Alex's Column 25/2/21

You can throw hard-bodies at the Bureau of Metreology until the barra storm over the Shady Camp Barrage, but I reckon that, in recent years, the bureau has been close to 10 out of 10 in its major weather forecasts.

The most recent of course is the current fantastic wet season we’re experiencing.

It’s worth looking back at forecast last year when I wrote on 26 August:

“Without getting hopes up too high, it looks like we may well be in for both an early and a big wet season in the coming months.

“Following two abysmal years of very little rain, the odds definitely favoured that we’d be in for a good one. This follows an announcement from the Bureau of Metreology that Australia is three times more likely than normal to experience a La Niña event within the next few months.

“According to the bureau, La Niña, one of several climate drivers that influence our weather, typically brings increased rain across much of Australia, more tropical cyclones, earlier monsoon onset and warmer overnight temperatures in the north.

“The report stated: ‘The last La Niña period in Australia occurred from 2010 to 2012’.

“During La Niña, it's typical for the Top End to receive above-average rainfall early in the wet season, and slightly-above-average rainfall later in the wet season.”

Talk about being spot on, except maybe that we are getting well-above average for this early part of the year.

At the end of the day, there’s a real buzz around Top End angling circles about all the flooding taking place and how great the Runout will be.

I was in at Fishing and Outdoor World on Saturday, and old mate George Voukolos was beside himself with excitement.

“Alex… Alex, we’ve hit the jackpot mate,” George said.

“Everywhere is flooded – this Runoff you can choose between dozens of places to fish!”

If you just look at the water out in the boondocks right now, you can’t help but be excited.

The Daly River has been running at more than 10m over the crossing for a couple of weeks now, and guess what’s going to happen when the Katherine River freight train roars in to the Daly.

Over the weekend, Katherine River hit 15m above its normal flow, and other Daly River tributaries – the Flora, Edith and Fergusson – are all pumping from the rafters.

Don’t be surprised if the Daly gets up around the 14m height.

And what about the rivers traversed by the Arnhem Highway?

The Adelaide is seriously high upriver, but the one on every angler’s mind is the Mary.

On Monday, the Mary was more than 2m high in the car-park adjacent to the Mary River bridge, and the water was practically lapping the bottom of the bridge.

All the way out to Jabiru, there’s water over the Arnhem Highway at several locations.

Checking out the other way, the mighty Victoria River is so high that the road has been closed from just outside Katherine to nearly all the way to Timber Creek.

On the other side of Katherine, the Roper and it major tributaries are all heavily flooded.

By golly, Katherine anglers must be rubbing their hands with glee.

You can probably tell I’m pretty excited too.

As for where to fish this weekend, well on probably the best tide this week – on Monday – Shady Camp and the Mary River mouth hardly delivered a scale to those who fished it.

The verdict: just too much water.

So this weekend I’d be going coastal, checking out small creeks either side of the big river mouths.

I’ll be there are plenty of you out there planning just that.



Becky Robinson – aka “The Threadie Queen” – found a nice threadfin salmon at Shady Camp last week.