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A social group of dedicated fly fishers who are passionate about fly fishing in the tropical north of Australia and equally as passionate about the close camaraderie this sport brings. This passion and dedication led to the creation of the NT Flyfishers Social Mob blog site; an interactive and creative outlet where everyone can share our wonderful fly fishing adventures and link into the “after fishing” social events we enjoy in this incredible part of the world.

Thursday, 13 October 2016


It's been a while since we have spent so much time fishing in Darwin Harbour, Bynoe has been our main base for the past few years, but circumstances have us doing short trips now into Darwin and rediscovering our old fishing spots.   One thing that has really changed in Darwin is the skyline....with the Inpex plant monstrosity over on our old fishing spots at Catalina Creek...you just have to wonder how they could have even considered putting that ugly place there..madness.

Anyway, once you get past all the new bits and pieces in that part of the harbour,  weed reef and west arm are still magnificent places with the beautiful city skyline in the background.

We started fishing over in the crystal clear water along the edge of little west arm, hoping for a red tag barra but didn't see any, even without red tags.  Plenty of trevally, some big goldies and massive queenies cruising the flats and hunting the smaller fish.   The trevally were around 30cm and there were plenty of them. Here is a typical catch, but have a closer look and you will see a mark on it's side.  That was where a huge queenie T barred it. There were so many of these we decided to crush the barbs on the hook.  That might have been the wrong thing to do?

Typical trevally 
Those big queenies continued to chase the trevally and presented a couple of opportunities to sight cast at a couple of them as they put their bow waves across the shallows.  I managed to get one of them to take a pink and white clouser about three inches long.   OMG didn't that cause a panic.   I have caught a lot of good queenies over a metre in the past but this was the most acrobatic and biggest I have ever hooked.   Roggie said it was at least 120.   It took me to the backing twice, and at one stage I thought that it might spool me, the line was going a million miles an hour towards Darwin and it was jumping in the opposite direct.  Typical queenie.   After a good fight, we thought it was done and managed to fish it, bit by bit back to the boat. It had jumped about four times and you could see how huge it was, but right at the boat, it came out of the water about six foot away and sprayed us with water, then it decided to run under the boat, bugger.  Managed to get it out and nearly to the net, but it must have seen Roggie....it shook its head and threw the hook.   What did I do....guess....sat down and cried for half an hour.

But the weather was so beautiful, so while I was having my debrief over the queenie, Roggie took us for a long ride to calm me down.   We ended up out from Cullen Bay where we found birds working in a couple of spots.  There were bait balls coming up now and then with heaps of small mackerel chasing them.   I sacrificed that fly that had lost the big queenie to the first mac that bit it off while Roggie was making up small wire traces for the other flies.

This was typical of the smaller macs 

Another ...all around 55cm

They loved this little fly...about 4cm with an 'all clear' head and 6cm trace.
We got sick of chasing the small macs. even though there were tuna or bigger fish under them, you could not get the fly down past them,  so we moved a bit closer to the Cullen Bay sand bar where, in 2006 I got by PB tuna and broke my TFO rod.   This was the last time I had broken a rod.
My 2006 Tuna
We were around the same spot that I hooked my tuna when Roggie said theres' big fish under the boat, and there was a school of larger macs, just swinging around the boat, some were huge, but most appeared to be around 80cm.  The best we got was an 82 cm.  Cast in with my 9wt BVK and hooked up almost immediately.  I don't think the fish new it was hooked, didn't run until it got near the boat and then it took off.  Got it back to the boat and thought it was done but as Roggie was about to net it, the fish decided to make a quick dive.  Smashed my rod against the boat and the second piece became three pieces as it shattered.  Then the bloody fish came up to the top and let us net it.   Another broken rod ...Cullen bay curse?????

There were a lot of these off the sand bar, with bigger fish under them.  Strangely no birds working over them.
Great fun...


  1. great fish Cathie….looks like you had good conditions out there

  2. great fish Cathie….looks like you had good conditions out there