakadu Billabongs like Alligator and Home.
The tides are very much neaps this weekend, so consider fishing for barra and jew at places like Leaders Creek, inside the mouth of the Adelaide River and Saltwater Arm.
If you just want a nice place to go and soak up some beautiful scenery, with a chance of a barra or two, these tides are ideal for water clarity on the Daly River.
If you’re after a big barra, word has it that some beauties have been caught lately down the Victoria River… and the neap tides are just spot on for there too.
Brooke Bentley and Ellen Fisher went out from Dundee with Mousies Barra & Bluewater Fishing Charters, scoring a pair of tasty coral trout for their trouble.