To the angler, the Top End has four distinct seasons;
Wet Season – December to February
The monsoon or wet season generally runs over the southern summer. A heavy moisture laden trough extends down from the north at times and dumps large amounts of rain. Cyclones also come in occasioally and bring heavy falls, but are much less reliable.
The monsoon brings cooler weather and dark brooding storms, most Territorians enjoy the wet.
The fishing can be quite good, but depends heavily on the scale of the rain that’s fallen. Some roads will be cut off or shut due to flooding, others will be boggy and impassable. The billabongs are also closed to flooding.
That said, in the last season January fished exceptionally well for big barra as the rain fall had not been too significant. It is an exciting time of year as it transforms the countryside, but also hard to predict. There is always somewhere to fish and we often fair remarkably well.
Run Off – February to May
The Runoff is the most famous fishing season in the N.T. The name refers to the flood waters emptying from the plains, or ‘running off’.
This phenomenon can occurs at slightly different times in certain systems, but the most popular and reliable months in the rivers we fish are March and April. As mentioned above we had great fishing this year as early as January, so timing is never guaranteed.
These floodplains hold a massive array of small fish and animals that have been breeding up, or displaced during the floods. When they drain into the creeks and rivers a massive smorgasbord of food is delivered to waiting predators like barramundi, threadfin salmon, saratoga and tarpon.
‘Barra fever’ grips the Top End. Large trophy fish gather to feed after their breeding seasons and the ‘metery’ barra is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Many anglers return every season and early bookings are essential if you would like a spot.
Dry Season – May to September
The Dry Season refers to our cooler months generally over the southern Winter.
At the beginning of the dry, around May, there is a changeover period where the rains have departed but the cool south east trade winds have yet to kick in. This can result in calm weather and ideal fishing conditions which often extend into June.
As the year progresses the humidity drops and the top temperature hovers around 32 degrees, much cooler at night.
This is the typical tourist season and many flock to the Top End, escaping the depths of winter down south. For weeks and often months on end the days are warm, sunny and comfortable.
Build Up – September to November
Sometime during September the weather will begin to warm again. This signals the arrival of our ‘build up’ time, or lead up to the monsoon.
Early in the build up when the water temperature starts to rise and there is a notable increase in barramundi feeding activity. The billabongs often start to really fire and the harbours buzz with hungry fish.
Barra and blue water charters are the pick of the tours during September and October. Rising water temps and settled weather are perfect feeding conditions for many of the salt water species including big barra and threadfin!
The South East trade winds abate bringing long stretches of calm seas, an ideal time to head offshore. The afternoons bring dark crackling thunderstorms that put on amazing light shows, and drop much needed rain.
The weather will continue to warm and increase in humidity, this awakens those big trophy female barra. They come on the bite again in certain systems readying for breeding over the ‘wet’.
The fishing is just as good as the ‘Runoff’, and quite often better.
For bookings or more info contact us.