If you’ve got a few days in Darwin and you’re keen to get out on the water and do some barra fishing or even target some bluewater species you’re in luck! Darwin must have the best fishing of any capital city in Australia. The keen fisherman or fisherwoman can catch a variety of species within minutes of the CBD.
Of course those keen to travel further afield will reap the rewards. For a bucket list fishing trip, check out the Cobourg Peninsula in Arnhem Land. Board a 1hr flight from Darwin and enjoy world class fishing and wildlife within Australia’s largest tract of traditional Aboriginal Land. A permit system restricts visitor numbers here so you are guaranteed to be one of a handful boats in the NT’s largest marine park. Note you'll need at least 3 days for this option.
If you don't have the time to get to Cobourg and are keen to just try your luck in Darwin then please read on...
Time of year, if you’ve come up in our beautiful dry season (June-Aug) then you’re going to have to work really hard to catch a barra. We know that hasn’t stopped anglers before but as the water temperatures cool down so do the biting barra. But it’s the best time to hit the bluewater, great Spanish mackerel, jewfish, milkfish and other reefies abound in Darwin Harbour.
Keen to fish? And not spend hours driving to billabongs and boat ramps at odd hours to catch the tides? Consider a trip launching from Dinah Beach Boat Ramp, only minutes from the CBD, with great access to mangroves (barra, jacks and mud crabs!) and Darwin Harbour. With so many amazing fishing destinations many operators will launch anywhere from 1-3 hours from Darwin; Corroboree Billabong, Daly River, Dundee Beach are some of these popular spots.
Barra boats are designed with open decks and we only recommend fishing 2-4 anglers depending on boat size. Look for operator that uses a custom boat designed for maximum comfort and fishing opportunities. You don’t want to miss out the action because only half your group can safely flick lures in the small mangrove channels and inlets where the barra are commonly found. Larger groups are much better accommodated on the bluewater where everyone can drop down on the reefs without the risk of tangled lines and snags.
Are you familiar with bait casters- the most commonly used rods to catch barra. Highly recommended as they allow greater manoeuvrability and allow the experienced fisherperson to cast to an exact point or snag where your targeted species awaits. If you’re new to using bait casters then choosing a destination and operator who can teach you or who primarily trawls for fish is a good option and safer too, unexperienced anglers flicking lures around can be unsettling, wear your sunnies!
Most importantly get out there and enjoy our uncrowded waterways, wildlife and friendly locals. The NT is definitely one place that anyone who is keen to try their luck usually finds it.
For more info about fishing in Arnhem Land please email us here.