Alex's Column 30/06/2022

Darwin’s weather has been a little bit weird this week.

Yes, we’ve copped blustery conditions with winds gusting to more 45kph, but where have the blue skies gone?

We’ve even had a smidgeon of rain during the week.

These conditions are forecast to continue through the weekend, which means fishing options are strictly close inshore and inland for barra.

I was at Shady Camp freshwater earlier in the week, and we nearly got blown off the water.

It was cold, both below and above the water surface.

There are some neat rock-bars in Shady fresh and, at times during the dry season, barra congregate on them.

We both cast and trolled, and caught a bunch of very small barra, but there was nothing of size interested in our offerings.

The highlight of the day was an encounter with the mighty “Fang”, the infamous Shady Camp croc which is missing the front part of its top jaw.

About three years ago, the NT News published a front page shot that I took of it sitting high in the water just 10m from my boat… and this after it swam from one side of the billabong to the other to get there.

I called it the “Devil Croc” because it looked positively evil with its two lower dagger teeth standing prominently clear.

I’d since found out that the attraction of boats to this 5m saurian dates back to a time when a few barra guides were regularly feeding it down at the mouth of Sampan Creek.

If you pull up anywhere within eyesight of Fang, he’ll just charge on over looking for a tasty handout.

That’s exactly what happened this week when, once again, Fang swam across the billabong to within easy casting distance of my boat.

Both my fishing partners were decidedly edgy, so I snapped a couple of pics and moved on.

Getting back to the options for this weekend, offshore fishing will be a nightmare, and dangerous for small boats.

However, the tides are peaking springs straight after the new moon, which is just fine for both Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour.

Admittedly, the 2.7m low tides on both days could be a bit lower for optimum fishing conditions, but there is still plenty of movement down from a 6.8m high tide.

Inland, the top of Shady is worth a look if you’re happy to play with rat barras, but possibly Corroboree is the best shot.

According to gun female angler, Melita McKinnon, there are heaps of saratoga on the chew down on the bottom half of the big lagoon.

Melita has been slaying the ‘togas on the Akame Dukz from Reidy’s Lures.

This small soft plastic has paddle-tail legs that vibrate like mad as it is retrieved across the surface… and it is weedless too so it’s perfect for getting through the lilies.

Enjoy Territory Day tomorrow and please stay safe.


What a great barra catch for Max Macfarlane, 11, fishing land-based at the Howard River rock-bar.



The infamous “Fang”: a 5m salty with top jaw missing which is friendly to all boats keen to check him out.

The deadly weedless Reidy’s top-water Akame Dukz with rotating feet is available in two sizes: 85 and 100mm.