fishing & boating in the NT

Submitted: Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 17:33
ThreadID: 11203 Views:3868 Replies:3 FollowUps:6
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I am hoping to draw on the experience within this audience for some help............please. I am now expecting a posting to sunny Darwin at the end of the year. Accordingly, I intend to be fishing whenever and wherever I can.
Situation: I have two young kids plus the missus. I also have 2 school holiday kids (11 and 14yo). I am 4wd equipped and want to venture out and about for the camping and fishing. I believe my rosters will give me 2 1/2 days break for these ventures so I don't want to be travelling 4 hours each way if I can avoid it.

1. I am after a boat for use in the area. I expect that I will want to fish in the creeks as well as a bit of coastal stuff (harbour and near shore - change of pace and fish species). I don't want the snappin' handbags to take the kids but want the kids to be able to come along. Budget around $10 to 15K. Any suggestions? Do I buy in Brisbane before leaving or wait until I get to Darwin?

2. I need some new (stronger) fishing gear for myself and the missus. The threadlines and rods I have now cater well for near shore and estuary fishing or beach fishing in the Southern states. I expect to upgrade somewhat for the heavier fishing. I would like a baitcaster but don't want to spend $300 + on a Calcutta. Suggestions for reels and rods?

3. Am looking at a GPS for both fishing and travelling. I don't want to be left short of features, want to be able to feed into my laptop but am not interested in paying $1000. Budget < $500 I expect although I could be persuaded to go higher if the $/value sums worked out. Suggestions?

4. Regarding Darwin in general. Is it that much more expensive to buy camping, fishing and boating gear up North or should I be looking to buy as much as I can in Brissy? Is it viable to buy over the net for delivery to Darwin? I actually have the majority of my camping gear already but am looking at a new esky and, possibly, a fridge.

I would appreciate as much help as possible

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Reply By: fatboy - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 18:06

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 18:06
Hi Roblin , can help with2 of your questions , buy your boat in brissy as a fair number of boat manufacturers are building them in your general area , my suggestion would be a bluefin warrior 4.5 mtr , these are a full 3mm boat all over , nice and deep and a great riding hull with a big interior , your nearest dealer would probably be MR T's tinnies , price wise they would be around 15 grand as a package . As far as the rod and real goes if you are barra fishing it is hard to go past an ABU 5600 or 6500 with a nice 8-10 kg rod , shakespeare make some quality gear now at a good price , outfit would probably be around $250 . For the boat have a look at bluefins website , I think it is or stacer are making some affordable packages now as well.
Hope this helps a little
AnswerID: 50117

Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 18:22

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 18:22
Gday Roblin,In question 1 you say you dont want the snappin handbags to take the kids,I take it the wife's fair bait ?
AnswerID: 50119

Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 20:17

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 20:17
Hi Rob, hope you enjoy your new posting. Now, I'm a bit interested in some your questions as we are looking at boat, GPS and fishing gear as well. Here's a bit of what I know about boats:
1. Got to and check the site - we are seriously looking at a 5.25m centre console Sea Fisher Sports. (Stacer does have total packages at the moment). Good site. Also check out - Alley Craft. If you go to you can work your way through all sorts.
2. GPS - I haven't got very far with this but I want one that hooks on the windscreen pillar and can take off and put on the boat and talks with the depthsounder/fish finder.
3. In the newsagent have found a good mag called "Fitting Out for Bay & Coastal Fishing" - very very good (for me). As well there are mags called Barra & Bass or something like that but gives some good articles on fishing in the NT.
4. If not wanting a new boat - check out Trailer Boat at the newsagent.
Hope this helps. I'll be watching with interest for replies in the hopes someone will answer my GPS queries.
AnswerID: 50129

Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 22:08

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 22:08
Rob, Ruths advice is sound. In other words do heaps of homework. I have fished a lot of the area but have always used fishing guides as we only go for a weeks intensive fishing at any one time, they supply the boat and time, they take us directly to where the fish are and we have a ball.
Now my 2c's worth. There is a great tackle shop in Darwin (next to the ex servicemens club) and we get good prices from them, some things cheaper than Syd. Buy good quality gear and it will serve you well if you look after it, ask to see the workings inside a reel before you buy and you will be surprised how cheap some of them are inside (all plastic gears etc.)
Talk with the experts up there, see what they use and get first hand tried and tested information. Go to this site for a contact, Amature Fishermans Assc of the Norther Territory :
If you can chase up a chap called Buff ( Buffalo) just ask around the shops they will know where he is, he has won the Daley River Barra Classic 3 years in a row and is a whizzz. Even if you had to pay for a bit of his time he has immense knowledge about rods, lures. reels etc. and would be happy to help a keen learner.
Don't be in to much of a rush & you will get it right the first time, it's cheaper that way.
Good luck and tight lines.

FollowupID: 311945

Follow Up By: Diesel 1 - Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 09:11

Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 09:11
You're spot on there Cocka. I'm a Darwinite and although a lot of southerners might believe that we are still a bit backwards with some things, I'm pleased to announce that we have moved into the 21st century along with the rest of the nation.
Your advice to Rob is good. We have a great selection of tackle shops up here and prices on gear are on par with other parts of the country. We have a good boat building industry and albeit not as comprehensive as the eastern states, the boats are manufactured to suit local requirements.

My advice to Rob is to wait until you get here and purchase from the local suppliers and manufacturers - why cart it all the way from Brisbane when you can buy whatever you want here in Darwin for the same price and in a lot of cases, a bit cheaper.

Diesel 1
FollowupID: 311975

Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 15:26

Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 15:26
Good on you Cocka - those fishing mags I talked about are down at the other house and I couldn't remember Buffalo's name. We get some good ads on TV here (through Imparja) about Fishing NT - very impressive.
FollowupID: 312001

Follow Up By: roblin - Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 16:02

Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 at 16:02
I understand that there is a pretty good new boaating industry in Darwin however my concern is the availability of good second hand ones considering I have a budget of less than $15K. As I am probably fater a 4.5 metre + tinny I was considering the second hand market (as well as the new market) down south and thought that maybe, due to the volume of available boats in Brisbane, that I may get better value for money rather than buy new or second hand in the potentially limited Darwin market.
Thanks for the advice on fishing gear though. I won't get anything new until I get there unless the price is too good to be true!
FollowupID: 312004

Follow Up By: Diesel 1 - Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 09:45

Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 09:45
Have a look at and work your way through the classifieds. A lot of the second hand boats sold up here are by people that have moved here from interstate, bought their boat with them and then discovered that it was not suitable for local conditions.

If you want to fish the creeks and rivers, give serious consideration to a shallow hull boat - something that will get you into good spots.

Diesel 1
FollowupID: 312074

Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 11:51

Sunday, Mar 14, 2004 at 11:51
Your right there Diesel, nothing like that shallow draft for getting in amongst the mangrove trees to retrieve that favourite lure that missed the mark.
FollowupID: 312087

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