The 2013 season at the Arnhemland Barramundi Nature Lodge has kicked off with a blast. The first two visiting groups in late March reportedly experienced remote-area barra and bluewater fishing at its very best.
Lodge Manager Dave Thomas reports that the first group of 18 landed over 412 barra for two days fishing plus a stack of bluewater species including Spanish mackerel, giant trevally, queenfish and black jew.
Next up was a regular Channel 9 group of 15 which concentrated mainly on the barra. In just three days, this group caught and released a whopping 940 barra and over 400 bluewater fish. Many of the barra were in the mid-70cm to 80cm size – a wonderful sportfishing experience when your boat is catching more than 100 barra a day.
Geoff Cussen with a nice black jewfish caught on a barra lure.
Dave Russell, a member of the Channel 9 group, said: “We fished Thursday to Saturday last week and landed over 400 barra between 3 of us to 89cm (over 900 barra for the group plus some great blue water action). It’s fantastic fishing at Maningrida, when the rest of the NT is finding it difficult to raise a barra due to the lack of rain this season.”
Mark Wandel with a Spanish mackerel caught in the bluewater last week.
This sort of fishing is extraordinary, given the poor wet season experienced across the Top End this year. Although the Lodge’s fishing area received more rain than elsewhere in the Top End, it was still down. Lodge owner, Alex Julius, explained: “The reasons for the Lodge being able to offer the best barra fishing are, firstly, our six exclusive rivers are fed by a massive catchment area which collects the water and feeds it down through the river systems right through the year and, secondly, we have half the tidal movement of all those famous rivers closer to Darwin (South Alligator, Mary River, Daly River etc), so we have great water clarity compared to those rivers … a major component of good lure fishing for barra.”
Lodge Manager Dave also reported that there have been good numbers of black jewfish mixed up with the barra in the creeks. Renowned for their hard fighting and down-and-dirty tactics, the jewies have been a more than welcome surprise by-catch on barra lures for Lodge guests.
An acrobatic barra caught at the season start on a Classic 120 lure.
For more on the Barra Lodge go to: www.barralodge.com.au