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Darwin adventure, Corroborree billabong


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mrsswordfisherman
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"A top report to share with all of us in lockdown!"

dirvin21 was awarded the badge 'Great Content' and 50 points.

Amy and I have been planning a Darwin trip since November 2020, we thought Covid was going to put a stop to it but after consultation with the relevant authorities literally the day before we were fine to go.

With the trip going ahead we were all  but frothing at the mouth for our guided day on corroborree, with a 5am pick-up from our accomodation I was awake from 4 waiting to go. I have wanted to come to the top end for as long as I can remember so this was a dream coming true, and of course the number 1 spot on my bucket list, a saratoga. The dawn drive out was impressive seeing plenty of wildlife including buffalo. When we rolled up to the billabong it felt wild and we didn't waste time getting on the water.

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the sunrise was truly impressive, we were hoping to see a croc,  we saw atleast 6 within 100m of the ramp, the guide basically said "don't fall in".            

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I still can't comrehend the beauty of ths place, no matter how many pictures you see, it just doesn't prepare you. 

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We started out chasing barra on hardbodies, apart from Amy and i there was another customer on the boat John the guide looked pretty happy when he realised we could all fish and work lures with basically no instruction.

it didn't take long for me to put a fish in the boat 

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   only a small barra but I didn't care, the hits came thick and fast with a few small feisty barra hooked and dropped, and then a short while after I had a serious take and miss next twitch the lure is nailed and a much better barra flies into the air, the barra really played up making some serious jumps and runs, I could sense Simon our guide really wanted this fish on the boat, it was a hell of a fight but managed to get the fish in the net 

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A beautiful 65cm barra apparently a quality fish for a billabong, such a gorgeous golden fish, the mood on the boat was high and shortly after Amy put her first on the board for the day

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not long after John follwed suit not long after landing his first ever barra, the mood was high.

When the bite slowed we headed to a spot our guide called national geographic where there is a gutter filled with crocs, fish and birds

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truly an incredible sight apparently 2 weeks before they were pulling 100 fish sessions from this spot, I managed to drop a presumed massive barra, who cares with scenery like this.

With the barra bite time slowed down we turned our attention to my number 1 bucket lister the saratoga, we started casting spinnerbaits, which after awhile I got sick of and switched to casting weedless plastics in the lillies, Amy persisted with the spinnerbait and before you now it she's on and of course my dream fish in Amy's line 

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an absolutely magnificant fish and despite feeling a level of jealously reserved only for the criminially insane I was happy for her. Probably should mention Amy and I get a little competative and the sledging often starts, so my ego took a blow. I continued casting my weedless plastics the hits came but I couldn't eep one stuck, could you imagine my pride if Amy landed another 

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this one was even bigger, I was feeling the pressure and there was plenty of sledging aimed at me from all other occupants on the boat, not to mention feelimgs of jealousy so extreme I felt the need to be medicated,

I was finding with the weedless plastics the further back in the lillies they went the more hits they recieved and finally after what felt like hit number 7487 a fish finally stuck  I dared to dream toga

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and was given tarpon, still a cool fish and a new species, It got to a frustrating point where I couldn't catch a break and I heard swear words may have started to arise (allegidly) then with all hope lost a toga hooked up and I somehow managed to put it in the net before the hooks fell out 

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I have dreamed of this fish for years although not a big one, it was still respectable and a bucket lister, with that we stopped for lunch,

our guide had said under "lunch tree" big sooty grunter often show up but they ony eat ham, me being me I put a slab of ham on my jighead and lobbed it out whils eating lunch, and sure enough it was eaten

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as the guide commented I never stop fishing

We spent the arvo casting weedless plastics because our guide was so impressive with the effectiveness (I brought my own and he stopped at the tackle store in the way back and got some) we were getting hit pretty much every cast although th hook up rate wasn't fanatstic. Whilst casting a massive croc comes past heading into the liiles 

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we could hear him smashing birds and after whne we got to far in he started roaring at us as a warning, truly incredible,

The fish slowed a bit in the arvo we all landed a few small barra 

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and I landed a small but very colourful saratogaP1040797.JPG.f63a1bce6ca1a113a772bad9932906df.JPG

Our day at Corroborree has to be one of the best days fishing I've ever had, it was more than just the fishing it was the whole experience of the wildlife and just the impressive billabong itself, it's a must for anyone that visits the NT.

cheers for reading 

Dave 

 

 

 

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  Thanks for sharing a great report. Awesome photos of a very special place. You have successfully added  a to do list location for me. The Togas are very cool indeed well done.

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The Northern Territory (and WA's Kimberley) are superb fishing areas. I've always wanted to get out to Cape Don on the Coburg Peninsula in NT, as well as the Mount Booradaile Safari Camp in Arnhem Land. I've had the good fortune of visiting remote parts of the Kimberley over the years, where catching big barra, threadfin and queenfish on a handline is no problem at all. Can't beat the rugged north!  

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