Alex's Column 8th July 2021

There’s not much respite from the easterly winds again this weekend.

It’s been a hell of a dry season wind-wise.

I suppose that’s to be expected and, if anything, is back to normal, much like getting a proper wet season again early this year.

The forecast varies along the Darwin coast, and from early to late, but basically you’ll be looking an 15-30kph winds offshore.

Early morning and late afternoon will be the calmest periods, but in between those periods 0.5-1.0m waves can be expected.

The tides are pretty good for various fishing scenarios.

If you’re after a tussle with a big Spanish mackerel or two, both the early morning and late afternoon high tides off Lee Point are absolutely spot on… and that goes for both Saturday and Sunday.

The beauty of it too is that not only will there be far less wind at those times but you’ll also be buffeted from the easterlies.

There are a few ways to fish for macs at Lee Point.

The simplest is to just troll around, working bait schools and feeding birds if you can see either.

I reckon the best lures to troll are the big Bluewater Saury, the Classic Bluewater and the Reidy’s Big Boss.

You’ll need to put some pace on when you’re trolling for mackerel – at least 8kph – so you need lures that won’t blow out of the water.

By the way, these are big lures, so don’t even try to troll them with barra outfits.

Ideally a spin outfit of 6000 size on a compatible rod are ideal, and in this regard it’s hard to go past some of the great Shimano spin outfits.

Even better for trolling is a smooth and sturdy overhead-geared reel and rod.

Once again, the offerings from Shimano are hard to beat.

I’d opt for a quality 20-25kg braid line with a couple of metres of 30-40kg fluorocarbon leader.

With big lures like those I recommended, most of the time you can get away without a wire trace, but why take any chances?

A single-strand wire trace of 30-40kg will do the job nicely.

The best other way to fish for Lee Point macs is to anchor up or spot lock, berley with crushed pilchards and float whole ganged pilchards out the back.

The secret here is the berley: crush up the pilchards into really small particles in a bucket of seawater and just drizzle a bit at a time out the back with the current.

Don’t use any big pieces because that will just feed the fish; you want them to taste the flavour and come looking for something substantial.

The recommended trolling outfits will work just fine for this style of mackerel fishing.

If you’re looking for more variety in your fishing this weekend, but would still like a bit of protection from the wind and the waves, why not give Leaders Creek a shot.

In recent years, the great fishing available in Leaders Creek has not gone unnoticed by Darwin fishos.

Particularly down around the mouth, some monster barra have been caught, and often a hefty black jew joins the party.

More recently, two new additions have made Leaders Creek even more attractive: the creation of an artificial reef labyrinth offshore on the way to Cape Hotham, and the sealing of the Gunn Point Road, thus providing quick, all weather access.

With Leaders Creek Fishing Base right at the concrete boat ramp, you can park your car and trailer securely for a modest fee, you can take advantage of the handy accommodation, and you can even purchase some basic supplies.

According to Brian Bulmer from Leaders Creek, the fishing has been quite good of late.

“There haven’t been too many barra because of the cold, but plenty of black jew, goldies, salmon and also mangrove jack have been caught on bait in the creek,” Brian reported.

There’s some good chewing on that lot I reckon.



Peter Broughill visited Barramundi Adventures Darwin where it was a sure bet he would catch a reasonable barra fishing land-based.