Darwin Fishing Charters
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Fishing in Darwin
Darwin, Northern Territory is known for some of Australia’s best fishing. Located by the Timor Sea, it is the gateway between Australia and Southeast Asia. This has earned Darwin a unique role in history, accompanied by distinct cultural influences. Today, Darwin is known for its Asian markets and food, as well as stunning scenery, alluring wildlife, and the most coveted catch in Australia.
Darwin fishing offers vast opportunities, anywhere from coastal waters and shipwrecks to landlocked billabongs. You will find local anglers fishing Darwin based on four seasons known as “build-up,” “wet season,” “run-off,” and “dry season.” These periods are influenced by Darwin’s monsoon rains, which cause waters in the floodplains to rise in summer and fall in winter.
More than anything, Darwin fishing is known for Barramundi, or “Barra,” a hard fighting fish that you can catch any time of year. Darwin is home to the largest number of Barra in Australia. Many claim that the best Barra fishing Darwin has to offer occurs during the run-off season, when they swarm to the creeks and rivers to feed on smaller fish. However, Darwin Barra fishing is always good sport if you know where to find them. Depending on the season, you can target Barra in the Top End’s estuaries and billabongs, numerous rivers, or in the creeks and mangroves of Darwin Harbour. Choose from many Barramundi fishing charters Darwin locals offer and learn how to target these fish best.
Darwin's bluewater fishing is also excellent throughout the year, with Darwin Harbour and Dundee Beach serving as prime locations. Many inshore reefs and shipwrecks are home to Jewfish, Golden Snapper, and Cod. You can also fish reefs further from shore for Red Emperor, Tricky Snapper, Coral Trout, Nannygai, Spanish Mackerel, and much more.
The peak of bluewater fishing comes in the dry season, when anglers don't have to dodge heavy rains. During this time, you can venture “out wide” uninhibited and target Longtail Tuna, Queenfish, Giant and Golden Trevally, Sailfish, and more. If you aren’t sure where to fish and when, choose from many Darwin fishing charters and tours so local guides can show you where the bite is best! Dundee Beach fishing charters also make all of this accessible without the crowds of Darwin Harbour, and there are many locations nearby where you can fish without leaving the shore.
Rules & Regulations
No fishing license is required for recreational fishing in the Northern Territory. Anglers will be glad to know that many species are available to take while fishing Darwin. However, bag limits do apply and it is important to refer to government regulations before fishing. Protected species include Speartooth Shark, Northern River Shark, Sawfish, giant clams, and any species of Cod or Grouper longer than 1.2m (3.9’). You may not harm or possess these species at any time.
Types of Fishing
When fishing the reefs and the Bluewater, common practices range from conventional tackle, casting, and live bait to jigging and “bottom bouncing.” Darwin Barra fishing techniques include trolling or casting hard body lures and soft plastics. Anglers can also enjoy great success by fly fishing for Barra in creeks and billabongs. Choose from a variety of Barramundi fishing charters Darwin has to offer and learn the tactics that locals find most effective.
Fly fishing enthusiasts will also enjoy targeting Saratoga, another hard fighting fish that makes for great sport. Corroboree Billabong is a choice location for local fly fishermen, where fly fishing events are held every year. Targets at these events include Barra, Saratoga, Tarpon, Catfish, and more. While fishing in Darwin during the dry season, you can also target many saltwater fish on fly. A local favorite is the Giant Herring, aptly nicknamed “pincushion fish” due to its many tiny bones. Though lacking in table value, this is an energetic fish which provides great fun. Anglers can target Giant Herring on fly as they migrate inshore to shallow waters.
Darwin Fishing Seasons
Wet season is starting. At this time of year Barra fishing is best in the mangrove creeks and estuaries. In the Top End estuaries you can also fish for Black Jewfish, Golden Snapper, Cod, Pikey Bream and more.
Estuaries, rivers, and coastal creeks continues to yield success when fishing for Barra and other fish. Anglers can take refuge from the storms in these sheltered waters.
Run-off season is here, with some of Darwin’s best Barra fishing in full swing! Bluewater fishing is also kicking off at this time of year.
Run-off season continues, with many fish moving to open waters as the floodplains drain into the sea. In the Bluewater you can target game fish and reef fish.
Dry season is beginning, with bluewater fishing at its peak. Many anglers are targeting Barra in the clear water of landlocked billabongs and rivers.
As dry season continues, you can enjoy fishing inshore and offshore reefs. You are likely to catch Jewfish, Golden Snapper, Coral Trout, Nannygai, and much more.
Dry season is here to stay. In shallow creeks, Pikey Bream and Blue Salmon are at their peak season, while Longtail Tuna is peaking offshore.
Bluewater and coastal river fishing continue to offer their best. Inshore you can target Giant Herring on fly as they migrate into shallow waters during the dry season.
Dry season is coming to a close, with one last call for the year’s best Bluewater and reef fishing. The fish will continue to bite, but the weather doesn't get better than this.
This is when the build-up begins, with Barramundi breeding in the river mouths and estuaries. Billabongs are becoming warmer, where you will find good Barra and Saratoga fishing.
Threadfin Salmon are beginning to peak in shallow rivers and estuaries. Freshwater and saltwater fishing continue to yield success as temperatures and humidity rise in preparation for monsoon season.
Black Jewfish are at their peak season in the reefs, where you can continue fishing between storms for Golden Snapper, Tricky Snapper, Red Emperor, and more.
Darwin Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About Darwin
"Fishing with Paul"
Don't expect to always catch fish. It's not called cathching!
Take plenty of sunscreen and hat and sunglasses full day is a long day but well worth it. Totally enjoyed myself
"Half Day fishing trip with Captain Ken"
Go with Captain Ken. Knowledgeable, friendly and professional.
"Full day fishing"
Its good fishing never know what will bite next good mixed bag
Top Types of Fishing in Darwin
Top Fishing Techniques in Darwin
Top Targeted Species in Darwin
- Size 2 to 7kg (5 to 15lbs)
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats River, Lake, Inshore, Backcountry
- Size 1 to 6kg
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck
- Size 80 cm
- Food Value Average
- Game Qualities Average
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, River, Offshore
- Size 20 to 50lbs
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Excellent
- Habitats Nearshore, Offshore, Reef