The rains have set in and even though the expected hit of category 1 Cyclone Grant turned out to be a fizzer, the run-off fishing has already started.
After living and fishing in places like the Territory and the Kimberley region of WA, the run off in Weipa looks pretty sedate, however the same basic principles apply. Any freshwater that runs into another tributary and causes discoloured water will hold barra in any area where they are found.
Although Weipa lacks the floodplains of the Top End, we do have countless freshwater creeks and lagoons that only run during the wet but hold water for most of the year. Some of these bigger lagoons that are fed by the Wenlock or Archer rivers can offer some spectacular land-based fishing for barra, saratoga and sooties. Casting plastic frogs, spinnerbaits and fizzers allows the angler to experience spectacular surface strikes and offer great sport on light bait casting or spin gear. While I enjoy fishing light, don’t be surprised if an 800mm+ barra smashes your finesse offering and shows you who is in control.
When quadding or walking the various swamps around Weipa you have to really be aware of saltwater crocs. Obviously they are a risk when fishing here all year round however the next few months they will be on the move and can end up miles from any major waterholes. I nearly ran over one that was crossing the PDR a fair while from any major waterways. Another local bloke stepped over a 12ft croc while out hunting a few weeks ago. Something to keep in mind that’s for sure!
The barra season will have opened by the time this goes to print and no doubt will be getting a fair old hammering for the first few weeks. The barra fishing has been really going off and as a result of chasing threadfin, we have managed some good fish around 850mm. The threadfin have absolutely been firing and we have been landing some fantastic fish over a meter and plagues of 800-900mm fish.
The good things about this time of year are the tides and the run of jelly prawns. Both of these factors allow for some of the best threadfin fishing that I have ever experienced. The high tides during the days have been allowing us to fish the flats on most days for at least 4 hours each session. The rains have pushed all of the jelly prawns out into the bays and to see 1200mm threadfin smash mouthfuls of jelly prawn in 3ft of water has to be one of the best sights for any estuary angler. These threadfin are the best fighting fish in northern rivers. I have caught them in deeper holes when I was living down south and, while they still go hard, they have got nothing on a 10kg+ fish that hits a surface offering in less than a meter of water. They simply go insane; there is no other word to describe them.
These tides will hang around until about April so do yourself a favour and get up here with some shallow running hardbodies or flies and get stuck into some of these monster salmon that Weipa has to offer!Reads: 1306