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Alex's Column 26/01/2023

As I write this on Tuesday, there’s quite a bit of rain around thanks to the tropical low that formed off the north coast.

Sadly, it’s already slipping away to the west where the Kimberley will no doubt get another mega deluge.

The forecast is not good for the next week or so either, with just storms predicted but no monsoon.

We’re in a hiatus at the moment: we’ve had terrific monsoonal rains from before Christmas and into the New Year, but we now need a follow up.

A friend asked me on the weekend how much more rain did I think we needed to give the rivers a good flush and set things up nicely for a good Runoff season.

I said about twice what we’ve had already… and that’s about it I reckon.

So fingers crossed old Huey gets into action sooner than later.

Meanwhile, everyone seems to be going fishing just the same, even if not much is getting caught.

I ventured on to the lower Adelaide River last Friday with a couple of young friends.

It was a lovely day: overcast mainly but no rain.

The trouble was that everywhere we went, the water was dirty, and definitely not conducive to a good barra bite.

Plus there was very little bait about.

We ran and fished all over the place: way up and down different creeks, chucking at small runoffs that were pumping yukky grey water, and covered far more kilometres than I would normally do in a day on the Adelaide.

At one creek which we kept heading up as it narrowed, we started to see frothy water: bubbles of white foam floating down the creek from somewhere way above.

We were fishing tidal water, but that was a strong clue to there being some freshwater runoff coming into the system.

We kept poking our way up and eventually came to a small junction where the water and foamy bubbles were swirling in an eddy about the size of a large bedroom.

Water clarity was better, but only just a tad, and there was a bit of a colour change which was promising.

Anyway, we chucked hard-bodies and soft plastics into the mix, and soon we were catching barra… nothing big mind you but up to 60cm-plus which certainly saved the day.

The bite coincided with the turn of the tide from the low – always a prime time to be wetting a lure – and when the bite stopped, we decided to head even further enough up, particularly as the foam puffs were still happening.

Alas, half an hour of slow going with leg trimmed found us wrestling with mid-water snags and low overhanging branches.

It was also getting shallow and we bumped bottom a few times.

I would have loved to have made it to the source and to have stumbled onto a nice frothy-creek colour change, but we couldn’t complain and, as I wrote above, it was perfect day.

On top of that, we had a feed of fresh silver barra to take home, and there were half a dozen Great Northerns in the ice box to get us there..

Layla Hadden was rapt with her Adelaide River barra which was caught on an Akame Guppy soft plastic.


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