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Alex's Column 25/08/2022

The ferocity of the easterlies has been hard to ignore so far this dry season.

The good news is that this weekend should be just dandy, with hardly 10km winds

around Darwin on Saturday and just marginally more on Sunday.

It means you’ll be able to travel some distance in your typical 5m-plus trailer boat and

hopefully get stuck into some great fish.

Also good news is the tidal situation this weekend: the tides are coming off the neaps

and increasing in movement as the spring tides get bigger.

There’s 4-5m of movement on Saturday and Sunday, but that should get the reef fish


Actually, reefies have been going well for weeks now, and last weekend was no

exception, particularly down Dundee way.

For mackerel and other pelagics, the further out you go, the better it should be simply

because water clarity will be much better out wide.

With heaps of current offshore, drift fishing the bottom will be the key to success.

If you anchor – or preferably spot-lock with your electric outboard – then make sure

you time your efforts for the change of the tide when the current slows and stops.

Bluewater pelagic fishing locations to consider include North Gutter, Dundee Wide

and way out past the Peron Islands.

If you intend to chase Spanish mackerel, give the Classic Bluewater lure a shot; it’s

been braining the mackerel offshore of late.

For barra fishermen, Corroboree Billabong is finally starting to show some form, as is

Hardies Lagoon.

A couple of tidal rivers are still producing the odd big barra; namely, the Daly River

and the Adelaide River.

However, for consistent barra fishing, the saltwater estuaries are where the real action

has been this dry season.

I’ve heard stories of fair-to-good barra fishing in Darwin Harbour, Bynoe Harbour,

Shoal Bay, Leaders Creek and the mouth of the Adelaide River.

Along the coast out from the mouth of the Daly River has also produced some

wonderful barra fishing.

This all augurs well for this Sunday, in particular, because the big tides aren’t too bad

for Darwin Harbour.

With a 2.1m low tide early afternoon, it’s a sweet barra scenario.

I’d suggest you get on the water and begin fishing your favourite arm or creek by

9.00am, then work through until a couple of hours after the turn.

With minimal winds, most of the flats will be clear and fishable.

Work them with shallow runners and prawn imitation softies, and don’t be afraid to

troll the outer edge of the flats, or up the middle of small-to-medium creeks, but do so

ever so slowly, preferably with an electric outboard and with your lure a long way


Try this with a soft plastic prawn, shaking the rod gently as you slide along.

The 10cm Zerek Live Cherabin in white is a beauty for this application, and it’s also a

great lure to cast.

However, make sure you put it back into its plastic container when you finish fishing;

otherwise, it’ll distort if left loose with other lures.

Matt Kelleher with a 112cm early-morning Dundee Spanish mackerel.

John Campbell was delighted with his metre-long cobia caught wide of


The Dundee mackerel were on the chew for Nigel Duncan and his mates.


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