The tides this weekend are a bit of an each-way bet, moving towards neap tides next week but still with a few metres of movement on both Saturday and Sunday.
With windy conditions forecast yet again, it could be a good day to tuck up into one of the many sheltered spots up Darwin Harbour’s five arms and cast lures or live-bait for barra.
High tide is around mid-morning, so you don’t have to get up early to have a leisurely few hours fishing the run-out tide from about noon.
Another good option is to anchor up on a harbour arm rock-bar and fish for golden snapper and bream.
Squid and prawn baits are best, fished on a paternoster or simple running sinker rig if the area is not too snaggy.
A sharp, fine-gauge hook like the Mustad Penetrator is ideal in a No 1 or thereabouts.
Another popular approach is to bounce small soft plastics across likely fish-holding areas, allowing you to cover a bit more ground and fish more actively.
If you suddenly hook something that pulls twice as hard, it’s probably one of the mangrove jacks that call the harbour home.
Longtail tuna are around in fair numbers now, and you don’t have to go too far from Darwin to find them.
A number of local anglers have been targeting these speedsters on light gear, which is great fun if you can find a co-operative school.
Head out early and try to beat the wind if you want to catch a tuna.
Some bigger Spanish mackerel are starting to show up.
I heard of a beauty landed off Stokes Hill Wharf recently on a metal slug.
Speaking of land-based fishing, Darwin’s shore brigade has been hitting the jackpot recently with big queenies.
Good fish are coming from the rocks at East Point, and the Mandorah jetty is producing too.
Lightly-weighted live-baits are the best enticement, and make sure you take a drop gaff if you want to land the fish.
For those who want to avoid the wind, consider a trip inland this weekend.
As reported last week, Corroboree is going ballistic with small barra, and there are solid reports from Kakadu billabongs as well.
The fish are biting through the day as the sun warms the water, so start off with a bit of trolling, before casting into the lilies as the sun gets higher in the sky.
Round four of the Top End Billfish Series was held over the weekend.
The strong winds early and the lack of positive reports leading up to the round kept many competitors off the water.
There were four boats on Saturday and four on Sunday.
It seems the only competitor to catch a billfish was Rodney Mychas.
“We raised two sailfish and I hooked and landed one about 15kg,” Rod said.
Rod clearly won this round, and he’s certainly the angler to beat this year as he’s now won three of the four rounds held so far.
Rod reckons it’s all about persistence.
“It glassed out in the afternoon both days after being shitty in the mornings, and that’s when the bait came up from the bottom,” Rod explained.
“There was bait shimmering everywhere in the afternoon, and we saw lots of baitballs,” the talented angler told me.
Rod Mychas did it again over the weekend, winning round four of the Top End Billfish Series thanks to this terrific sailfish.