The Daly River
was discovered and named by Sir Dominick Daly (Governor of South Australia
) in 1865. It is a river that can experience rises and falls of up to 16 metres when it floods and can reach 8 metres twice a day when the freshwaters are pushed back upstream by the incoming Timor Sea tide. Commercial fishing has been excluded from the Daly River
and the resource was signed over to recreational and traditional anglers.
The Daly River
attracts anglers from all over the country and there are even Barramundi
fishing competitions such as the Barra Nationals and the Northern Territory
Barra Classic which are held annually. When it comes to actual fishing spots, the Daly River
is like many in the top end
, a wilderness river which has fresh and saltwater crocodiles, more notably down stream from the Crossing where they share sandy banks with waterfowl, stately jabirus, sea eagles and hawks. Therefore, fishing is done on a suitable boat and local knowledge should be gained from the Daly River
The best times to fish for Barramundi
is from September to the beginning of the wet season which usually starts mid to late November. The best fishing is during what’s called the ‘run-off’ which is the period when the monsoon is on the wane and swelled floodplains drain back into the river via a network of gutters, canals, channels and creeks. Where the incoming fresh floodplain waters meet the river’s flow, barramundi
usually wait for passing bait. Others will become trapped in landlocked billabongs and become creatures of ambush, usually waiting amongst rock bars and underwater snags. During the drier months of May and June, barramundi
fishing start to slow, but some results can still be obtained by working the snags, rock-bars and tidal run-offs.
Productive snag fishing requires getting the lure down to the fish, so when you are trolling you know it’s about right when you feel the lure hitting the bottom at times. Try a variety of lures for working deep snags such as sinking jigs and soft plastic lures. Surface lures are also great to use in shallow waters, where barramundi
often frequent at night. Barramundi
also enjoy taking live bait and freshwater prawns. Please be aware of the barramundi
possession and size limits, and note the seasonal closures that occur on the Daly River
below Moon Billabong between October and February.