Alex's Column 24/12/20

Today is Christmas Eve, and Top End fishos have received a great Chrissie present with the official onset of the monsoon recorded last Saturday 19 December 10 days earlier than average, or 75% earlier than past monsoon onsets.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology the monsoon arrived a month earlier than last wet season.

Let’s hope it’ll stick around a lot longer too.

Increased rain and an earlier monsoon onset are typical for La Niña events like the one we're experiencing.

As I write this, an active monsoon trough is extending right across the north coast of the Top End.

Good news is that it’s already dumped a heap of rain.

The Territory Wildlife Park, for example, has received 290mm in the last week.

There’s been plenty of rain down Katherine way too, and the Katherine River is pumping.

Always of intense interest to fishos is what’s happening at Daly River.

According to old mate Stuey Brisbane at Daly River Barra Resort, the Daly was nearly 6m and rising.

“I love the wet season,” Stuey said.

According to another old mate Andy Ralph in Kakadu: “The South Alligator is pumping and it has been for a week.

Although the East Alligator River at Cahill’s Crossing, which is 2m high, has also been pumping for a few weeks now, Kakadu’s creeks have finally received enough rain in the Arnhem Land catchment to get them well and truly flowing too.

“Nourlangie Creeks were the first to get going, followed by Magela, then finally Jim Jim Creek, which has now filled Yellow Water enough for the boat ramp to be closed to fishermen,” Andy reported.

“This is great news for land-based fishos who want to come out and give Kakadu’s culverts a crack, as quite a few barra have already been taken from the Nourlangie Bridges.

“Interestingly, usually when Cahill’s Crossing goes out, the Magela Crossing is not far behind, but it only went over the road on Monday, indicating that the south of the East’s catchment has been getting the bulk of the rain.

“And don’t forget the famous tidal culvert on the Arnhem Highway in between South Alligator River and the old Aurora Resort.

“It may not look like much but lots of meterys have been caught there over the years… even some by fishos on their way home after a day of donuts boating up and down the river,” Andy advised.

I can testify to that one.

The bureau has forecast more rain for much of the NT.

From Christmas, the area expected to receive rain contracts to the Top End, with showers and thunderstorms continuing across the Top End through the weekend and into early next week.

Let’s hope Huey just keeps on sending it down.

With rivers rising steadily right across the Top End, already a Runoff is assured.

Just how long the rain continues, and how many monsoonal troughs descend upon the Top End, will govern the extent of the Runoff.

No doubt as always there will be windows between the heavy rain, and that’s when we’ll all get the opportunity to test the big waterways.

Territory anglers have every right to be rubbing their hands with glee.

Have a wonderful and safe Christmas.



Becky Robinson helped christen the new family boat with the capture of her Buffalo Creek queenfish.

Steve Walsh put the first fish ever in the new boat fishing Buffalo Creek: a ripper pikey bream.