Darwin is a beautiful tropical town that produces some of Australia’s best fishing experiences. Since gill-net bans in 1997 at the Darwin Harbour and gill-net bans in 2007 in the region, the fishing spots in Darwin have been getting better every year. Darwin is the home of the Barramundi, an iconic Australian sport fish, anglers travel long distances to fish the Darwin region to the highly prized Barramundi.
But you don’t have to go far from Darwin for great fishing spots and the high chance of catching great sport fish like Barramundi, Threadfin Salmon, Queenfish, Trevally and Mangrove Jack. Here is a list of the best Darwin fishing spots for land-based anglers.
The local tackle stores in Darwin always have a massive selection of lures and they will often provide great advice on lure selection, however there are several go-to lures that will land most of the sport fish like Barramundi and Mangrove Jack. Locally made Reidy’s Lures are great, they have been designed and developed in and around Darwin for the conditions and fish, plus it is a great way to support a local business.
The best approach is to have 3-4 lures, a shallow diver, mid and deep diving hard body minnows in the range of 10-15cm. When choosing a hard body lure for Barramundi always ensure the hooks are at least 4X strength, most Barramundi fishermen will upgrade the trebles to 6X strength, which is easy and expensive compared to loosing a nice big Barramundi!
Colour choice for hard body lures isn’t a major concern, however for Barramundi any lure with a good ‘wobble’ action and contrasting colours, so light on the bottom dark at the top, will work great. The flick of the colour contrasts often wake up the fish to strike, and are perhaps easier for the fish to see in murky waters which is where a lot of juvenile Barramundi and Threadfin Salmon will be. Suspending hard body minnows are also a fantastic choice when fishing shallow waters land based, they are also great when the fish are a bit finicky, the lure will suspend and give the fish a chance to take it on the pause.
When the water is clearer and the weather is calmer soft plastics are a dynamite lure choice for Darwin. Slowly bouncing a lightly weighted soft plastic along a drain, beside a rocky out crop or just over the mud flats can produce some great fish.
Jig heads from about 1/8 to 1/16 are great, even light if the conditions permit. Test the lure to make sure the soft plastic tail has good action, then proceed with long casts with a slow retrieve letting the lure sink to the bottom. It is important to remember to let the soft plastic pause and sit on the bottom, depending how far you cast retrieves should and can take up to 1-2 mintues, with pauses for up to 10seconds. Most size plastics will work, the squidgy 10mm or larger range work well.
East Arm boat ramp area is a great place to fish for Barramundi and Mangrove Jack, target the mangroves as the tide is dropping, this is when the fish will start moving out of the mangroves into deeper water, or wait for bait fish to move out. Cast tight into the mangroves with a hard body lure and give it a few short sharp jigs down so the lure gets down and gets the fishes attention, then pause and repeat.
East Arm also holds Bream during winter around the pontoon, they will take small soft plastics drifted down beside the pylons and around the rocks.
Bayview is a great place to target Mangrove Jack and Golden Snapper around the lock and the rock wall. Bayview is a great place to fish as the tide isn’t as strong allowing anglers to cast soft plastics and hard bodies around the rock wall and at the lock, rig soft plastics weedless if fishing tight along the rock wall. Barramundi also turn up at times, particularly at night as the bait fish are attracted to the light on the water, which attracts the Barramundi.
There are large drains that run out from the lock where fish will often sit on a run out time waiting for bait fish.
Less than 5 minutes from town, Dinah Beach boat ramp area is a good place to fish off the pontoon, casting towards the rock wall. Barramundi and Threadfin Salmon often hang around this area waiting for prawns and bait-fish on a falling tide. The best times to fish is during summer or after a down-pour of rain when the prawns are washed out of the mangroves, a imitation prawn lure is a good choice. The mud flats on a falling tide is also a good place to flick a lure.
Located only a few minutes from town at the Darwin Fish Markets, is Fishermans Wharf, a long rock wall wharf some good fishing opportunities. It is best fish during the incoming tide, at the end of the jetty look for the murky discoloured water and cast shallow diving minnow lures using a slow retrieve for Barramundi. Bream are also here in numbers and will readily take small minnow lures and soft plastics, find them around the structure, pylons and in and around the wharf.
