It’s shaping up to be a typical dry season: cool mornings, balmy days, clear blue skies and often windy conditions.
We talk about good and bad wet seasons, based on how much rain we get, but from a fishing perspective, there are also good and bad dry seasons.
Those aren’t based on rainfall because, really, there isn’t any; they’re based on how many days we get with uncomfortable to strong winds.
For my money, a bad dry season is when the wind just doesn’t give up: those east/south-easterlies blow strong for days, even weeks, on end.
Conversely, a good dry season is when the winds are just a slight breeze for extended periods of time.
So far, this dry season has been on the windy side; the last two to three weeks in particular have been plagued by strong winds, at times gusting to more than 40km/h.
That made it difficult – or at least a tad uncomfortable – to fish offshore.
However, the news for this coming weekend is much better: the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting 10-20km/h winds offshore from Darwin for both Saturday and Sunday.
What will make conditions even better offshore is that the tides will be neap this weekend, so there won’t be roaring currents.
Old mate Ronald Voukolos from Fishing and Outdoor World told me there were some good reports from the last set of neap tides.
“East Point shallows fished well for big GTs and queenfish, mainly by just drifting around and casting,” Ronald said.
“There’ve also been several reports of good golden snapper sessions between Indian Island in Bynoe Harbour and Tapa Bay.
“Coral trout have been biting at Loee Patches, with one bloke catching a dozen in a session.
“There have been macs out wide of Loee too,” Ronald said.
If you’d like to have a shot at a big mackerel or two fishing in close, Lee Point could well produce this weekend.
Three factors line up here in terms of producing some great mackerel fishing: mackerel love the gloom of first and last light to chase a feed; there should be bugger-all wind; and there’ll be a good tide change both days, especially mid-to-late afternoon.
If you’re really serious about targeting a big Lee Point mac, use live garfish caught on the spot and fished under a float.
Easier though is to anchor or spot-lock with your electric outboard and float ganged pilchards out the back of the boat in the current.
However, you’ll also need to berley with crushed pilchards, but keep the berley trail to a mere trickle – and with no big chunks – as you want your macs to smell the feed and swim up through it but not have anything big enough to chew until you float back your whole ganged pilchard.
I like to hand crush the pilchards in a bucket of sea water and just dribble the smelly soup into the sea just a little at a time.
On the barra scene, I heard that the Finniss mouth fished well.
Shady Camp freshwater is chockers with juvenile barra, but downriver a few bends there have been some solid barra biting on the troll.
I reckon the Daly might just be the pick of the bunch this weekend, mainly because there will be great water clarity for a long way downriver on the neaps.
l trolled up this Daly River barra using a Bomber 16A.