Northern Territory wet season update

UNFORTUNATELY there’s not a heap of really good news for all the fisho’s hoping for a great wet season up here in the Top End. There are stories coming from the Kakadu area that it’s been one of its driest Januarys on record with February not looking much better. The township of Jabiru which is located in Kakadu National Park has only recorded 340mm of rain since the start of October which is less than half its average rain fall for this period.

The low rain falls have forced the rangers to close their popular wet season cruises around the Magela Creek area. Low rain falls in this area will affect fishing in rivers such as the East Alligator River, South Alligator River and the Mary River area. At this stage it means a shorter run off season, although things can change very quickly up here at this time of the year.

Darwin is setting heat records and has had its 4th driest January on record. But it’s not all doom and gloom with some great fish being caught down Shady Camp way. There have been some big crowds converging on this area on the neap tides which is normal at this time of the year. Plenty of photos are appearing on social media and in the local newspaper of some really nice metre plus barra and also some great threadfin salmon. This area east of Darwin really needs some substantial rains to keep the area fishing well.

The Daly River, which flooded at Christmas time before slowly dropping back to nearly its normal flow height and then rising again to 11 meters by early February, has been very inconsistent for people heading down that way for a fish. I went down there with my mate Pigsy before the river rose the second time and did an overnighter. We had some pretty good fishing and we caught around 50 Barra on this trip. Not many big ones but we had a great time.

I’ve only just got home from another overnighter with Pigsy (11th February), and with the river sitting at the 11 metre mark we ran well down the river before we started finding any signs of colour changes at the creek mouths. We did it tough on the fishing side of things and only landed five Barra and one shark. I managed to drop a few as well. The Daly River Mango Farm received around 30mm of rain while we were fishing over the two days and this area, and also the Katherine area, seem to be getting a bit more rain than the eastern side of Darwin.

A short video put up on facebook by Heli Fish the other day shows how much water is laying across the Daly flood plains. When the Daly River gets back down to eight metres – and keeps falling – there could be some good fishing to be had. I also think come March/April when all the bait such as mullet and cherabin start to run up the river it will be the place to be. Fingers crossed for some more rain to fall between now and the end of Febuary.

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