I was just having a chat with old mate George Voukolos from Fishing and Outdoor World, and he was espousing his usual erudite views on the wet season so far and what we need.
George and I have been having these discussions for decades, and he reckoned that, even though we’ve had good solid rain, two things still need to happen: the Mary River needs to flood over the bridge and the Daly needs to run at 12m for four or five weeks.
We were certainly agreed on both scores.
Even though Darwin and coastal areas south have copped heaps of rain, more out on the big river floodplains would be great.
“The Finniss has had a flush and a half though,” George said.
“I know there’ve been some small windows down the Daly, but it’s been hard, and too early,” George commented.
Stuey Brisbane down at Daly River Barra Resort said much the same: “I went down a few days ago and it was very frustrating.
“There was no good colour until Elizabeth Creek which looked great but there wasn’t a lot of bait.
“Catfish Creek was no good but there were barra everywhere along the banks either side of Little Catfish.
“They were only small fish but they wouldn’t touch our rubbers,” Stuey said.
“The river’s dropping again but I’m not sure about these neap tides; springs are better.
“I didn’t go below Little Catfish and there may have been better colour changes further down,” Stuey said.
I reckon that too: springs suck the water out of the creeks quickly.
Stuey told me the creeks just below the crossing are dirty as buggery.
Mind you, although the main river may be too dirty for much of the way down, as of last Monday, you can fish all the way down to the mouth and beyond.
That’s because the seasonal Daly River closure to fishing below Moon Billabong outlet is over until next February.
I’m sure there’ll be a few sneaky fishos who are planning an assault down the bottom end of the Daly where there are some good feeder creeks which would have received heaps of rain and should be running a gusher with colour.
Then there are those fabulous coastal creeks which are a great chance of been chockers with both barra and bait.
Of course, then there is Shady Camp.
I reckon that’s got to be the best bet on these neap tides this weekend.
At the ramp it’ll be high tide early and late, so launching will be a breeze.
Although I heard you can launch on any tides at the moment as there is plenty of water.
Two weeks ago, the mouths of both the Mary’s big tributary creeks – Sampan and Tommycutt – produced some stunning barra.
Plus the neap tides are perfect for those two spots because water clarity should be good.
The best fishing should be from a couple of hours after the turn of low tide, with a window hopefully lasting for two or three hours.
There’ll be a lot of boats at the mouth of Sampan, in particular, because there’s no need for a sea crossing to fish it… as there is with Tommycutt.
If you troll big green Bombers and Reidy’s Big Ass 52s, you can’t go wrong.
Casting soft plastics and vibes around the edges just where the mangroves start is another good ploy on the push in.
And by the way, don’t be surprised if you hook into a few big threadfin salmon.
Chris Errity checked out the Daly River recently and caught a few including this chunky river barra.