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Alex's Column 19th August 2021

The tides this weekend are spot on for both estuary and bluewater fishing.

We’re just coming off the neaps, so water clarity will be great, and the building tides will definitely trigger fish into eating.

What’s more, there’s a full moon on Monday and the lead-up to a full moon is always a good thing fishing wise.

Winds offshore won’t be too bad – mainly easterlies around 15-20km/h – so trailer boats of 5m or longer should have no difficulties.

There are plenty of options for offshore fishing this weekend.

Similar tides a fortnight ago produced good reef fish out wide at South Gutter and North Gutter.

Down Loee Patches way, goldies were on the chew, as were Spanish mackerel which was not surprising given that Loee Patches is a recognised mackerel hotspot in the dry season.

Further down the coast, off Dundee, the world is your oyster with both great pelagic and reef fishing on offer.

There are bait schools wide of Dundee, and both mackerel and longtail tuna are feeding.

That means there are probably a few billfish around too, especially sailfish… although they were noticeably absent in the recent round four of the Top End Billfish Series.

Out wide of Dundee at places like Sail City, trolling a spread of skipping garfish and/or swimming mullet – as well as a nice squid teaser chain – could well raise a billfish or two.

For best chances, focus on the bait schools, trolling around them but not through them.

Even further to the south-west, at and around the Peron Islands, both the surface and bottom action could even be hotter.

Here’s a tip: look for reefs around the 20m mark.

Plan your assault on either reef fish or pelagic species right on the turn of the tide… and that’s no matter where you are fishing.

If you’re thinking of some barra fishing in the estuaries, both Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour are worth a shot, especially on Sunday.

As the tide drops, look for places where the water has come out of the mangroves.

Perhaps your best barra shot will be in Shoal Bay.

Trolling and casting the mouth of King Creek, for example, could pay off with some nice big silver fish.

And don’t discard up the Howard River itself.

On the inland scene, I’m happy to report that Corroboree Billabong continues to go crazy, but only for juvenile barra.

In Kakadu, the winds of late have stirred up the water, causing discoloration; that was certainly evident last Monday when I was dragged kicking and screaming on a Yellow Water cruise.

Actually, it was most enlightening, and we even saw a big croc swishing a file snake above its head.

Blair Webb’s 106cm ripper barra was caught down the Daly River fishing with Mousie's Barra and Bluewater Fishing Charters.


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