Alex's Column 3rd November 2021

Last weekend our Darwin tides were dead neap and there was very little current.

In fact, on Saturday, there was a low tide of 4.1m at 7.05am, followed by a high tide of 4.3m at 11.09am.

That’s just 20cm difference, although admittedly the tide came in for only four hours.

Talk about weird tides, after the late-morning high, the tide flowed out for another 10 hours.

How the hell were you supposed to work how to catch a fish with such mixed up tides?

Well, as it turned out, there were some terrific barra caught out from the mouth of the South Alligator River.

Water clarity was amazing, as you’d expect.

There were also some quality barra caught in the first few kilometres of the Adelaide River, mainly up the three Wiltshire Creeks.

Leaders Creek also produced a couple of metreys on those weird tides.

But what about this coming weekend?

Now we’re talking serious tidal movement: over 7m on both days.

These are actually exceptional tides for several locations in both Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour.

The tide is so low just after lunch on both Saturday (0.2m) and Sunday (0.1m), you could almost trek across the exposed mudflats from one side of the harbour to the other… well not really, but there’ll be a lot of exposed mud.

The beauty of these tides for the two harbours is that the mangroves will be completely drained and all the bait and barra will have to cram into small pools surrounded by ominous mudflats.

The bait fish won’t like that, but the barra will because there’ll be a lots less water between their finned tucker.

I also reckon there’ll be lots of prawn activity in the holes, especially after some of the storms we’ve had of late.

I reckon a good plan for chasing silver barra in Darwin Harbour arms Bynoe Harbour inlets is to get on the water by 10am on either Saturday or Sunday.

Start by fishing snake drains on the flats and then move to gutters as the tide gets lower and the flats dry up.

If you find pooling water adjacent to exposed flats, give it a good workout.

Once the tide turns to come in, it will do that in a rush because now we’re talking nearly 8m of tidal movement flowing into the arms and inlets.

This is when the action might be fast and furious, but the windows will be brief.

Look for bait pushing into rising gutters and drains, and keep an ear out for “boofing” barra.

All going well, you should be off the water by 5.oopm and then home for a frosty beer and fish on the barbie.

There are several lure choices you can make this weekend.

Green fluoro and Tiger Lily Bombers should be in your tackle box.

Classic Just Unders – also green – are a must-have.

Also in hard bodies, Reidy’s smaller B52 is always worth casting.

As far as soft plastics go, Zman Swimmerz in fluoro chartreuse are always a winner.

I also like the white Zerek weedless Cherabin retrieved slowly.



The barra are on at the Arnhem Land Barramundi Lodge – Brodie Quaas, Roger Sinclair and Kelly Vrolyks pose with a triple hook-up.