Alex's Column 11/3/21

As expected, there’s been some bumper early Runoff fishing over the last week.

The Magela Crossing before the East Alligator River dropped to a metre over the weekend and a few vehicles drove through.

I understand there were some terrific colour changes at a few feeder creek mouths, and there were fish caught at various usual spots, including at the mouth of Magela Creek itself.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get any specific catch reports from the East, but as Magela Crossing drops further and more boats hit the river, we’ll know more.

Old mate Dave Pears from Frontier Marine electronics took the family to the South Alligator and reckons it’s an inland sea up the top.

“We caught lots of barra but they were all tiny,” Dave said.

“I think our biggest was 50cm.

“There was plenty of bait but no fish of size,” Dave reported.

That’s not an unusual scenario at the South Alligator early in the Runoff.

No doubt there are tonnes of fish down at the mouth, and they’ll likely move up in the coming weeks.

The Mary River and Shady Camp have been a mixed bag.

Last week you couldn’t do a thing wrong down the river and at the mouth.

There were huge schools of mullet moving through the mouth and barra were biting at many locations at the bottom end of Sampan Creek.

I heard of several significant catches, including plenty of barra in the 90s.

It was a similar story over at Tommycut Creek.

However, the action slowed significantly this week with less tidal movement.

I was there on Tuesday with Phil Hall and George Voukolos, and we spent most of our time up inside Tommycut, catching only small fish.

Other boats there didn’t seem to be fairing any better.

Meanwhile, back at Sampan Creek, a few good fish up to 101cm were caught and a couple of boats managed to rack up a score.

This weekend should be all about the coastal creeks either side of the Mary delta.

By all accounts, the Adelaide River hasn’t done much yet.

There’s a huge volume of water up the top, and downriver has been tough going too.

Mind you, that didn’t stop Dave Ashfield from catching a SportsBet Million Dollar Fish barra in the Adelaide that was worth $20,000.

It’s a different story over at the Finniss River where some magnificent barra have been caught in the first 5km up from the mouth.

Down at the Daly River, the best action has been at the mouth and at the coastal creeks in Anson Bay.

Reports of cricket-score catches along the coast have been numerous.

The river itself needs to drop a bit more for the feeder creeks in the upper tidal section to fire up, but that’ll happen soon enough.

Quite a bit further afield – unless you live in Katherine – the Victoria River has been going off big time.

Katherine anglers’ other favourite River, the Roper, is all set to fire.

That’s where you go when you really want double and triple hook-ups.

Leon Tarrant gives the thumbs up to Brent Murdoch after catching this terrific 93cm Shady Camp barra on the 16A Green Bomber.