Alex's Fishing Column 15 July 2021

There’s good news for this weekend, and it’s not before time.


After several weeks of blustery weekend conditions, the forecast this week is hardly any wind at all for Darwin and coastal waters.

Saturday is the best day, with glass-out conditions more than likely, but Sunday’s not too bad either.

This opens up a Pandora’s box of bluewater options, so let’s have a look at a few.

Starting to the north-east, this weekend presents a great opportunity to fish along the Melville Island coast.

Old mate Chris Errity did a solo trip up Melville recently and found good schools of pelagic species, including some really big GTs.

Coming back towards Darwin, the Vernon Islands in calm weather can often be a lot of fun.

Smith Reef is an old favourite of mine, and trolling poppers around it will soon pinpoint any trevally.

The north side can be good for mackerel too.

A new addition to the fishing options in that part of the world is one of the four new artificial reefs in Darwin waters – this one’s out in the middle between the Vernon Islands and Cape Hotham.

I keep hearing mixed reports about it, but the latest one is that there are heaps of jewies on it.

Closer to Darwin, Lee Point to East Point could be fun for small-boat owners; there were some nice mackerel caught there on the big high tides last weekend.

Straight out offshore from Darwin, the spots are endless.

Charles Point has been fishing well this year when the weather permits.

There are also two new artificial reefs offshore from Darwin: Lee Point Wide and Gutters Central.

To find out the precise locations of these manmade reefs, download the NT Fishing Mate app or just Google “Darwin Artificial Reefs”.

I anticipate the Dundee boat ramp car-park will be overflowing with 4WDs and boat trailers this weekend.

I expect there’ll be an armada of boats heading out wide for a shot at a sailfish or marlin… or lots of both.

The reef fishing wide of Dundee has also been outstanding this year.

Much of that has to do with the boats prepared to travel much wider and fish along the gas pipeline, which itself has become an unplanned artificial reef which regularly produces fish coloured red.

In close along the fish-rich Dundee coast, you’ll find willing golden snapper and black jew around Point Blaze and Point Jenny.

Out wide from those points is the fourth new artificial reef created by NT Fisheries: Dundee Wide.

This reef has been a real fish producer and a great success because it has become home to large numbers of black jew.

The only problem has been wrestling them out of the concrete structures.

The only barra talk this week will be about a great day Shannon Latham of Mousies Barra and Bluewater Fishing Charters was able to provide the Massingham family on the Daly River last week.

“I took a family out and they got some nice fish,” Shannon told me.

“The youngest boy is 8-year-old Joel Massingham, and he caught a nice 103cm barra.

“He was over the moon and he even sat down after I netted it and had tears of joy; it was great to see.

“It was caught on a Reidy’s B52 chrome and black. “His brother 10-year-old Noah Massingham got a nice 86cm barra and he also was extremely happy with it. “They were the biggest fish for that day,” the top Darwin guide told me.

1. Joel Lassingham (left), aged 8, caught this whopper 103cm barra with his mum Lee, dad Damien and older brother Noah, 10, fishing with Mousies Barra and Bluewater Charters.