Blog: 5-Day Barra to Sailfish Safari

FISHO was contacted this week by Allan Beale of Darwin’s Barra Base Fishing Safaris, who recently hosted Danielle and Anthony Ellis on a five day “Barra to Sailfish Pelagics Bluewater Fishing Safari”.

According to Beale, the Ellis’s had such a great experience they wrote all about it on their blog. He sent us a link to the blog to share with Fisho readers. 

Below is an excerpt – the full blog can be read in full via the link at the bottom.

5 Day Barra to Sailfish Safari with Darwin’s Barra Base
Righto….my turn to pen the blog this week given the nature of last weeks activities.

I have always wanted to fish the Daly River in the Territory for Barramundi, so we searched the net and found a live aboard charter that was leaving Darwin on Monday the 26th, perfect timing for us as we had time to drive the 860km from Kunnunurra and get there in time for an early departure.

We arrived at Darwin’s Barra Base late Sunday night and met our hosts, Allan and Heather Beale. We also met and Gordon and Anne, a lovely couple from NZ who were also coming on the safari. We had a quick bite to eat then loaded the boat with our fishing gear and went straight to bed as we had a 4am start the next day.

We woke at 4am, hooked up the two 7.8m tinnies and headed down the Stuart highway to the Daly River. We arrived at the river about 8am and launched the boats quickly realising we were not alone, the annual Daly River “Barra Classic” fishing competition was in full swing and there were boats everywhere. One of the fishermen in the comp told us the Barra had been scarce but our guides had many years of fishing this region so we were hopeful of a meter plus Barra.

We soon had the lures in the water after a short trip down stream and began fishing amongst the snags and crocs, which were everywhere! We tried all sorts of lures and techniques and eventually I hooked up to a big Barra but the fight was short as it took me under one of the many snags and it broke off. Needless to say I was filthy!

We did see two metre plus fish caught by another boat, one of which was attacked by a bull shark soon after being released and had its tail bitten off, amazing given we are 75km from the ocean! Another boat picked up what was left of the Barra with a net and it was 90cm long even though the shark had bitten off the back end of the fish behind the second dorsal fin, it must have been about 1.2m long.

We continued down the Daly and fished every snag, creek and rock bar without success but did see some amazing sights, the most memorable was a massive school of mullet that were being chased by some predators. We threw lures into the teeming fish that flitted everywhere in all directions when the lure hit the water. Allan was convinced Barra were there and then to our amazement, a five meter croc launched out of the water and gulped up dozens of the foot long mullet just near our boatside. This was incredible to see given we were in 2 feet of water!!!

The sun was getting low so we decided to crack open the beers and enjoy the 20km steam down to the head of the Daly which was an iced coffee colour due to the massive run out tide. We arrived at “Humbug”, a 40 foot catamaran and met Scotty, the owner, and had tea and went to bed as were were all stuffed.


Allan suggested we head to Dockerty’s Creek which is 40km west of the mouth of the Daly to chase Barra as this waterway feeds straight into the sea and should not be as dirty as the Daly, so off we went. The tide was going out and we just made it over the mud flats and started fishing, we toiled all day and only managed 3 Barra and some blue salmon despite masses of bait fish inside the creek.

This creek had obviously been netted by the commercial boats the day before as we saw them setting their nets at the next creek on the way in. Frustrating given they set their nets across the mouth of the river and catch all the Barra, usually pulling out tonnes at a time. We headed back to Humbug for a feed of fish, a few beers and early to bed as we had another early start.

Gordon and Anne managed to catch a Barra as well which was great to see, even though we were having a friendly competition between the two boats.



Read the full blog and view more images at:

inline_498_ 5.jpg

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.