Alex's Column 8/4/21

The expression “every man and his dog” sure applied to the big rivers over Easter.

Given the conditions, dropping water everywhere and the chance for a hot Runoff session, it wasn’t surprising that every boat ramp carpark overflowed.

Old mate Andy Ralph told me many cars drove through 0.8m of water at Magela Creek crossing to get to the East Alligator River.

“There’s no flow at the Magela, so 4WDs are getting through no worries at all,” Andy said.

“Cahill’s Crossing is 1.5m and dropping, but I haven’t heard of any great fishing down the East yet, except for a couple of 80s a mate of mine caught.”

This weekend’s building tides might be just the shot to get the barra biting in the East.

Floating around at the mouth of Magela on the turn of the low tide and through the making tide could definitely produce a big one.

There was a real armada of boats on the South Alligator River over Easter, and it was very much hit or miss.

Some good barra were caught up Nourlangie Creek, but there’s a ton of water still up on the floodplains.

However, this weekend’s tides are perfect for the top of the river, especially a couple of hours before and after the high tide.

You just need to stake a claim at a flowing feeder creek.

There’ll be plenty of potential action at the Mary mouth down from Shady Camp this weekend.

Cunning anglers chasing a big barra will be joining the guides at one of the several coastal creeks on the early morning high tide.

Adelaide River might start yielding barra this weekend, especially at feeder creeks up from the bridge.

Of course, there’s no doubt the mighty Daly River will receive an absolute flogging this weekend.

At a nudge over 2m and falling, the river is at a perfect height to fire up and I’m tipping lots of nice barra will be caught.

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Darwin lost one of its top female anglers with the passing of Carolyn Forrest (Caz) last week.

When she walked into my office for an interview nearly 20 years ago, she made it plain she wanted the job; she wanted to get right into the recreational fishing industry.

Caz worked for me for the next 4 years. A bit before her time, she was a great fisher lady… so so competitive… and she could sure fish.

She competed in early women’s comps, and the Barra Nationals several times with Tony Hare and her future husband John Cooper. She won Champion Female Angler more than once.

Caz was a tireless hard worker and couldn’t wait to bring her new Quintrex round to show me.

A few years ago, her life went a bit pear shaped and she headed off in a caravan with her two children around Australia, meeting up and fishing with friends she’d made in Darwin, and finishing up in Cairns where she spent her remaining days.

Born and bred in Katherine, Caz was a real trooper.

She came with me on many trips, including interstate tackle shows, special NAFA shoots and even black bass fishing in PNG.

She was always the consummate organiser.

My wedding present to her was as photographer, which she loved.

Caz was not quite 44. Why a beautiful young woman like her has been struck down so young is confronting and so sad.

She deserved so much more life, because she knew how to live it.

Her favourite saying was: “Ships are safe in port but that’s not what ships are built for”.

Caz will be missed by so many people.

This column extends the deepest condolences and best wishes to her family and close friends.

An amazing young woman has departed.


Born and bred in Katherine, the NT and Australian fishing scene will miss top female angler Carolyn (Caz) Forrest this.


Broome’s Steve Chambers lends Carolyn Forrest a hand with her first sailfish, caught during the Broome Billfish Tournament.