There’s no questioning that we are now well into the dry season, and it looks like being a windy one at that. The last two weekends have been plagued by strong winds, at times gusting to more than 40kmh. That made it difficult – or at least a tad uncomfortable – to fish offshore. The news is that it won’t be much different this coming weekend. According to Mark Kersemakers, one of our friendly Bureau of Metreology forecasters: “We don’t expect to be issuing any wind warnings for this weekend along the north-west coast, although there might be some for parts of the coast. “What we can expect is for the winds to be fresh,” Mark said. Apparently, wind speeds need to be predicted to exceed 25 knots or 45-50kmh for a warning to be issued. On the plus side are the tides which will be neap this weekend, so there won’t be roaring currents to exacerbate wave action caused by the fresh winds. Once again, it’ll be the old dry season story: get out there early to where you want to fish, preferably before first light, and head for home by mid-morning before it gets too uncomfortable. Conversely, by mid-to-late afternoon, the winds should be abating and an evening session on the Fenton Patches artificial reefs, out on the North Gutter or on any of the offshore reefs – especially across low tide – could yield a great reef fish session or two. One way to try for some bluewater action away from the heavier wind gusts is to fish closer to the Darwin shoreline. Grant Hatcher from Fishing and Outdoor World told me that some pelagics had moved in around Lee Point. “Chris Hurt took some clients off Lee Point and caught some nice Spanish mackerel,” Grant reported. “He also saw longtail tuna busting the surface out wide but the winds put them down almost as soon as they surfaced. “It’s just been so hard further offshore because of the winds,” Grant said. Of course, the beauty of Lee Point is that you’ll mainly be out of the wind as the easterlies will be blowing from onshore. This weekend, I like both the early-morning making tides and the late afternoon/evening low tides. Three factors line up here in terms of producing some great mackerel fishing: mackerel love the gloom of first and last light to chase a feed; there should be bugger-all wind at these times; and there’ll be a good tide change both days, especially in the evening. If you’re really serious about targeting a big Lee Point mac, use live garfish caught on the spot and fished under a float. Easier though is to anchor and float ganged pilchards out the back of the boat in the current. However, you’ll also need to berley with crushed pilchards, but keep the berley trail to a mere trickle – and with no big chunks – as you want your macs to smell the feed and swim up through it but not have anything big enough to chew until you float back your whole ganged pilchard. I like to hand crush the pilchards in a bucket of sea water and just dribble the smelly soup into the sea just a little at a time. There’s still some good tidal river barra fishing to be had. Nourlangie Creek fished well on the last neaps, especially on the rock-bar inside Nourlangie as the tide escaped. Anywhere else on the upper South Alligator was too dirty to fish with good prospects, but the Nourlangie Creek water wasn’t too bad. On the bigger tides over the long weekend just passed, a few boats tried for a big barra on the Daly fast trolling. One mob caught a few fish on the run out and first of the making tide, but it was scarce pickings for the rest. The upper Adelaide River has produced barra in the 70s at night, but there are a lot of casts in between. Good old Corroboree continues to fish well for small barra and saratoga. I reckon the Daly might just be the pick of the bunch this weekend, mainly because there will be great water clarity for a long way downriver on the neaps. PHOTOS: Barry Clay with a magical 120cm barra which he caught down the Roper River. Trevor Jackson stayed with and fished with Daly River Barra Resort, nailing this silver barra after it scoffed down his cherabin bait. Kim Wheatley with a typical Daly River barra which took a great big Bomber lure.