The rivers of Australia’s Northern Territory are abundant with sport fish - but it’s the mighty barramundi fishing which is the reason serious anglers head to the NT.
Barramundi fishing is so popular with sport fishers because of the Barramundi reputation of being a great fighter. High leaps, strong runs, and an uncanny ability to get off the hook mean it’s always a challenge.
Barramundi fishing means thrills and action.
Tidal rivers, estuaries and freshwater billabongs all hide barra and they are big, the average is around one metre long but they can be bigger.
Barra fishing is year round, but they hang out at different places at different times of year, and are more liable to bite during the warmer summer months. They’re not fussy eaters and are receptive to all kinds of lures, but live mullet is a popular choice as bait.
The Best Spots
One of the best spots is actually in Darwin, if you don't’ want to travel far and are visiting during the wet season, which is normally not the best time of year to fish. You’ll find barra in the estuaries around Darwin Harbour or in the mangroves and tidal creeks of Shoal Bay and Bynoe Harbour.
The Daly River
You can’t visit the NT on a fishing trip without a trip to the Daly River. Around 250km from Darwin, the Daly River is a wild place, 10kg barra are not uncommon and can weigh in at as much as 20kg.
Check out the fishing tour operators for this region, it might be worth comparing with the camping and caravan options, or even an air conditioned unit from Daly River Barra Resort.
The Mary River
150km east of Darwin along the Stuart and Arnhem Highways, the Mary River is also a well known barra fishing destination. Every angler who has headed to the NT to catch a barra has heard of Shady Camp. It’s the main spot for throwing up a tent, however there’s also accommodation within and near the park. Known for its sprawling wetlands and freshwater billabongs, there’s plenty to see and do at the Mary River National Park.
South Alligator River - East Alligator River
You could also Kakadu in Arnhem Land, the South Alligator River and East Alligator River are marked as some of the best barra fishing in Australia.
Some time in March or April, after the wet seasons monsoonal rains have swept through from the north, the floodplains vanish under an island sea which drains into the plains and rivers. This runoff is a trigger which brings barramundi and other fish on the bite. Tours and charters operate here too.
You could also take a day trip tour to the Corroboree billabong. It’s known for delivering consistently good fishing and as one of the Top End’s most scenic locations.
Chase barra around the lake and you may see water birds, sea eagles, crocodiles, water buffalo and wild pigs as well.