The largest public access wharf in Darwin with purpose built fishing shelters, the Stokes Hill Wharf produces some good fish for the patient angler. Barramundi, Black Jewfish, Queenfish, Trevally and Cod all frequent the area chasing down bait fish, they are all a possibility on lures. During winter Longtail Tuna also come close to the wharf and can be targeted on metal slugs.
The rock wall here is a good place to fish for Barramundi, Trevally and Queenfish. The area is relatively sheltered from most winds making it an ideal location for bait fish to take shelter.
Best fished during the start of the run in and the first of the run out tide for Barramundi, Cod, Trevally, Queenfish and Mangrove Jack. During the dry season Lameroo Beach produces great fishing for Trevally and Queenfish, which can often be seen smashing schools of baitfish. Soft plastics and hard body lures all work well for feeding fish.
Cullen Bay is a scenic place to go fishing and it often produces some great fishing, species caught include Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Trevally, Queenfish and Golden Snapper.
Out the front of Cullen Bay is a large rock wall that is best fished during the last of the run out tide as bait fish have no choice but to venture out into open waters.
The floating Pontoon out the front the Cullen Bay Marina Lock is also a good spot to fish, cast at either the lock during the run out tide or towards the mouth during a incoming tide as fish come into shelter.
Strictly no fishing inside the marina area, perhaps because there are some massive Barramundi living in there, get a burger at Lola’s and sit by the water to see them Barramundi, Queenfish and huge mullet waiting for chips.
Whiting on a incoming tide and the odd Barramundi near the rocks.
Fish the small creek during an outgoing tide for Mangrove Jack. During king tides and in the wet season the small creek mouth is a good place to fish for Barramundi as they feed on bait fish flushing out of the creek.
Fannie Bay is a popular spot for Barramundi throughout the year. Fish the last of the run in tide around the mangroves and rocks with suspending hard body lures with a slow retrieve for the best chance at Barramundi. Whiting and Bream during winter from the beach, Bream near the rocks.
East point offers lots of opportunities for anglers to target Barramundi, there are plenty of small rocky out crops scattered around the mud flats that produce Barramundi all year round. Best fished at low tide and the first few hours of the incoming tide, cast at the rocky out crops with soft plastics or shallow diving hard body lures. A slow retrieve with lots of pauses is the most effective technique when fishing for Barramundi at East Point.
During winter Trevally and Queenfish can be caught on surface lures at the end of the point.
Cast hard body lures around targeting rocky out crops for the chance to land Trevally, Queenfish and the odd Barramundi.
Best fished during a neap tide, top of the tide, run out tide and after heavy rains. The creek is heavily fished however the odd Barramundi, Trevally School and Queenfish still lurk around the creek looking for a easy feed. When the water is clear soft plastics work well, during the wet season when the water is murky hard body lures work better.
Great Bream and whiting fishing during the dry season, target them on small soft plastics lures, cast towards the small rocky outcrops where the bream will be taking shelter on a incoming tide.
Barramundi can be caught here also, the best time of year is spring to summer, fish the top of the tide around the cliffs with both soft plastics and hard body lures.
A small creek that can be surprisingly productive for Barramundi, Threadfin Salmon and Trevally. During high tide focus efforts around the mangroves in the creek, as the tide runs out fish around the mouth with shallow diving hard body lures.
Lee Point offers great fishing all year round for Barramundi however it is particularly good in Spring. Fish the low tide and start of the run in tide around the rocky out crops with hard body lures and soft plastics.
During the dry season Whiting can be caught from the beach. Trevally, Queenfish and Tuna around the rocky out crops.
Only 20mins from town, Buffalo Creek although heavily fished can be a great fishing spot that often produces Barramundi, Bream, Flathead, Cod and whiting. The current can be strong at Buffalo Creek so it is best fished on a neap tide or at the turn of the tides.
To the right of the boat ramp is a bush track, during the low tide and start of the incoming, fish along the creek casting hard body lures in the middle of the creek with a slow retrieve for the odd small Barramundi. In the warmer months, during an incoming tide fish from the mouth back to the boat ramp with shallow diving hard body lures for the chance at a Barramundi. The rock bars in Buffalo Creek are also worth a cast.
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Lameroo Beach (0.6km)
Friday 1 Dec 2023
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