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Alex's Column 8 June 2023

It’s the King’s Birthday long weekend this week and, to celebrate, the fish are biting all over the place.

For starters, the East Alligator River in Kakadu has been going off, and you can take your choice: lots of little barra above Cahill’s Crossing and some magnificent silver fish just downstream around the big rock-bar.

You’ll need to fish that across the top of the tide… and no doubt an Active Live Target will help immensely.

Moving closer to Darwin, I hear Two Mile Hole on the Wildman system is fishing exceptionally well.

Quite a few barra in the 70s are getting caught there in the snags.

Fishing and Outdoor World’s Ron Voukolos predicts Shady Camp will go off this long weekend on the making neaps, and I reckon he’s right.

The tides are not conducive to day trips as you’ll need to leave Darwin between 1.00am and 3.00am depending on which day you choose.

That’s because you need to launch while the tide is up just down from the Shady Camp barrage.

However, for all those anglers who don’t mind overnighting in their boats, just go for it: launch mid-to-late afternoon, head down and fish into the dark, and return back the following afternoon.

There’ve been terrific barra caught at Shady every set of neap tides over the last few weeks.

One notable catch was Gavin Bedford’s 93cm barra which took a Classic 3+ in Bobby Dazzler gold and red colours down near the mouth.

Gavin said: “The barra fought well and was even sharked at the boat but I free-spooled with light thumb drag when I saw the shark and it only just got a touch on the barra.

“Sadly, I couldn’t put it back as it was bleeding a bit too much.”

Ron also told me about a tagged barra recapture from Marsh Creek which is just along the coast from the Mary River mouth.

“The barra was 47cm long when it was tagged at Corroboree seven years ago and was 98cm when it was recaptured,” Ron said.

Speaking of Corroboree Billabong, saratoga are easy pickings right through the big inland system, but there are also some good barra around the S-Bend.

Closer to Darwin, Saltwater Arm fished well for barra on the last neaps and could do so again by Monday.

Further afield, the legally-accessible lower Finniss River continues to produce.

Perhaps the best barra fishing of all is down the Daly River where regulars reckon the fishing is better than it has been for 10 years.

Apparently, several of the old trolling spots are producing barra aplenty.

Offshore, the bluewater has been exceptional for both pelagics and reef fish.

However, I keep hearing stories of sharks snacking on hooked fish.

One boat at No 6 Buoy managed to land only heads thanks to the proliferation of sharks.

Sailfish catches down wide of Dundee have been impressive of late too.

Barra Or Blue Fishing Charters caught seven in one day recently.

For the tinny brigade, Lee Point is worth checking out.

Regular Chris Hurt said the pelagic action there was spectacular last neap tides.

However, it seems Darwin anglers are not taking advantage of the bluewater because barra fishing has been so good.

With predictions for favourable winds, this long weekend might just be the time to head offshore.

Gavin Bedford’s solid 93cm barra nailed a Classic 120 3+ way downriver at Shady Camp.


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