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Alex's Column 25 May 2023

There’s nothing like a chilly dry season morning to remind you that you’re still alive.

That first cool day in May – the month it always happens – also gets you thinking about your fishing options.

The Runoff is now over for this year; well practically over but I’ll get to that.

Plenty of anglers switch from barra to blue with the first onset of cooler weather.

The problem with that can be the arrival of the south-easterlies, which is what brings on those chilly mornings.

Some years they are not too bothersome: hardly gusting and permitting long fishy days out on the blue water.

Other years every second week the Bureau of Metreology issues a strong wind warning – this means winds will be 26-33 knots and venturing out on the blue is not a viable proposition.

In between these warnings, often it’ll blow as high as 20 knots, which makes offshore fishing decidedly uncomfortable for most trailer boats.

This latter scenario is what we have been experiencing over the last two or three weeks.

Fortunately, it might not be too windy this weekend and, given the onset of neap tides, there won’t be much current offshore for the wind to get its teeth into.

If you’re looking to head offshore, you might like to have a go at a Spanish mackerel or two.

There’ve been some good ones caught at North Gutter and down at Bass Reef.

Old mate George Voukolos from Fishing and Outdoor World was excited to tell me about the great fishing happening of late.

“The goldies have been biting at all the old Larrakeyah spots in the evening,” George said.

“We’re selling a heap of chromies to land-based fishos – people going to Mandorah and off the rocks at East Point.

“They’ve been catching spotties and some Spanish as well spinning from the rocks at high tide.

“Hopefully we’ll have the bream bite happening soon in the harbor, which is great for the tourists.

“The barra are still biting down the Daly too; you might even catch them trolling and not get a sore neck,” George joked.

“The top of the Adelaide on the neaps could be good, especially after a cold spell.

I alluded to the Runoff not being quite over yet; that’s because there’s still freshwater coming down a couple of creeks on the South Alligator.

I went there recently with a couple of friends and couldn’t believe my eyes when I arrived at the carpark and did not see a single vehicle and trailer parked there.

“Either we know something they don’t know or they know something we don’t know,” I said to my mates.

It was a big tide and it was hammering in; 30cm high waves were breaking across the ramp.

We actually had to wait an hour for the tide to build up and slow down before launching.

Of course, you can imagine how murky the river water was: like chocolate.

But we’d picked it right, banging 30 or so barra at the last of the colour changes.

However, I must say it was decidedly odd not to see another boat.

1. Tim Pel’s first-ever marlin came from a terrific session wide of Dundee fishing with Peter Dienhoff.

2. Roxy Woolley banged a cool dozen barra in a fast-paced session on the South Alligator River.


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