Per capita, Darwin would have the largest number of boats of any city in Australia.
However, not every Darwin angler owns or has access to a boat.
Luckily for them, there is a plethora of land-based-fishing options around Darwin.
A consistent land-based location is Rapid Creek where even very big barra have been caught.
For convenience, you can fish off the Rapid Creek bridge, or the nearby specially-constructed fishing platform, but your prospects will improve if you scurry onto the rocks at the mouth and fish them during the last half of the falling tide… but it must be a big spring tide.
Not far away just out of Darwin’s Northern Suburbs is Buffalo Creek, and I rate this as a legitimate barra hotspot during the build-up season.
You can cast lures or live bait off the beach to the left of the boat ramp, especially on a rising tide as barra move into the creek.
However, those in the know walk the track heading upstream from the ramp, and stop to cast over a rock-bar that often holds barra, especially at night.
East Point rocks are good for barra too.
The best fishing is on the western end of East Point, in sight of the Fannie Bay Beach, and a falling tide is the premium time.
A popular location is Mindil Beach right next to the casino where Casino Creek empties into Fannie Bay.
You can throw a cast-net there for bait and soak it on the high tide.
If you don’t catch anything, you can always hit the tables.
Elizabeth Creek is Palmerston’s favourite land-based spot, and is no more of an effort than walking onto the dedicated fishing jetty.
However, you’re more likely to encounter a barra casting and bait fishing closer to the rocky shoreline.
Live-baiting from the rock wall near the Deck Chair Cinema on a big high tide will not only give you a chance at a barra, but all manner of other species get caught there, including: queenfish, GTs, golden trevally, rock cod, jewfish and golden snapper. Catch your live herrings at Stokes Hill Wharf.
Other land-based spots worth visiting are: Nightcliff Jetty, East Arm ramp on the left at low tide, the inside of Channel Island, near the end of Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ski Club ramp following the ramp down and casting as the tide recedes, and Mandorah Jetty and boat ramp at the entrance to Darwin Harbour.
I had another shot at the South Alligator River last week and, perhaps surprisingly, the fishing was just as good as the week before.
With me were Roxy Woolley and Tahla Robinson, both very keen anglers.
We started up Nourlangie Creek which was flowing well and produced a few barra.
In fact, just about everywhere we tried, including several drains up the main river, fished quite well.
Once again the Squidgy Dura Stretch soft plastic kept getting devoured by hungry barra.
Late in the day, Nourlangie mouth looked good for a troll, and a threadfin salmon came on board almost immediately.
However, we had to leave before any barra showed interest in our lures.
I’m not sure how much longer the freshwater will flow down the river, but there are barra to be caught while it does.
Tahla Robinson was stoked with her first barra of the day caught at the South Alligator River.