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Located on the far north coast of Australia’s Northern Territory, Arnhem Land is the largest and most-remote Aboriginal land reserve in the country. The Lodge is located on the coast near the Aboriginal community of Maningrida, which is approximately 300km (a 60-minute flight) to the northeast of Darwin,
FishingEarth Quick Facts
Located on the far north coast of Australia’s Northern Territory, Arnhem Land is the largest and most-remote Aboriginal land reserve in the country. The Lodge is located on the coast near the Aboriginal community of Maningrida, which is approximately 300km (a 60-minute flight) to the northeast of Darwin, the capital city of the Northern Territory.
Arnhem Land is held under the unique title of inalienable Aboriginal freehold land and was declared in the 1930s.
Established in the 1950s, Maningrida is located at the mouth of the Liverpool River which flows into the Arafura Sea on the north coast of Australia.
The Arnhem Land Barramundi Nature Lodge is situated on an escarpment 20 minutes inland from Maningrida.
The Location Species
Barramundi, some would say barramundi is the fish that put Australian sports fishing on the map. There is no doubt that both big marlin of Lizard Island and northern Australian barramundi are the top of the tree when it comes to Australian sports fish. The Barra Lodge this has consistently for more than a decade hosted some of the best barramundi weeks on record.
GT (Giant Trevally), Giant Trevally has also been referred to as being the gangsters of the flats, they have a reputation for being thugs, bullish and unforgiving. They prey on almost anything that moves. From crabs, lobsters, squid, and eels to Mantis Shrimps. However, their favourite prey will be the wide variety of smaller fish that populate the shallow flats. In the buildup to the wet season, GT congregate in numbers that almost make them a pest (almost).
Fingermark, without a doubt the Northern Territory is spoilt when it comes to numbers of finger mark. They readily take a fly or lure and will keep you busy and test your skill and indeed your gear. Many will say finger mark is Australia’s best table fish!
Queenfish, when you see a Queenfish working bait or cruising along the edge of mangroves they look majestic and indeed powerful. Once you have hooked one they turn into an acrobatic monster. Many get complacent when a big Queenfish smashes their proper thinking I have this covered. They are as powerful as any fish in the ocean pound for pound big especially once they reach over 100 cm.
Coral Trout, Popper fishing for Coral Trout in a couple of feet of water is one of them fishing moments you will never forget. More often than not a Coral Trout is going to come up from a depth and smash your popper, lure or jig and start to return home with power and speed. For those fishing with the long wand casting across the top of a reef at low tide with an 8# always have a spare fly line or two if you are fishing remotly as you are going to need them.
Spanish Mackerel, unless you are fishing with 130lb big-game gear a Spanish mackerel is always going to give you a run for your money. Recently we hooked a 55 cm model on barramundi gear and let us know who was boss. Always good fun and plenty around on the right conditions.
Golden Trevally, those that like the long wand have always loved targeting Golden’s. They are never going to be as big and fierce as their good friend the fearsome GT but they will always test your skill and a superb target for those flyfishing.
Black Jewfish, the number of people that over the years have thought they had finally cracked the monster barramundi mark only to find that 30 minutes later they have a beautiful black jewfish. A surprise catch on barramundi gear will have you taking a nice cold drink once it has been released.
Mangrove Jack, those of you that have caught mangrove jacks (wolves of any estuary system) just think of one of them coming in at 5.5. They fight to a factor of at least 3x so a 5kg is going to feel like a 15kg fish. A fantastic fish to target as they release well and look great in a photo. Probably rivalling finger mark as one of Australia’s best table fish
Cobia, growing up we used to catch these on an 80lb handline when fishing for reds. In 200ft of water, you gear a great work out to be sure. Growing up to 78kg (MONSTER) they give you a chance to capture one of the ‘nicest’ fighting fish in the sea. They also love to give away their position by hanging out with Mantarays not all the time but it is a good bet. Makes them good to target on fly!
Northern Bluefin Tuna, they are never going to rival those tuna that have become famous on TV with shows like ‘hot tuna’ and ‘tuna wars’ they are however a superb fighting fish and release well. Always good to keep one or two for predinner nibbles and/or dinner. Your guide will make sure the fish is looked after to keep its flesh in its prime. Those flyfishing will have an absolute blast as there is only two speeds for northern bluefin tuna and that is fast and stupidly fast.
Milkfish, have you ever gone fishing and hooked a train or an Italian sports car… Milkfish are one of the fastest in the sea
Tarpon, not as big as their Northern Hemisphere family but with numbers and sizes that keep the fly fishing crew happy
This remote and exclusive area offers first-class barramundi and sportsfishing between the months of March and November each year. Traditionally there are two peak fishing periods per year, the “Run-off” (March/April) and the “Build-up” (October/November/early December).
The Arnhem Land Barramundi Lodge is the only fishing tour operation in this region, where entry is restricted to people holding permits issued by the Aboriginal traditional landowners. You will have unfettered exclusive access to a number of pristine Arnhem Land rivers (the Liverpool, Tomkinson, Mann and Goomadeer) plus several coastal creeks and estuaries. The remote and extensive waterways in this Arnhem Land region have a well-earned reputation for offering some of the best barra fishing in the world.
You will primarily target the famous barramundi but you will most likely encounter a number of other saltwater estuary species such as threadfin and blue salmon, mangrove jack and black jewfish. Venturing offshore, golden snapper, coral trout, bluebone, queenfish, Spanish mackerel, broad-barred mackerel, longtail tuna, giant trevally, golden trevally, cobia, and that icon sportfish the giant herring are abundant in the warm tropical waters that adjoin the Arnhem Land coast. There may also be opportunities for freshwater fishing for barramundi, tarpon and Saratoga.
