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Alex's Column 3/12/20

About the best news for anglers of late is coming from the Bureau of Metreology.

I read in this week’s NT Weather Outlook media release that computer models are showing a high chance of above-median rainfall across most of the NT for the remainder of the wet season, and that climate drivers remain favourable for a monsoon onset in mid-December.

We already know this is a La Nina year, and the bureau has also commented that the average date of a monsoon onset during La Nina years is mid-December.

Predictions are that it will likely be a long and sustained wet season.

Let’s hope so as a dud wet season for a third year in a row could be catastrophic to the strength of our NT barra stocks, not to mention the quality of barra fishing.

In the meantime, if you’d like to have a shot a big barra this weekend, then I do like Saturday’s tide for fishing the famous Shoal Bay Rock.

There will be a low of 1.6m just before 3.00pm, so a leisurely start from the Buffalo Creek boat ramp at about 10.00am will give you an easy run into Shoal Bay and The Rock.

I’ve always preferred the mid-afternoon low tides at The Rock rather than those falling mid-morning, and the 1.6m height is spot on.

Once there, you can cast or quietly troll until the tide turns to come in.

By 5.30pm there should be enough water to belt back across Shoal Bay and into Buffalo Creek before dark.

The only potential downside is the possibility of a storm over Shoal Bay late in the afternoon.

Knowing that, I wouldn’t be going to The Rock in any boat smaller than 5m.

An option is to head up the Howard River or Tree Point Inlet at the bottom end of Shoal Bay.

Go find a nice hole with snags and lock yourself in through the low tide until the tide comes in.

Mind you, the incoming tide will be late if you’re up one of those systems, and you mightn’t get out in time to make Buffalo by nightfall; it will be touch and go for sure, so it’ll come down to your experience and confidence.

Whatever you do, carefully mark on your GPS the trail out through the mouth of Buffalo Creek as you depart so you can find it in the dark if necessary.

It was good to hear that a State Funeral has been accorded to Mike Reed.

Last week I wrote about Mike’s immense contribution to the development of the NT recreational fishery and how he improved the quality of barra fishing in the Mary, Daly and Roper Rivers after he closed them to commercial netting.

He did this and much more in his capacity as Fisheries Minister.

Mike moved up the ranks to become Deputy Chief Minister before his retirement in 2001.

I’m sure a State Funeral for this great man gets a big tick of approval from so many Territorians whose lifestyle benefitted from his considerable contribution over a 14-year political career.

The memorial service will be at the Katherine Museum at 10.00am this Saturday 5 December, followed by refreshments at the Katherine Country Club.

Michael Wilson found a monster 124cm barra on his recent Roper River trip.


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