The Northern Territory is fortunate to have a vast northern coastline that is relatively unpopulated and therefore untainted by agriculture and industrial usage. Seasonal monsoon rainfall occurs in the northern half of the Territory mainly during the months of December to March, a period locals call the “Wet Season”. Monsoonal rain inundates coastal floodplains and river systems as monsoon weather systems push inland which gives rise to massive outflows from the untamed tidal rivers that punctuate the landscape. It is these rivers, floodplains, billabongs and their associated mangrove-lined estuaries that are the stronghold of the legendary Australian sportfish: the barramundi.
But access to this remote Top End coastline and many of the rivers can be challenging due to distance, large tidal variations, limited infrastructure and the existence of Aboriginal Land Reserves that require permit access. Visiting a purpose-built fishing lodge sited in the heart of the Top End wilderness solves access and accommodation issues and using a professional guide takes the guesswork out of finding and catching fish.
Barramundi are an ambush predator that can live in freshwater or saltwater. In tidal waters, barra movements are dictated by the tide, with respect to food availability, structure and tidal flows. Your guide will often relocate according to the state of the tide with the intention of being in the same location as barra that may be actively feeding or holding on structure. Your guide’s understanding how the ebb and flow of the tide affects fish behaviour is an important factor in determining a successful day’s fishing.
For the prime Run-off Season (March/April) and the awesome Build-up season (October/November), Seven Spirit Bay operates solely as a luxury fishing lodge. It is located on the western side of Port Essington on the Cobourg Peninsula along the Northern Territory’s northern coastline some 200km north-east of Darwin. It is located within the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park which itself forms the most north-western sector of Arnhem Land. Today, anglers can travel from interstate or across the globe to a remote destination such as Seven Spirit Bay Wilderness Lodge that boasts first-class accommodation, superb cuisine, excellent boats and top-notch facilities, all backed up by experienced fishing guides. Having access to professionally-guided barramundi fishing services in seldom fished waters that lie within an internationally recognised heritage region is a tremendous drawcard for visiting anglers.
Barramundi Fishing Charters
Barramundi fishing tours are conducted by the Lodge’s expert fishing guides who are able to cater for anglers of all levels of experience. Even if you are a first-time angler, your guide will assist you with selecting the correct lure and provide casting instruction if necessary. More experienced anglers will be able to draw upon the guide’s many years of fishing experience to further hone their own skills. We can cater for anglers who lure fish as well as those who prefer to fly fish for barramundi.
Barramundi bite best in two distinct seasons: the Run-off (March and April) and the Build-up (October and November). Both seasons are regarded as our peak fishing months. There is always the chance of landing a trophy-size barra over a metre in length, although typically many of the fish caught will range from 50cm to 75cm in length. Lure fishing is the predominant technique employed by Seven Spirit Bay guides, although fly fishing for barramundi is also a popular fishing method with some guests.
There’s no need to worry if you don’t have any fishing tackle as we supply quality spin or baitcasting outfits and the best lures suited to the fishing situation at hand. Please note: all tackle provided is subject to replace if lost or damaged basis (Note: we don’t supply fly fishing equipment).
Barra Fishing Tackle
If you wish to bring your own barramundi fishing tackle we suggest:
- Baitcasting reels spooled with approximately 150m of 10-15kg braid line (eg Shimano Curado 200)
- Spin reel spooled with 150-200m 10-15kg braid (eg Shimano Stradic 4000)
- Baitcast or spin rods of about 1.8m in length rated at 6-10kg. We suggest multi-piece travel rods to ensure that they will fit inside the charter aircraft luggage lockers.
- Gelspun or braid main line – rated at 10-15kg breaking strain is recommended.
- A monofilament or fluorocarbon leader 20-30kg of about 1-1.5m should be used to connect between lure and main line.
Suggested barramundi lures: Bomber Long 15A, Classic Barra 10+, Classic Manta Ray F18, Rapala X-Rap, Classic Just Under, Killalure 2Deadly, Killalure River Rat & Flatz Rat, Jackall Squirrel, Reidy B52, Reidy’s Little Lucifer and Rebel Poppers.
Soft Plastic Shads 75-120mm long such as Squidgies, ZMan Minnowz, Zerek Live Shrimp and Reidy’s Rubbers all work well.
Soft vibes are also very effective at times. Soft plastics can be rigged on traditional weighted jig hooks or on wide gape worm hooks for weedless presentations.
Note: Heavy-duty hooks and split rings should be fitted to all hard-body barra lures.
Barra Fishing Lodge
In terms of luxury fishing lodges, Seven Spirit Bay ranks in the upper echelon of remote sportfishing destinations. Boasting 24 individual air-conditioned, deluxe ensuite villas and a main lodge with exclusive waterfront location, tropical manicured gardens, restaurant, licensed bar and resort-style pool sets it apart from other Top End fishing lodges. The deluxe villa accommodation at Seven Spirit Bay features: king bedding with the finest linen, architecturally-designed bathroom with double vanity, fully air-conditioned with louvre windows and ceiling fans, a private deck that overlooks Port Essington and bar fridge with mini bar and tea and coffee. All accommodation villas are serviced daily plus the lodge also provides a complimentary laundry service.
Seven Spirit Bay’s expansive bar and dining areas overlook the pristine waters of Coral Bay. Outside on the lodge’s terrace verandah, you will be able savour delightful sea breezes and classic Northern Territory sunsets before indulging in innovative, high-quality cuisine prepared by our in-house chefs. The main lodge also includes a delightful lounge and bar, the perfect meeting place after a day of fishing adventures.
Getting to Seven Spirit Bay is easy. It’s just a short 40 minute flight from Darwin via Spirit Aviation charter aircraft to our airstrip at Vashon Head. Spirit Aviation has two modern aircraft: a Cessna Grand Caravan C208 12 seat aircraft and a Cessna 210 4 seat aircraft. Charter flights depart from the Darwin airport general aviation area. We will advise charter flight details once a booking is confirmed.