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Alex's Column 6 July 2023

The winds were relentless last weekend, frustrating many anglers looking for some blue water action.

However, as the winds abated marginally after the weekend, those with time on their hands and willing to take on uncomfortable seas seemed to be catching good fish.

Roche Reef and the mouth of Bynoe Harbour produced longtail tuna and mackerel.

However, the wind has been hampering angler efforts to get offshore where the serious pelagic action awaits.

Getting back to last weekend, the strong winds forced some anglers to change plans and seek shelter fishing up Darwin Harbour arms.

Roger Sinclair and Gavin Bedford wisely backed out of their planned Lee Point assault in a small boat, instead heading up the harbour for barra.

Roger said: “It was so windy on Sunday that we had to launch at Elizabeth River and fish creeks and drains down from there.”

“We caught a few, including a couple of keepers, so the day wasn’t wasted,” he said.

On Tuesday this week, Craig Latimore and mate had a blinder barra session in the harbour, catching 24 barra, albeit none quite legal.

Both Bynoe and Darwin Harbours are also producing golden snapper and bream, and the tailing spring tides this weekend will create ideal conditions for working the flats and rock-bars around mid-afternoon.

There are good numbers of bream in ShoalBay, and anglers can also set their pots to take advantage of this season’s great mud crab run.

For land-based action, check out the area below the Deck Chair Cinema for queenfish.

The winds will be less this weekend, particularly late in the day.

Prior to last week’s blow, grey mackerel and the occasional Spanish mackerel were being caught off East Point, Lee Point and 6-mile Buoy, so they could be worth a shot late afternoon on the low tide.

The problem fishing out wide has been the infestation of sharks.

It’s a problem that doesn’t let up.

So many anglers are finding that, when they get onto a good bite of reef fish or pelagics, the grey coats move in and feast on the spoils.

On a more positive note, as mentioned above, mud crabs have been about in big numbers recently.

Shoal Bay as usual is a great place to chase muddies, but Leaders Creek, Saltwater Arm and the Adelaide River are also producing.

Inland, the barra fishing continues to be hot and cold.

Corroboree Billabong is just not fishing well for barra this year; however, saratoga have been a good option in the big lagoon.

Four Mile Hole in Kakadu continues its run of good fishing.

I was there with friends for a day trip last week and we caught a bunch of barra, including some good ones.

The barra at this iconic location are super fit, with lots of condition, and put up a great scrap.

I reckon I’ll head back there shortly.

Layla Hadden with her bronzed barra from Four Mile Hole.

In land freshwater barra are fit and full of condition this year.


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