Fishing report: Darwin barra

FISHING the waters on Darwin’s door step can be tough, and at other times, fantastic. I’ve recently experienced both.

It had been a while since I fished with my old mate, Russell Kenny. When he rang and asked if I wanted to go for a fish in the harbour with him I jumped at the chance. Russell uses a Cross Country 4.1m boat which is nice and light and runs a 15hp four-stroke on the transom with an electric motor on the pointy end so he can across some very skinny water.


Waz with a solid Darwin barra.

The tide was dropping as we launched and we didn’t travel far before stopping at some nice looking gutters. We managed a couple of pikey bream and Russell got a flathead. We moved around looking for any signs of fish activity and finally got our first barra off a small snag at the mouth of a junction. Shortly after, Russell scored another small barra from a drain. I hooked and landed a couple of catfish. We tried plenty of good looking spots but it just wasn’t happening. It was still a good outing and we made arrangements for another trip a few days later.

Our next trip started producing barra right from the word go. Once again we were fishing a run-out tide and targeted a nice snaggy looking bank. Both of us were using soft plastic lures rigged weed-less and at just about any spot that looked like it should hold a barra, it did. The barra weren’t big ones but we were having a ball and this stretch produced around a dozen fish for us. The tide had bottomed out at this stage so a move was made to another creek and we slowly fished our way along the bank with the incoming tide.


Russell’s pikey bream.

Once again, most really fishy looking spots were producing barra, but we were starting to get a few bigger ones, and at one particular nice looking drain I had a tap from a really nice threadfin that failed to hook up. On my very next cast a beautiful 79cm barra nailed my lure. Russell scored another 60cm model before his next cast got smashed by a good sized thready right beside the boat. The thready ran hard and found some underwater timber which we couldn’t get it untangled from and eventually escaped.


We’d swapped over to shallow running hard body lures at this stage so we could work them over the snags. Great fun as we were seeing most of the strikes! We came to another great looking spot and I started by hooking and dropping a nice barra and then proceeded to drop the next six fish before I finally got another to the boat. Russell was having fun catching and releasing while having a dig at my fishing skills.

With the wind starting to blow up a bit, we decided to call it quits and head for home. It had been a great day’s fishing with around 20 odd barra caught and half as many dropped and a couple of shots at some bonus threadies.

Just waiting for that call from Russell to go again…


Top end flathead.

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