Alex's Fishing Column 16 April 2020

Lack of significant winds this weekend means an offshore foray is right on the cards.

This is especially so with the dead neap tides, so there won’t be huge currents either and wind waves will be minimal.

That also augurs well for solo launching.

If you are planning an offshore trip, especially if you’re after a feed of reef fish, I'm hearing consistent reports about improving fishing on the new artificial reefs.

In fact, according to George Voukolos at Fishing and Outdoor World: “The artificial reefs are really firing.

“There are lots of goldies and I hear from Fisheries that some interesting new snapper species are turning up,” George told me.

Brian Bulner from Leaders Creek Fishing Base has also been hearing good reports from the artificial reef out from Adelaide River, especially for goldies.

Brian said that 20-25 boats a day are launching at the Leaders Creek ramp.

“Some people do it well but it’s surprising how many can’t reverse a trailer,” Brian said.

“Sadly, there’s a sector of anglers who are using the public car-park as a toilet; there’s toilet paper everywhere.

“Plus some people just park anywhere, on the road and even right in front of the no-parking signs along the fence.

“Here at Leaders Creek Fishing Base, we have all the facilities – toilets, showers and secure parking – and I encourage more people to take advantage of what we have on offer,” Brian said.

He also reported that plenty of barra, jew and snapper are being caught in and around the creek mouth.

Back to old mate George, he said: “There are nice ice macs off Mandorah Jetty, including a 16kg mac land-based.

“Longtail tuna have turned up too; they’re flighty but there are quite a few around.”

Jason from Fishing and Outdoor World reported huge numbers of 4-10 cm baby barra around the Shady Camp barrage.

That’s great news for the future; in a couple of years there should be big numbers of legal barra in the Mary system.

Speaking of the Mary system, happily-married couple Jason Rogers and Melita McKinnon hit Corroboree Billabong over Easter.

Jason said: “We didn’t catch a barra but there were a few ‘toga on the chew; water levels are high.

The talented pair also fished the Adelaide River, Darwin Harbour and Bynoe Harbour over Easter, so they sure didn’t much around… and caught barra to 90cm in the process.

Getting back to the artificial reefs put in place by NT Fisheries, it really has been a great initiative and will certainly become great fishing spots in the years ahead.

Each one of the four huge artificial reefs comprises 29 modules clustered in groups of four or five, with each reef field covering an area of about 2.5 hectares or 25,000 square metres; end to end, that’s about 1250m long by 20m wide each.

The GPS co-ordinates for the new reefs are:

Lee Point Wide 12 10 083 130 47 033 Gutters Central 12 09.459 130 34.665 Dundee Wide 12.44.445 130 10.387 Adelaide River Mouth 12 07.587 131 11.545

I just want to remind you that NT Fisheries has developed a Code of Conduct for fishing around artificial reefs and FADs:

· Respect other users at all times.

· Courtesy should be given to fishers who are already using the reefs.

· Users should accommodate new arrivals where possible.

· Take only what you need for a feed.

· When you have caught a feed of reef fish, consider changing fishing methods or locations to target pelagic species which are less susceptible to barotrauma.

· FADS and additional vertical relief of reefs will attract pelagic species which are more suitable for targets of catch-and-release fishing.

PHOTOS:



Melita McKinnon with a terrific Adelaide River barra, one of her many great fish over Easter.



Jason Rogers with one of several barra from Bynoe Harbour over Easter.



Melita McKinnon with a solid saratoga from a Corroboree Billabong trip with hubby Jason Rogers.

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