Alex's Column 22/4/21

It’s certainly all happening at the moment.

We’ve just had the Great Northern Girls Gone Fishin competition, the Darwin Billfish Bash, and the Top End Billfish Series round one, the Dundee Beach Billfish Carton Challenge will be on this weekend, the NT Barra Nationals will kick off in a week’s time, and the NT Barra Classic is happening right now down the Daly River.

Everyone involved in those events must surely be breathing a sigh of relief that we’ve had a terrific wet season.

Most people understand how that works to ensure a good Runoff across our big tidal rivers, but the big Wet also impacts on the blue water.

Flooded rivers pour freshwater into the sea, and with the water are many thousands of tonnes of baitfish and crustaceans.

That works its way up the food chain and the billfish are in second heaven.

That’s why there is so much billfish action happening at the moment off Dundee.

Last week’s Darwin Game Fishing Club Billfish Bash was a great success for the 17 teams that competed.

According to DGFC Vice President, Melita McKinnon, conditions were lumpy on the first day, but there were still 7 fish tagged.

“This included an estimated 70kg black marlin tagged by Tim Roberts from Team Big Fish,” Melita said.

“A couple of big marlin were lost as well.”

Rohan and Jessica Walker in Team Rips Way sadly lost a black marlin early in the morning, but they came back strongly when Jessica caught and tagged a terrific sailfish with just 20 minutes before lines-in.

The conditions were much better on the Sunday, and another 8 billfish were tagged.

Of the 62 anglers who took part, 13 were juniors.

One of the great things about Top End fishing clubs is that they all seem to nurture junior fishos… great to see.

Champion Team in the Billfish Bash was Team Big Fish (Josh Ker, Tim Roberts, Scott Lathlean and Darryn Bromley).

They tagged one marlin and three sailfish.

Team Captain Cooked was runner-up, beating Team Cutting Edge on a countback.

Tim Roberts was Champion Male, Melissa Krollig was Champion Female and Grace Krollig was Champion Junior.

Getting back to the Barra Classic, which is only into its second competition day, it seems the Daly is producing fish on the cast at creek mouths and also on the troll where the water is clear enough.

The first day produced 213 barra with the biggest a 90cm fish caught by Skevos Politis.

Team Reel Easy is leading with 575 points.

With the neap tides happening at the moment, trolling could well produce some truly big barra.

The Craig's Warehouse Junior Fun Day on the Daly was a huge success just prior to the start of the Classic.

A total of 64 junior anglers caught, tagged and released 23 barra.

Meanwhile, for those anglers who are waiting for the East Alligator River to reopen following its closure after the passing of a senior traditional owner, I understand the chains have been removed from the boat ramps and you are permitted to launch.


Rohan and Jessica Walker in Team Rips Way with Jessica’s caught and tagged a terrific sailfish with just 20 minutes before lines-in in the Darwin Billfish Bash.

Photo by Tynan Bartolo