TOP END FISHING: Great catch from the Mary River.
TOP END FISHING: Great catch from the Mary River. Peter Eve, Tourism NT

Top fishing tips for the top end

A TRAVEL diary of mine would not be complete without a trip to the Northern Territory. I just love heading to Darwin because there is so much to see, do and catch!

There are so many options in the Territory that I cannot do them all justice here but I will detail a few on the top of the list.

There is fabulous fishing off Dundee Beach which is a couple of hours south west of Darwin.

Many guides work from here and you can stay right at the ramp where you'll also find cabin style accommodation and a pub with great counter meals.

The fishing off Dundee is diverse. You can catch everything from sailfish to coral trout - you'll find plenty of mackerel, tuna, reef fishes and barramundi.

The winter months are typically the best to fish here, but anytime the weather fines up, you will catch fish at Dundee.

Packing is hard as you can catch everything here. Lures and bait will work so take a mix of outfits from barra size (4 to 10kg) to medium weight (8 to 20kg) and the heavy outfits (20 to 40kg).

Boats in the 5m plus category are advisable in open waters and can be launched from the ramp at Dundee Beach.

Darwin Harbour provides some great fishing for anglers not wanting to travel too far from the city.

There are several ramps and also plenty of guided options. You can catch mud crabs and barramundi within a stone's throw of the CBD; it is a diverse fishery.

The wrecks and small patches of reef within the harbour are good spots to catch reef fish like black jewfish and golden snapper.

Outfits prescribed for Dundee Beach will also get the job done in Darwin Harbour. Great lures for harbour and inshore fishing include - 90 to 120mm bibbed hardbody lures that dive from 1 to 3 metres, 3 to 4 inch prawn imitation soft plastics, 3 to 5 inch paddletail soft plastics and 95mm vibe style plastic lures.

The other great option when travelling to the Territory during the dry season is to visit the billabong fishery.

These waterholes that have been left following wet season are often full of species such as barramundi and saratoga. They make for some breath-taking scenery while experiencing world class fishing.

The easiest to reach and most well-known waterhole is Corroboree Billabong. It can be found an easy drive to the east of Darwin around the Mary River system. There is a small section of graded dirt and a solid boat ramp which makes it easy to visit and fish.

The bird and croc life is abundant and there are fish everywhere.

The same tackle and lures as prescribed for Darwin Harbour will get the job done.

The closest accommodation available is in the form of the Corroboree Park Tavern or alternatively you can stay on one of the resident houseboats.

Nige Webster works for AFN Fishing & Outdoors and presents and produces The Fishing Show on Channel 7Mate.

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