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Alex's Column

The vagaries of our Top End wet season never cease to amaze.

One minute we are looking forward to a bumper Runoff season thanks to record early monsoonal rains; the next minute we are becrying more than a week of hardly any rain and the need for another monsoonal burst.

It’s definitely too early to worry about not getting more serious rain, but many anglers are getting a tad nervous.

My old mate, Fishing and Outdoor World’s George Voukolos, is looking to the heavens and wondering.

“I’m very nervous,” George said. “It’s exactly the same as what happened last year, although the first monsoon was later then.

“We want all the rain that went to Queensland to come back.

“We’ve still got a couple of weeks; we’ll know by early next week,” George explained.

“We’ve got lots of lures and barra tackle ordered so were just hoping we get the rain to go with it and the fish are biting.

“There’s a lot of water out on the floodplains, so it’s not going to take much to make the rivers run properly.

“But I am very worried about the South Alligator; it didn’t get a proper flush last year.

“That mud bar at the boat ramp is massive, so we need heaps of rain up in the South Alligator catchment to flush the river.

“I hear the water has kind of stabilised at Shady Camp; lots of water came down the Mary River and we just need the back up now,” George told me.

One thing about all the great early rain we experienced is that we’ll surely get a jelly prawn population explosion.

Next month it should be easy to get a big feed of prawns with a cast net and a bucket.

The Daly River has received an armada of boat visitation.

It rose to more than 10m at the crossing, and has steadied now at about 2m.

Old mate Stuey Brisbane from Daly River Barra Resort told me that there are plenty of feeder creeks flowing nice tannin-clear water, but not much has been getting caught.

“There have been some barra boofing, but they’re eating tiny stuff,” Stuey said.

“I reckon it’s way too early and we need more rain upriver.

“All the rain we got was mainly coastal, but upstream there wasn’t much at all,” Stuey explained.

Mind you, talented local anglers Evan Dixon and Morris Pizzutto managed to find some quality barra down the Daly.

They finished sixth and seventh respectively in last year’s Top End Barra Series, and they sure know the Daly River.

Apparently, the creeks down near the mouth of the Daly are bubbling out of their mouths; there is so much water down there.

However, remember the Daly is closed to fishing below Moon Billabong outlet until 1 February.

I expect there’ll be a flotilla of boats poking around inside and outside the river mouth next month.


Morris Pizzutto with his terrific Daly River barra which he caught fishing with Evan Dixon


Evan Dixon reckons there are barra to be caught down the Daly, but you just need to put in the hard yards.


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