Story by: Alex Julius - NAFA
It was one of those special build-up season days in the Top End of the Northern Territory, and waters offshore were so smooth you could ski across them. Plus you couldn’t pick a better location from which to scout the local seas: Seven Spirit Bay Wilderness Lodge which sits proudly near the entrance to Port Essington in the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park.
People often ask me what’s my favourite type of fishing, and it’s always barra hands down, but I usually qualify that by referring to my love of any sort of bluewater fishing when conditions are glassed out. That’s the measure – dead flat seas out on the sunny blue – and it always gives me a genuine lifted spirit.
We headed north-west into the Arafura Sea in a large centre-console sportfisher; our mission to catch Spanish mackerel on lures. We arrived at one of my favourite mackerel shoals where we trolled back and forth using a variety of proven lures, but nothing was biting. Finally, we spotted birds diving furiously and we trolled around them with a pair of the new Classic 200 hard-body lures out the back.
Bingo! Mackerel attacked the big lures with a sincere “take-no-prisoner” approach… the reels screamed to our delight as mackies hooked up and shot away.
We had a lot of fun during that session, keeping just two fish and releasing the rest; and when the birds dissipated, so did the mackerel.
If you’re into sashimi, it’s hard to beat super-fresh Spanish mackerel, so we prepared some fillets and chilled them for the ride back to the lodge.
All onboard were happy, and we all agreed the mission was a success.
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Talk about a small town with a lot going on. 6 hours from Perth by car, this seaside detour perfectly captures the colours and spirit of Western Australia.