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Alex's Column 02/03/2023

The monsoon is well and truly with us, much to the delight of all Top End


It’s been raining across all our major catchment areas, and the rivers are

flowing strongly.

Organisers of the Barra Classic, the Barra Nationals and Girls Gone Fishing

competitions will be pleased to see the Daly well up: a good wet season is

important for the fishery in this iconic river.

There is plenty of water in rivers closer to Darwin as well.

It seems there are good prospects for continued rainfall right across all our

major rivers.

The current rainfall will almost certainly ease off in the next week, but it

may be followed by another burst of rain later this month.

Normally I’d be hoping for the rain to continue for a while longer, but we’ve

had so much over the last week that everything is flooded.

Water has been flowing over the Wildman River east branch culvert on the

Arnhem Highway.

In fact, the Kakadu road report advises four wheel drive only on the

Arnhem Highway.

Further into Kakadu, the Magela Creek crossing on the Oenpelli Road is

more than 2m under water – only last week I reported it was 0.6m high and

open to 4WD.

The new scenario is definitely welcomed because the lower Magela

floodplains desperately needed a serious drenching to get the outflow

moving; that’s now happened.

No doubt there’ll be boats galore hitting our big tidal rivers this weekend.

Last weekend, the Top End Barra Series was held at Shady Camp.

I’m still waiting for a detailed report, but there were a few terrific barra

caught in the river, mainly by anglers using Active Target sonar.

Given the tides were quite big, this weekend’s neap tides could facilitate

some serious barra action down at the mouth of the Mary.

But the river will be pumping, make no mistake about that.

I also expect plenty of anglers to zero in on the South Alligator River which

has surely burst its banks upstream.

I don’t have firsthand information, but I reckon that big mud bar at the

South Alligator boat ramp will have washed downstream by now.

Close to Darwin, the Adelaide River is flowing nicely, and there should be

heaps of flowing colour change upriver from the Arnhem Highway.

I’m sure there’ll also be plenty of anglers prospecting inside the mouth of

the Adelaide.

Getting back to the Daly River, it reached minor flooding level at the

crossing this week.

Given all the water still coming down from the Katherine area, I expect the

Daly will keep rising.

Further afield, hasn’t the Victoria River copped a rainfall pummelling this

wet season?

The Vic should have excellent runoff fishing in the weeks to come, but it

doesn’t seem to last long down there with its fast-draining catchments.

For anyone thinking of heading offshore this weekend, you might be lucky

but, most likely, blustery conditions will work against you.

Craig “Lats” Latimore pulled off a terrific barra once again at the Top End

Barra Series round held at Shady Camp last weekend.


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