Alex's Column 10/12/20

Isn’t it amazing that, just 10 weeks into Million Dollar Fish Season 6, there have been 10 tagged barra caught: seven with red tags worth $10,000 each, two with purple charity tags worth $5,000 each and one with both a red and purple tag worth $15,000 in total.

Nearly $100,000 has been paid out by Sportsbet which partners NT Major Events in running the MDF campaign.

“We’re absolutely thrilled,” Sportsbet’s Brad Fanning told me.

“This is a record for the number of tag recaptures in such a short time.

“What we want now is for someone to catch one of those red-tagged barra worth $1million.

“Everyone here at Sportsbet is so keen for that to happen, and wouldn’t it be a huge boost for NT tourism at such a needy time?” Brad said.

The latest tagged barra to be captured was two weeks ago.

The lucky angler was Hayley Palazzi and her fish was worth $5000 as it carried a purple charity tag – half the prize went to Hayley and she donated the other half to the Cancer Council NT.

The biggest MDF barra recapture so far was a 98cm fish caught by visiting Queenslander, Ryan Curtis.

It was one of three caught in the first week of Season 6, and actually had a double tag: one red worth $10,000 and one purple worth $5,000 as a gift to a needy mate nominated by Ryan.

The most-unusual capture was Carly Petherick’s red-tag barra which she caught off the Nightcliff Jetty rocks using a handline.

If you want to have a go at catching an MDF barra this weekend, the tides are excellent for both Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour.

Saturday’s 1.6m low tide at 10.15am is perfect for both East Arm and Middle Arm in Darwin Harbour, and Sunday’s 1.0m low tide at 11.00am is ideal for both West Arm and Woods Inlet.

Tactics will be the usual: fish the flats first three to four hours before the low, and then move to the drains for the last couple of hours before the tide turns to come in.

Usually, the dead low is the least productive time to fish as there’s bugger all run, but after an hour or two of run-in, expect the most action until it gets too high.

Once again, fish those drains on the run-in, but also look for agitated bait, and also “boofing” if you’re lucky enough to hear or see barra feeding.

The only dampener – if you excuse the pun – is that it could be raining heavily.

Predictions were that a monsoonal trough could form by mid-December thanks to the La Nina effect.

However, just checking the Bureau of Metreology’s website, it seem a tropical low off north-west Australia might drag any monsoonal activity away from the NT.

Much as we don’t want to be out there fishing when the sky is falling down, we really do need to get this wet season kick-started in a big way.

It can’t come soon enough.





Carly Petherick abandoned modern high-tech barra tackle and scored her 10K fish on a handline fishing off the Nightcliff Jetty rocks.

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