Fishing is from fully-surveyed OceanMaster sport fishers piloted by our experienced and knowledgeable fishing guides.
Boats & Crew
Arnhem Land Barramundi Nature Lodge operates a fleet of eight ‘state of the art’ OceanMaster vessels. These unsinkable and super stable vessels are the ultimate when it comes to fishing remote Top End waters. The boats have the ability to cut through choppy waters with ease and offer the most stable platform available for barramundi fishing. These vessels barely list even with a number of heavy men leaning over one side. Put simply, no other vessel compares to OceanMaster.
All of the Lodge’s boats have been manufactured by Territory Marine, a leading Northern Territory boat builder, and are fitted with the latest Lowrance SideScan and StructureScan fish-finding technology and navigation equipment.
All boats are powered by Suzuki 4-stroke engines for exceptional reliability.
As of July 2017, the Lodge boats have been fitted with the latest Minn Kota I-Pilot electric motors for the ultimate in stealth fishing.
All boats are fitted with VHF Marine radios, satellite telephones and a full safety kit with EPIRB emergency locating beacons. Insect repellent, sunscreen, first-aid kits and rain jackets are also carried on all our boats.
Insulated Waeco ice boxes complete with picnic lunches and soft drinks are freshly packed each day with ice from our ice-making machine. In addition, large coolers of fresh iced water are installed daily on each boat.
The Arnhem Land Barramundi Lodge features 12 brand new deluxe ‘safari suites’.
Each of these 12 suites is complete with air-conditioning, ensuite bathroom, beautiful furnishings and a large front deck for perfect views over the below floodplains.
No expense has been spared in the construction of this new accommodation placing it in a class of it’s own.
Your days will begin with your choice of a traditional Australian cooked breakfast (bacon, eggs, sausages, tomato and toast served with a variety of condiments) or a continental breakfast (cereals, fruit, fruit juices, full cream or skim milk). Breakfast is served on our escarpment balcony so you can absorb the early morning panorama of the river valley below. Tea and coffee facilities are available in the dining area.
Lunches are pre-packed picnic lunches prepared by our chef and stored fresh on ice until lunchtime. Soft drinks are also included in the onboard ice box, while a 20L container of fresh chilled water is also part of each boat’s refreshment inventory.
Pre-dinner snacks are served at the bar on your return to the Lodge in the afternoon. Here you can enjoy a refreshing ice cold drink while savouring delicious barra bites or other delicacies while the chef prepares your dinner.
Your two-course dinner, prepared by the Lodge’s master chef, will be served again on our spectacular dining deck. Our in-house chef will prepare many of your days catches for your evening meal. Other delicious cuisine is also served if you are not a seafood lover.
The Barramundi Bar is located on the shaded front deck together with additional outdoor seating and dining for up to 24. The bar is stocked with a selection of quality wines and beer that are available for purchase while soft drinks are complimentary.
The team at FishingEarth will work with you to put together the most cost-effective and time-efficient travel plans for you. We will work with you to make sure that your budget and time limitations are taken into account and the best route there and of course the best route home. AtThis FishingEarth we get excited for you when you are going on a FishingEarth Fishing Adventure. But the thing that makes us smile is when you walk in your front door ‘home’ safe and sound. Destinations like the Vanuatu are one of those places where part of the adventure is getting there.
FishingEarth 60 Second Quick Facts
Barramundi, Fingermark Jew Fish, Tarpon, Queenfish, Saratoga, Coral Trout, Tarpon, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, Red Emperor, Giant Trevally, Golden Trevally, Mac Tuna, Northern Bluefin Tuna, Estuary Cod, Barracuda, Permit, Blue Bastards,
Charter Operation Dates
This remote and exclusive area offers first-class barramundi and sportsfishing between the months of March and November each year. Traditionally there are two peak fishing periods per year, the “Run-off” (March/April) and the “Build-up” (October/November/early December). Outback Spirit Tours has appointed Alex Julius and his Fishing Tropical Australia team to act as sole agent for fishing bookings during these prime fishing periods.
Like the fishing, there are more packages than you can poke a fly rod at. FishingEarth works with you to find the perfect package for your budget and indeed your time limitations.
How to get there
The team at FishingEarth will work with you to put together the most cost-effective and time-efficient travel plans for you. We will work with you to make sure that your budget and time limitations are taken into account and the best route there and of course the best route home. At FishingEarth we get excited for you when you are going on a FishingEarth Fishing Adventure. But the thing that makes us smile is when you walk in your front door ‘home’ safe and sound.
Q.Do I need my own fishing gear?
A. You are more than welcome to bring your own fishing gear or you can use their quality fishing gear. It is always important to make sure you know the rules with your airline for weight and length.
Q. What type of fishing is the area famous for?
A. Barra Barramundi
Q. What is the weather like?
A. Robin Williams from ‘Good morning Vietnam’ HOT
Q. What else is there to do?
A. At the end of each day, you will cherish your hot shower and look forward to some pre-dinner nibbles. Followed by a delicious main meal accompanied by some nice cool drinks. All this while discussing with your guide as to a new game plan when that 107cm barramundi gives you another chance. What else would you want to do?
Q. What does FishingEarth recommend?
A. Make sure you get up early as we reckon the best time of the day is having a cup of coffee or tea in your hand as the sun rises.
Q. Passport Information
A. Only if you are visiting Australia from over seas.
Q. Can we drink the tap water?
A. Drinking water will be provided… here w be no shortage of good drinking water.
Number 1 FishingEarth tip for this location.
Make sure you get good tides… very very important!