In the most northern part of the Top End on the Cobourg Peninsula lies some of the most untouched mangrove creek systems you’ll find anywhere in Australia. With approximately half of the coast lined by mangrove outcrops, mudflats, creeks and gutters it’s the perfect habitat and hide out for the iconic Barramundi. Generally known as a world class blue water fishing destination, this area has slipped under the radar for what else is on offer. Imagine yourself winding your way up creek systems, flicking lures from sun up to sun down and not seeing another boat for the whole day- that’s what it’s like out there.
You can’t expect an abundance of meter plus Barra although you can expect plenty of action at the right times of year. If the Barra aren’t on, there’s always plenty of bycatch to keep you entertained such as Mangrove Jacks, Threadfin Salmon, Golden Snapper and Queensland Groper.
Picking the right time of year is essential and picking your tides during the day is just as essential.
A general rule of thumb out there is ‘the more uncomfortable you are (heat/humidity wise) the better the conditions for fishing’. In other words, the more you’re sweating the better!
These months of the year are October, November, March and April. At this time the water temperatures are higher and more stable and therefore we see an increase in feeding activity
Most of the prime Barra country on the Cobourg Peninsula is very shallow therefore its necessary to plan your day around water levels. Even at the height of the tide you are generally looking at about a maximum of 1.2m in depth. You can either fish the incoming tides, pushing into creeks as soon as they're accessible then fish the outgoing until about .5m (depending on your boats draft) or alternatively lock yourself in a creek or gutter. Generally, the best results for Barra are around the last half of the out going tide and the start of the run in so I’d always opt for a lock-in if it fits into the days schedule. Once you lock yourself in a creek, there's no getting out for at least 5hrs so make sure it's not a low tide to late in the day. I find a 9am low is ideal. This way you can push yourself into a creek at first light, fish the best parts of the tide in the early morning and be out by after lunch.