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Alex's Column 19 January 2024

Well done Huey… you’ve finally delivered.

After an increasingly worrying period of absent monsoonal rainfall, and the threat of a non-wet wet season, our first monsoonal trough for the year came in and swallowed up the Top End with torrential rainfall.

This is the sort of monsoon we love: it’s been widespread across the Top End and flooded all those major big rivers that Darwinites love to fish during the Runoff.

At time of writing, the Daly is rising as a steady pace and is probably double figures over the old crossing already.

That’s a relief to organisers of the big barra comps held on the Daly.

Down the mighty Victoria River way, the floodwater is higher than 11m and rising.

Make sure you don’t cross over at Vic bridge and need to get back in a hurry.

Closer to Darwin, the Finniss River is awash with flowing flood and will definitely be on the hit list of many anglers in the areas that can be fished.

Adelaide River is no exception: there’s been mild flooding at the township and that will extrapolate to torrents of flowing water downstream.

Mind you, the lower reaches of the Adelaide are copping their own direct bucketing rainfall.

Of course, the place on everyone’s lips is the iconic Shady Camp and from there down the Mary River all the way to the mouth at Sampan Creek.

Finally, you’ll be able to launch your boat on any tide as water cascades over the Shady Camp rock-bar.

Shady will no doubt go off again this year once the rains have finished and the river settles.

Can you also imagine how fiercely all those sweet coastal creeks will flow, and how the mullet will jam into the tannin-coloured creek mouths on the big high tides… it will be mayhem!

Ditto goes for the Wildman River which won’t be accessible yet from the Point Stuart Road but will still attract keen anglers launching at Shady and running the gauntlet of the trip around.

On to the South Alligator River in Kakadu National Park and there should be plenty of tea-stained water at feeder creek mouths from the top of the river right down to the mouth.

The only worry there is that dreaded mud-bar that forms in front of the South Alligator boat ramp early in the wet season every year.

You can tick off the fingers of both your hands when counting how many boats get caught on that bar and can’t budge for hours.

Fortunately, fast flood water eventually moves it to down below the ramp, and then it’s all sweet going.

The East Alligator River is running a gutser: Magela Creek on the Oenpelli Road is far too high for any attempt to cross it, and is likely to stay that way for weeks now.

But that won’t stop diehard East Alligator anglers from boating down the South Alligator and shooting across open water to get up inside the East.

A secret word on many anglers’ lips is “Roper”, and I can tell you the usual conspiracy is taking place as Roper River addicts secretly plan their Runoff forays.

Yes, it’s all looking good for a super Runoff which may well get going by the end of the month.

However, having said that, wouldn’t it be great to get another monsoonal whack as big as and as concentrated as this one?

Bring it on I reckon.

Seven Spirit Bay delivered a terrific golden snapper for Eli Carroll and Holly Beath.

Charlie Beath was rapt with his Seven Spirit Bay jewfish.


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