top of page

Alex's Column 4 August 2023

We’ve had a fair bit of windy weather so far this dry season but, unusually, there haven’t been nearly as many chilly mornings as you’d expect.

For the most part, the wind strength has not enough to stop the bigger trailer boats from heading offshore but it certainly reduced the options for the smaller-tinny brigade.

Of course, one of the great things about fishing in the Top End is that, when the winds are blowing, you can always go chase a barra.

When the tides suit, like those this weekend, Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour offer plenty of opportunities to chase barra in wind-free spots.

Darwin Harbour, in particular, is a delightfully-easy location to stalk barramundi because it’s right on our doorstep and there are four harbour arms with lots of creeks, plenty of rock-bars, endless flats and a zillion gutters.

The harbour has been fishing quite well of late, with double-figure catches being reported regularly.

Last weekend, the tides were still at the end of their neap phase, though moving fast to the springs.

This Saturday’s low tide height of 1.4m is ideal for harbour barra fishing, albeit it’s a bit late in the day at 3.01pm.

But that does lend itself to a relaxed start around 11.00am, and you can still be off the water before dark.

A late session like that might spark a good harbour barra bite.

Arm yourself with the usual Bombers, both 15A and the smaller 14A, Classic Just Unders, Reidy’s Junior B52s, Reidy’s Hellraisers and Killalure Terminators.

Greens are good, but other natural colours are also the go.

Soft plastic prawn imitations work a treat in the harbour too; my favourite is the Zerek Cherabin in white.

Of course, it’s not only saltwater barra that you can target when the wind gets blowing.

Up here, the world is your oyster when it comes to inland waterways.

In that department, where would we be without good old Corroboree Billabong?

When the winds are blowing, thus making offshore ventures decidedly uncomfortable, and the tides aren’t right for the saltwater estuaries, and you don’t want to spend hours travelling and losing fishing time, what a great option Corroboree is?

This iconic inland waterway has been a tad erratic this dry season.

Regardless, Darwin anglers really are fortunate that it’s so close to our northern capital.

Across a vast and largely-remote Top End landscape, one spanning many tens of thousands of square kilometres, to have the Territory’s largest land-locked inland waterway hardly more than hour’s drive away is a blessing indeed.

The well-signposted turn-off is to the left off the Arnhem Highway, just past Corroboree Park Tavern.

A remarkable labyrinth of narrow, winding channels that connect half a dozen magical pools – varying in length from more than 15km to less than a racetrack – Corroboree boasts more than 45km of fishable waterways.

Right from the concrete boat ramp launch site, anglers are faced with the decision of motoring off either left or right.

To the left, once out of sight of the ramp only 200m away, there is Nobby’s Pool, a small waterway that is often quite productive.

Of course, if you head to the right of the ramp, and straight ahead, a world of barra-fishing options beckons you.

Most anglers turn left at the first channel that leads to the main Corroboree pool, but the option, and sometimes a good ploy, particularly if it is windy, is to go past this channel in the direction of Black Fella Island.

This pool has the whole gamut of straight, twisted, wide and narrow stretches, including fishy spots with heavily-treed banks that provide cover from the wind.

Heading back and through the 1km-long, narrow channel leading to the main pool, a third option presents itself: keep heading for the main body or chuck a right into either of two winding channels that lead to the famous Rockhole.

This year, the Rockhole has fished well for saratoga.

It also has its own boat ramp which is accessed from the Shady Camp road, off the Arnhem Highway.

If you don’t catch a fish at Corroboree, life’s still good anyway.

On a different note, the winds this weekend, with the exception of Saturday morning, aren’t too bad if you’re thinking of an offshore sortie.

There are plenty of Spanish mackerel about, and look no further than Lee Point for a bit of action.

Gary Allen fished Lee Point for his morning mackerel when the winds weren’t too bad.

Oscar Richardson is making a habit of catching Lee Point macs.


bottom of page