Alex Julius Arnhemland Barra Fishing

Alex Julius

NT Fishing Publisher and Personality

Alex is one of the Top End’s best known and most respected anglers, having been pivotal in the development and protection of recreational fisheries in the Northern Territory. Editor of one of Australia’s oldest and most respected fishing journals, NAFA, he’s a prolific blogger, writer and publisher. Alex was a fishing reporter on the ABC for two decades and National Fishing Reporter For Channel Nine Wide World of Sports for many years. His television show “Fishing North Australia” ran for 4 seasons and aired not only in Australia, but internationally. Alex founded one of Australia’s top fishing destinations, the Arnhemland Barra Lodge and has won both the NT Barra Classic and the Barra Nationals.

Alex’s Top Tips For Darwin Barra

  • Darwin Harbour is a great fishing destination during the buildup (spring) season. There are plenty of small but accommodating barra in the 5 arms of the harbour, arms along with blue salmon, mangrove jack, golden snapper (fingermark bream). There are quality black jew and other species on the reefs and in the deeper channels in the main harbour.
  • Tides in Darwin Harbour can be massive – up to 8m at times. Barra can be caught on most tides for those who persevere, but it pays to be sure that your session includes a low tide. The preferred tide is about 1 to 1.8m, it pays to be on the water and fishing for a few hours leading to the low. Generally the bottom of the tide fishes poorly, but not always. If it’s not windy, fish the flats to target barra retreating across the flats as the tide falls. Fish the snake drains on the flats and as the tide gets close to bottom the barra will be in the channel patrolling the edge of the flats.
  • The incoming tide can also be a great time to fish. Barra are very situationally aware and can start moving very quickly as the water and bait start to move up onto the flats. They’ll move up with the water but can be challenging because it’s too shallow to get a boat into. Fish soft plastics and hard bodies around the mouths of the snake drains at the start of the incoming tide.
  • The harbour is fishable even on the biggest tidal movements. Bite windows can be shorter than on smaller tides, but are often faster and more aggressive as the fish are also trying to use a short window of opportunity.
  • The million dollar tagged barra season starts on October 1 and there are 6 fish with million dollar tags in the harbour ready to be caught.
  • Alex reckons one of the keys to fishing for barra is to use attractant on the lures. He prefers S Factor scent, but say the Berkley Juice also works very well

Alex’s Tackle For Darwin Barra

  • Alex likes his baitcast gear for accuracy and favours Shimano gear but reckons there are plenty of other good choices. He generally loads his baitcast reels with 20-30lb braid and a 40lb fluorocarbon leader. Check the leader often, especially after a fish.
  • Spin gear is also a good option, with 3000 sized reels, 15-20lb braid and 40lb fluorocarbon leaders. This is Alex’s preference for fishing the smaller, lighter soft plastics and even for fishing larger lures if there is a strong wind.
  • To reduce cutting the leader with every lure change, Alex likes size 3 Mustad Fastach clips.

Alex’s Best Darwin Harbour Barra Lures

  • Small hard body lures such as the “Classic Just Under” or Reidy’s Little Lucifer and Bomber 14A and 15A are good choices. In the clear waters of Darwin Harbour Alex prefers green and chartreuse lures to the classic chrome gold models many anglers reach for.
  • Weedless soft plastics are often a good choice as they tend to be less prone to getting snagged on mangrove suckers. Non pre-rigged lures should be rigged without a fastach clip, but with a small ball sinker in the loop knot. This allows the lure to settle with the tail up.
  • The Zerek Cherabin, Zerek Flat Shad, Zman MinnowZ and Berkley Gulp Shrimp are all great soft plastic options for Barra in Darwin Harbour.

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