If you’re wondering when this year’s Amateur Fishermen’s Association NT (AFANT) annual general meeting will be held, I can tell you it won’t be on a Sunday morning at Tracy Village as it has been for the last couple of decades at least. Instead, in a break from tradition, the AFANT committee is trying an evening time slot at a new venue: 7.00pm Thursday 28 March at the Darwin Trailer Boat Club, with registrations open from 6.00pm. AFANT Executive Director, David Ciaravolo, said the change was due to the difficulty of picking a date on a weekend at this time of year. “With all the competitions and the Runoff, we thought we’d try a mid-week date after work,” David told me. Apparently, after this AGM, future general meetings will be held in November to align with AFANT’s financial year. “There’ll be no major controversy on the agenda this year, but we’re anticipating a good turn-up because of the interesting presentations,” David explained. The new Fisheries Minister, Paul Kirby, will be addressing the meeting and providing an update on the $50 million allocated to the recreational fishery. There’ll also be presentations from Fisheries staff on the reef closure areas, the NT-wide recreational fishing survey and the FAD trial. David will also update the meeting on the land claims detriment review. The good news is that the Aboriginal Land Commissioner has accepted that AFANT has shown there would be detriment to recreational fishermen in the 16 areas under claim. David will also bring people up to speed on the Blue Mud Bay situation. You don’t have to be a member to attend the AFANT AGM, and it’s only $10 to join anyway. There’ll be some nice prizes given away in a lucky draw on the night, and you can enjoy a great feed at the Darwin Trailer Boat Club. If you don’t have anything else planned on Thursday night next week, I definitely believe there’s great recreational fishing interest value in attending the meeting. ………………………………………………………………….. A snippet of good news is that the Federal Government has announced improved mobile coverage and more reliable communications under the Mobile Black Spot Program. Minister for Regional Services, Senator Bridget McKenzie, announced the locations of 12 new base stations to be delivered in the Northern Territory, improving mobile coverage in regional and remote communities. Importantly, one of these locations is the iconic Shady Camp on the Mary River. It means that, if you witness someone fishing the barrage and getting attacked by a croc, you can phone in an emergency. Likewise, if your boat gets stuck on a mud bank below the boat ramp on a falling tide, you can take a selfie and post it… if you don’t, someone else probably will. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… The tides are in spring phase this weekend so, wherever you are fishing tidal waters, expect plenty of current. Given that Million Dollar Fish season 4 doesn’t finish until the end of the month, you might like to try your luck fishing locations where there are sure to be MDF tagged barra. The obvious one is Darwin Harbour and the tides are ideal this weekend to hunt barra up the harbour arms. There are BetEasy red-tagged barra worth $10,000 each and there are BetEasy charity purple-tagged barra worth $5000 each in the harbour. There may also be a tagged barra worth $1 million. Another location worth chasing an MDF fish on the weekend’s tides is Bynoe Harbour. I’ve reported before that the MDF tagging team confided in me that a lot of barra were tagged in Bynoe. In fact, it’s a wonder one or two haven’t been recaptured in Bynoe Harbour. Give it a shot, I reckon.
Steve Sarev fished with Daly River Barra Resort tours down the Daly River, and was surprised to catch this tasty mangrove jack.
George Moussa cast his arms off for a barra down the Daly, but it paid off.
Crystal Neal’s 70cm barra came from Shady Camp in the lower tidal section.