THE start of July each year unofficially signals the end of the run-off season in the Top End and while this years run-off was a bit of a non-event due to the poor wet season, there was still plenty of good fishing had over the last few months.
Cannon Charters runs a remote mothership sportfishing operation across the top end of Australia and while they had to move away from regular tactics for this time of year, they still managed plenty of quality fish.
Barramundi are the major drawcard from March to June each year and despite the less than favourable conditions Cannon guides put their clients onto over 3000 barra during the period.
While the dismal wet meant that the numbers of barra were down overall, the average size was much more impressive than that of last years run-off. Over half of the fish were legal sized with the biggest barra being a 123cm monster. A 121cm and 117cm fish took out silver and bronze respectively.
The actual breakdown of the numbers results were, in 10 separate weeks of charters Cannon’s clients caught 3106 barramundi. Break it down even further and it equates to approximately 39 barra per client, per week. If you add this to the multitudes of other species encountered on the West Coast NT trips it amounts to plenty of bent rods!
Cannon Charters focuses on the remote river systems along the West Coast of the Northern Territory during run-off season and while barra are at the top of the list, there is a myriad of other tropical estuary species that are encountered when fishing the rivers along this coastline. And, when you combine the river species with the big reef brawlers such as golden snapper, black jewfish and cobia and the pelagics like Spanish mackerel, trevallies and queenfish, it’s not hard to see the appeal of a trip to this part of the Top End.
For the next couple of months Cannon charters move across the Bonaparte Gulf and into the Kimberleys in North Western Australia, which is world renowned for its rugged beauty and untouched fishing. The remoteness of this region allows Cannon’s clients to explore endless islands, gorges, rivers and coastline while fishing new ground every single day.
As with all Cannon trips a 75ft mothership acts as a fully air-conditioned home for the week, complete with five star restaurant quality meals and four 4.9m surveyed tinnies to have you fishing in comfort.
The latter part of the year (October and November) sees the Cannon focus its fishing attention once again on NT waters, this time heading north from Darwin towards the southern side of the Cobourg Peninsula. There is a vast expanse of remote estuaries known as the Mini Minis that are infamous for good barra fishing.
This coincides with the wet season “build up”, where clients will be targeting these big barra as they congregate in preparation to spawn in the wet season.
Catering for small groups, 8 clients at a time, allows for a much more personalised charter, with two fishos per tinny, each with their own qualified and experienced guide. This means that you spend much more time with a line in the water.
Check out the Cannon Charters website or call 0417 457 135 to find out more about a fishing experience of a lifetime.