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Darwin Work/Fishing trip

1073 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  PoddyMullet
Hi all. I've finally arrived back in Sydney after being away in Darwin 1 month for work. We had alot of time off there and I went fishing almost everyday. Darwin weather is great. No need to worry about the weather as its a constant 34 degrees. The only thing you need to consider is the tidal difference at this time of year as they get huge tides (max of 8.5metres). I would not consider kayak fishing as there are crocs, sharks and box jelly fish in the harbour and creeks. A few of us went on several charters and mainly caught small fish and sharks (see pics). I was dying to catch a barra but it didn't happen as the water temp and tidal movement has to be just right (according to the guide). Alot of the charters are there just for the money - I will know which ones to avoid next time. The most productive fishing was off the wharf at Stokes Hill wharf in Darwin. There are many other places to try but we ran out of time. I did not take any gear with me so I had to buy a travellers rod and some hand lines up there. Lures are rarely used there (only for barra) and live bait is the way to go. It is very easy to catch live herring there with a simple jig which can be bought for $2.50 from the local tackle shop. I also bought a fold up bait bucket with aerator which I will utilise in my kayak. The live bait can be caught at nearly every drop with 5 fish usually being hooked. We would throw out several handlines (up to 60lb breaking strain) and tie it of on the wharf. I lost count of the number of fish we hooked and lost due to bust offs. These fish are big and they play dirty. The handlines would spin chaotically and it was often impossible to stop the fish from swimming under the wharf and busting us off. The line would often burn your skin from the fishs run - wish I had gloves. We did manage to stop a few and had some good fights (landed a shovel nose shark, trevally, small barra - work collegue, very jeolous and queenfish). The six piece rod I bought was way to floppy for Darwin. I had an awesome fight with a queeny one night with this rod for about 15 min. It would not give up and finally busted me off under the wharf (very entertaining for all watching - it was a big queeny and went very hard with spectacular jumps). I then purchased a Shimano 3 piece, stiffer rod but was still too light for that type of fishing. You really need heavy gear in Darwin to put the brakes on the fish fast. There are apparently big groper, barra, queenies and sharks hanging around the wharf. The water activity is amazing there. We had a dolphin swim past, squid, crabs and heaps of bait fish hanging around (they were often agitated and jumping out of the water as if it was raining). The birds would nearly always be there and are not afraid to steal your live bait just before casting ( I caught several birds).
The fishing was great and I will be trying several techniques I learnt. It just shows you do not need to pay big money to catch fish. We caught more quality fish from the wharf than the charters.


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Nice photos & Welcome back.

Any fishing when away on work related duties is a major plus mate, handlines and all :)
Unfortunately, due to the change in ownership of this web site and the lack of response by the owners to my requests to remove my email address from all administrative-level notifications and functionality, I have decided to remove my posts on AKFF. Thank you for the great times, the fantastic learning experiences and the many many fish. If you are desperate for the old content of this particular post, it is available below base64 encoded and bzip2 compressed.



Those are a wide range of fish.
Quite exotic!

The queenie looks like a fish called a leatherjack. They have spines on the 2nd dorsal and anal fins that cause a nasty reaction. I don't know if it's poison or bacterial, but it's advisable to steer clear. Nice TR!

I loved Darwin when I was up there, would definitely go again. If you're after a good fishing charter, I recommend http://riverandreef.com.au/. They managed to get me a Barra in the middle of Winter! :)
Thanks guys. Thanks for the charter and guide tips.
A queenie on a hand line is a prize :D
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