Tide Reports and Information
The tides are one of the most important factors in fishing the Territory. Even 100 kilometres from the coast, many rivers are still tidal. And they vary so much from place to place.
And, well, they're different. I think that's the best way to describe them.
I was fishing over in the gulf country, a few hundred kilometres south of Gove. not long ago. (Sometimes they don't even get a tide there all day!). We were fishing a creek mouth, very remote, looked magnificent. Run in tide; there by dawn. Magnificent! No fish.
"Soon as the tide turns, they'll be on!" I was assured, constantly, as the tide mounted and ran in during the morning's fishing. Smoko came and went. The tide kept on coming. Still no fish.
Lunchtime. We retired, and tied to a tree in the shade. At last, the current slowed, finally stopped. We hurriedly packed away, and raced to a carefully chosen spot at the mouth. Waited for the turn. And waited. An hour later- still no fish.
"What's making that dirty water come around the point like that?" I asked, somewhat naively. 'I don't believe it!' my locally based expert says, turning a little pale. "Bloody tides running in again!" No fish that day. The further east you travel the bigger the tides get.
Darwin Harbour can get variations of over 7 metres. Watching a runout sometimes is like seeing dirty water run out of a bath. But watch out . the plugs bigger! At Nungalynia Rock, known as Old Man Rock, about a kilometre off the Darwin shoreline, there are a couple of tides a year when it actually dries. The locals like to walk out with the falling tide. It feels a bit like the Israelites crossing the Red Sea! Coming back with the tide is a brisk walk just to keep from getting your feet wet!
Even further west, in the Kimberlys, the tides can run like a snow-fed flooding torrent. Here local knowledge is vital.
When planning a fishing trip in the Territory, always check the tides first.
Around the full moon for night fishing and the dark of the moon during the day is a good rule of thumb.
Neaps for reef fishing.
Springs for pelagics and barramundi.